10 Powerful Tools for Linux Server Admins

10 Powerful Tools for Linux Server Admins

When you think of Servers, the very first thing that might come to your mind would be a machine capable of providing and handling centralized data services for a number of clients. The role of  Linux Servers is not limited to handling data. You can have dedicated File Servers, Proxy Servers, Mail Servers, Web Servers, DNS Servers and even Print Servers.

Whether you have one server rolling out many services or separate dedicated servers for each task,  server admin tools are required to handle their operations that ensure smooth and trouble free functioning. Though nothing beats command line tools on Linux, here are 10 powerful GUI tools to make Linux Servers easy to administer.

1. Webmin:

As the name suggests, it’s a web based, all in one administration tool. You can use it to administer system settings, various servers installed, hardware configuration and other utilities to manage files and aliases. You can even configure webmin itself from its web interface.

Starting and stopping different servers is a breeze. You can set disk quotas, modify groups and settings for users. It makes it easy to configure RAIDs, disk partitions and printers. It’s one indispensable tool in your toolbox for Linux Server Administration.

2. MakeLogic Tail:

Though not open sourced, but MakeLogic Tail is a free java based cross platform real time log analyzer. If you are not comfortable at using the famous terminal command tail -f on Linux, this GUI can be used to display the last few lines of your server logs.

3. Ghost4Linux:

It’s not exactly a GUI tool but it still is user friendly. Ghost4Linux is a Ncurses based cloning tool similar to Norton Ghost, only it is open sourced and free. It comes as a Linux live CD and can be used to backup and restore hard disk partitions and data. You can even create backup images for archival purposes and transfer these images over ftp to store at remote locations.

4. DB Cruiser:

DB Cruuiser is a web based java tool to manage databases and can be used as an alternative to phpMyAdmin. The plus point is that it can manage a whole range of databases including MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle running on Linux servers. Though it’s not open sourced, you can use it free for personal use.

5. CUPS:

For printing on Linux systems, CUPS has emerged as the standard. You can turn any system into a print server by installing CUPS. This system acts as a host which accepts printing jobs from client machines. CUPS has a web based monitoring and configuration system to manage printers and print jobs.

6. ProFTPd Admin:

If you are running an FTP server using proftpd service, you can use ProFTPd Admin tool to manage your it. It is written in php and uses mysql as the dababase. So obviously you will be needing these to run it on the server. But the important part is, that you can remotely manage and monitor FTP user accounts and settings.

7. GAdminHTTPD:

Management of fine tuning of Apache web server requires knowledge on relatively higher side. But with this new GUI tool, GAdminHTTPD, a GTK based front-end for httpd you can monitor access and error logs, manage users and modules. It presents a clear and concise information about the web server.

8. Gparted:

Gparted is GUI partition editor that an administrator can use to re-size partitions, create new ones, copy existing data on hard disks and even mirror partitions. It is relatively easy to use once you understand the partitioning structure of a hard disk. Formatting file systems and checking for errors make this tool a must have in your admin arsenal.

9. Grsync:

No server admin can forget the importance of taking timely backups. Grsync makes an administrators task easy by if you find it hard to use rsync to take backups. It can be used to synchronize directories, data on USB disks and even to network drives.

10. Nagios:

To monitor the host, services running on it and the network, Nagios a web based monitoring and reporting tool can be used. If some problems are detected, server admins can be notified automatically. It displays the status and logs for analysis and can be accessed remotely through a web browser.

These powerful tools can help you to monitor and keep your server in a stable state. In addition to using these tools, make yourself familiar with some command line utilities too. At times they can prove to be quite indispensable too.

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