Administer Linux on the Fly

    Date20 May 2003
    3085
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    Anyone who has administered a system of commercial importance knows the value of uptime -- or, conversely, knows the headaches you get from users because of downtime. One of the main reasons a company will run a UNIX server is because . . . Anyone who has administered a system of commercial importance knows the value of uptime -- or, conversely, knows the headaches you get from users because of downtime. One of the main reasons a company will run a UNIX server is because of its reliability and stability. If managed carefully, there's usually no need to restart these servers for long periods of time. And to improve matters further, there are administrative tasks -- even at the kernel level -- that you can perform on the fly, keeping your servers available. While you may still need to restart a system to upgrade hardware or if someone trips over the power cord, it's good to know that many administrative tasks can be performed without disrupting service.

    This article includes hints and tips for performing various administrative tasks and changing your system without rebooting. Linux provides various ways to change underlying operating system values and settings while keeping the system up and running. These come in two basic forms, those that are general to all Linux systems and are provided in the Linux kernel (you can find more information about the Linux kernel and download kernel source at the Linux Kernel Archives; see Resources for a link), and those that are distribution specific and provided by the vendor. This article deals with both types.

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