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A Solution to Linux Management


Commercial Linux management products like Red Hat Network and Novell's ZENworks Linux Management are a step up, offering system updates and configuration management. These tools are great if you're using that vendor's products exclusively, but they'll cost you: $192 per year per machine for Red Hat Network (with advanced provisioning), $130 per year per machine for Novell's ZENworks.

Instead, you might want to try one of the many open-source solutions for centrally managing your Linux systems. And even if you use commercial tools, these products still can come in handy. Our favorites for managing Linux servers and workstations are ClusterSSH, rsync and cfengine, which aren't specific to Linux or Unix and let you manage different types of machines from one console.

Cluster Your SSH

Secure shell--ssh--is the standard for remotely manage Linux machines securely. But ssh alone connects to only one computer at a time. To manage a bunch of machines, use ClusterSSH. ClusterSSH speeds up the process by opening a window for each connection as well as a master repeater window that repeats your keystrokes on each of the ssh connections simultaneously.

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