Linux Power Tools – Great Tools to Make System Administration Easy

World War II – Germany decided to attack Poland.
Poland had many great warriors. They all prepared to fight the Germans.
They were all ready with the best armor, the best and well trained
horses, and ofcourse the best weapons , swords , spears …. And
the Pols were brave and were ready to give their lives for their
country. Sadly they did just that… give their lives. The Germans
had tanks… It is very important to have the right weapons when one
goes for a war.

In the same way it is very important for system administrators to have
the right tools to to work smart. Linux is a great desktop OS for
developers as well as system
administrators. Let us take a look at some of the utilities which makes
this a great environment for system administrators and developers. Most
of the content below is taken from the home pages of these apps and the
I make no claims on the originality. My aim is to introduce the reader
to the
wonderful tools that are available in a Linux/BSD desktop environment.


Let’s start from what most people think Linux is all about – a text
based shell. Konsole is what
is known as an X terminal emulator, often referred to as a terminal or
a shell. It gives you the equivalent of an old-fashioned text screen on
your desktop, but one which can easily share the screen with your
graphical applications. What makes Konsole special?
Konsole’s advanced features include simple configuration and the
ability to use multiple terminal shells in a single window, making for
a less cluttered desktop. Konsole is also available as kpart and
can thus be easily embedded in other applications, like practiced by
Kate and Konqueror.

As most system administrators need log into servers on a regular basis
the konsole gives them a benefit over the Windoze command prompt. In
windows one needs to use a program like putty to log in using SSH. Also
as linux is the desktop OS the techs can use the man pages on the local

One can also try out the various commands locally. Consider a simple

Is it

$ ln sourcefile destinationfile

or is it

$ ln destinationfile sourcefile

Such things can be easily found out locally without carrying out
experiments on the server. Many techs believe that servers are places
where they can experiment. However, such experiments can lead to major
losses to the customers due to one small error. A system administrator
must understand that people have immense faith in them when they give
their entire data to them and they cannot risk carrying out simple
experiments on servers.

Some screenshots of the konsole can be seen at the konsole site

Personal Information Manager / Groupware

There are two popular choices here. Evolution
from Novel
and the Kontact
from KDE. Both these an email client, calendaring, meeting
scheduling, a task list, contact management and syncing functionality.
Kontact is essentially the regular KDE PIM components which have been
put in together i.e. kmail, korganizer, knotes etc.. It is very a very
neat package and is stable and light. Both these are very
functional and can connect to many groupware servers.


Klipper is the KDE clipboard utility. It stores clipboard history

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