[nycbug-talk] fave BSD tips/tricks?

George Rosamond george at ceetonetechnology.com
Mon Aug 24 20:14:10 EDT 2009

Miles Nordin wrote:
>     gr> how about a tip on NOT including the email address of the
>     gr> person you're replying to. . .why feed those spam spiders?
> I am on about 30 active lists and have not encountered this idea of
> etiquette anywhere else.  Email etiquette is extremely slow to change
> so it will be hard for you to win this on any large scale.  IMHO I
> think you should fix your list archives if you care: either fuzz the
> <[^> \t]*@[^> \t]*> pattern, or make the archives members-only.  I
> don't mind leaving out your address that much, but I'm not going to
> change the quote header that's accepted on 29/30 lists, especially
> when it supplies useful information, and I'm unlikely to remember to
> customize yours manually a month from now.  I think there is some way
> I can have different settings for different lists, but it'd probably
> take me 2 or 3 hours to figure out which is longer than it takes to
> argue with you, so long as I believe I'm right, which I do: same
> address since 1995, never pester my friends with jumping through spam
> hoops (which I view as a form of backscatter), and my inbox is still
> workable.

world has changed greatly since 1995.

>     gr> mtr, eg, needs some xorg libraries, but it's really about if
>     gr> there's a choice.
> I think it's better for avoiding regressions to build everything the
> same way, in particular ``hidden dependency'' regressions, and gains
> basically nothing of practical value to leave X out, and I actually do
> use X11 programs remotely over 'ssh -o forwardx11=yes -o
> forwardx11trusted=yes' somewhat often.  
> For example, I have a simple BSD box acting as a firewall with not too
> many daemons running on it: ssh into the box, then ssh further into
> something protected.  If you do not build X11 into the base
> distribution, then ssh will not forward X11, so not only you cannot
> use X11 on the firewall ``server'' but you can't on any machine behind
> the firewall either, and you have to try, fail, go through all kinds
> of gyrations to get the job done.

Certainly a valid point for such usage.

> A lot of sysadmins seem to think they're more ``secure'' by leaving
> stuff out of their userland which I think is wrong, or else it's just
> some OCD/NIH/bikeshed behavior like espresso brewing or car audio.

LOL. . . that spawns a great question then. ..

besides a default install bsd system, which ports/pkgs do you install 

I don't think OpenBSD supports multiple log files with tail, so 
multitail it is.

sudo, certainly.

That point always makes me laugh. . . "it's a stripped down system but 
has the vital packages of x, y AND z."

> It's just annoying when basic unix things like apropos, xcalc, or
> emacs are missing.  Unix has become a single-user platform.  Working

the "single-user platform" comment really depends on the environment, of 

If you're the only one with sudo or even shell access, it's completely 
different than having multiple users.

What about large large installations?  In the scenarios I've 
experienced, sudo and maybe bash is it.

But emacs on servers, if that's what we're assuming?  I disagree, but 
*a* disagreement proves the point, I guess.

> on something after some sysadmin has come in to delete eevrything he
> doesn't use is like a cluttered house full of unruly children: every
> time you try to do something you trip over some garbage and have to
> find another way, and eventually get three or four prerequisites deep
> in solving the original problem and forget what you originally wanted
> to do.  It's extremely frustrating and entirely avoidable.  At the
> very least I wish people would include whatever comes in Mac OS X or
> on an Ubuntu livecd, and even put some effort into not leaving out
> things others are likely to want, while around nycbug it seems like
> everyone applies their effort in just the opposite direction, swapping
> tips on how to ``minimize their installz''.

I can't imagine Ubuntu's sense of "vital packages" (useful term or not?) 
is necessarily useful.  Do they do dailies yet? :)

So, Miles, you think having a (relatively) more extensive list of base 
tools is better?

I'd rather figure out which tools I can pipe or learn on the base system 
to accomplish the task first. . . which I guess you see as the approach 
of most NYCBUG people.

But isn't that what Unix is about?

(quick jab about .rmrc to someone else here. . .)

Of course, a nice counterpoint to that is the extension of subsystems, 
flag options, base package rewrites, etc., is hardly minimalist.

Interesting points.


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