UNIX Sysadmin Resources – FAQs T-Z

This content was originally created, collected, and maintained by Stokely Consulting.
As of May 2005, it is being hosted and maintained by Bill Bradford.

Jump to: TCP/IP & Ethernet, Cable Modems | Tru64 | Unix | Unix Shells | vi & friends | X11/Motif | Other FAQs

TCP/IP & Ethernet,
Cable Modems:

comp.protocols.tcp-ip FAQ covers the fundamentals of TCP/IP, network operations, protocol implementations, programming, common TCP/IP protocols. A good primer.
Ethernet Codes master page is great data. It lists the meaning of the different octets of Ethernet or IEEE802.3 packets, covering Ethernet Type, Vendor Codes, and Multicast Addresses. Very useful for
determining what machine is sending unexpected packets.

Cable Modems:

Navas Cable Modem/DSL Tuning Guide has very useful information. Mostly for Microsoft and Apple, but some Unix information.
Setting up a Solaris DHCP Client and Setting up NAT on Solaris using IP Filter are very useful when connecting your Solaris system up to a Cable Modem. Written by Rich Teer.

IP Filtering:

IP-Filter is a TCP/IP packet filter, suitable for use in a firewall or Network Address Translation (NAT) environment. Runs on FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, Solaris/SunOS, IRIX, Linux. Also available at coombs.anu.edu.au.
IPFilter and PF Resources from obfuscation.org
Precompiled Solaris binaries of IPFilter
Sunscreen 3.1 Lite is free firewall software from Sun.
Solaris IPNAT Howto describes how to set up Solaris as a NAT gateway using ipfilter. Written by Rachel Polanskis.


Carl’s Australian IPv6 Pages covers Solaris IPv6 FAQs, opverview, resources, and IANA documents. Maintained by Carl Brewer.
TCP Wrappers for Solaris and IPv6 ported by Casper Dik. Also available at ftp.porcupine.org.
6bone is a testbed for the deployment of IPv6. Overview and operational information, how to jointhe 6bone. Excellent starting point for learning all about the 6bone and IPv6.
The Kame Project is a joint effort by Japanese companies to create a free IPv6/IPsec protocol stack for BSD variants. They’re targeting FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, and BSDI.
Unix Socket Programming FAQ is for C programmers programming with AF_INET sockets in the Unix environment.

IP over SCSI: (*not* iSCSI)

RFC2143: Encapsulating IP with the Small Computer System Interface is the RFC on IP over SCSI.

Network Management & Measurement Tools:

CAIDA Measurement Tool Taxonomy is a fabulous collection of Internet and TCP/IP performance measurement tools and efforts. Reviews of the tools and pointers to the tools.
CMU Network Group Software is a set of core functions to write SNMP agents and managers, utilities and other useful software.
MRTG (Multi Router Traffic Grapher) is an snmp agent which runs from cron. Written in Perl5.
NET-SNMP (formerly known as ucd-snmp) is a collection of tools for SNMP. Includes an extensible agent, SNMP library, tools to request or set info from SNMP agents, generate and handle SNMP traps, netstat using SNMP, and a mib browser.
Scotty is Tcl Extensions for network managment applications. Allows you to implement site-specific net management using high-level, string-based APIs.

Tru64.org is the home of the Tru64 Unix community. Mailing list, FAQs, documentation, patches, resources, news and links.
Inexpensive Tru64:Compaq is offering a non-commercial Tru64 license with a full suite of developer tools for $99USD.

CDE FAQ (Common Desktop Environment) from the comp.unix.cde newsgroup. Maintained by Aditya Talwar.
comp.unix.admin FAQ applies to all Unix versions, and is particularly useful for folks just starting out in Unix Systems Administration.
Operating System Technical Comparison compares and contrasts operating systems, for both technical and non-technical people. Excellent reference site from OSdata.com.
Rosetta Stone – A Sysadmin’s Unixersal Translator lists all the major ways to do tasks in AIX, Darwin, DG-UX, FreeBSD, HP-UX, IRIX, Linux, NetBSD, OpenBSD, SCO OpenServer, Solaris, SunOS, Tru64 and Ultrix. Activities include reading disk label, check swap space, system error reporting, plus links to mailing lists, vendor patches, FAQs and more. Very useful!
Unixguide.net has another great Unix sysadm translator covering directory mappings, users accounts, commands, printers, and more. Links to lots of information on AIX, FreeBSD, HP-UX, Linux, Solaris and Tru64.
Unix Guru Universe A great, searchable set of resources for Unix Sysadms. Categories are System Administration, Networking, Security, Software, HelpMe, Conference, Vendors, Careers, Usenet Newsgroups, and Internet. This site has an incredibly comprehensive list!
Consistent BackSpace and Delete Configuration nicely describes how to tell Unix/Linux to make your backspace key erase to the left and the delete key erase under the cursor.
Single Unix Specification, Version 2 from The Open Group, formed by the consolidation of X/Open and OSF. Also includes valuable links to other Unix specifications.
Unix FAQ [all parts, 1-7]
Unix Programming FAQ

Unix Shells:
Csh Programming Considered Harmful by Tom Christiansen. Read and learn.
BASH is the GNU project’s shell, and is a sh-compatible shell that incorporates useful features from the Korn shell (ksh) and C shell (csh). Site has a good introduction to BASH, and links to downloads.
BASH with Debugger project contains patched sources to BASH that enable better debugging support and improved error reporting.
comp.unix.shell FAQs: “intro” is the main FAQ for the newsgroup, but the directory also contains other useful shell FAQs.
Korn Shell (ksh) Programming is a nice tutorial which teaches you the basics as well as more advanced topics. Good sample scripts. From Philip Brown of bolthole.com.
Portable Unix Toolkit is part shareware, part commercial. It’s a set of shell login environment files and shell, Perl and Expect utility scripts that have been ported to several Unix versions. The scripts can be used independently of the login environment files and include general utility scripts and sysadm scripts.
scsh FAQ covers the Scheme shell, a Unix POSIX-compliant shell which uses Scheme as its scripting language.
SHELLdorado has lots of shell scripts, articles, utilities, good shell coding practices, tutorials, binaries, Unix tools for MS Windows.
Shell Scripts and AWK is part of a free online course from University of Cambridge.
Tower Floor – Shell Scripts has many good hints, tips, and examples for shell scripts, awk, sed, regular expressions. Stepping into the room, you find yourself surrounded by musty scrolls….. Created by Anthony Thyssen.
Z-Shell Information provides FAQ, documentation, and the Zsh software.

vi &

First Steps: vi has a good cheat-sheet for vi users. Tutorial and practice lessions. Written by Tony Porczyk.
GeekCheat.com sells an excellent vi reference T-shirt, with the reference sheet on the front, upside down so the wearer can easily read it. They also sell vi reference sheet coffee mugs and mouse pads.
Mastering the vi editor from the University of Hawaii.
vi Lovers Home Page has links to different versions of vi for different OSs, manuals, online help, tutorials, macros, and even poetry about vi.
Yahoo’s vi section

Friends of vi & vi-like editors

Vim is a truly amazing, free, vi-like editor with syntax coloring, unlimited undo, split windows, gui support, and more. Runs well on Unix, NT, and many other OSes. We’re hooked on it here.
bvi is a free display-oriented editor for binary files, based on vi. A bmore program is also included in the package.
Elvis is a freeware vi-like editor for Unix, NT, Win95, and MS-DOS. Understands plain ascii text windows, X11, mouse movement. Many customizable features.
Lemmy, a shareware vi look and feel editor for Windows 95 and NT.
NVI editor source is freely-available, an implementation of ex/vi from part of the Fourth Berkeley Software Distribution (4BSD). Also see the vi FAQ they maintain.
WinVi is a free MSWindows vi editor, available in 16-bit and 32-bit versions.
vile retains the “finger-feel” of vi, while adding the multiple buffer and multiple window features of emacs and other editors. It is definitely not a vi clone, in that some substantial stuff is missing, and the screen doesn’t look quite the same.



The XFree86 Project and the XFree86 FAQ. Provides a free X Window System server for PCs running Unix and OS/2. Software and documentation provided. Donations accepted.
Setting up XFree86 on Solaris x86 2.6 from Aleksandar Milivojevic.
XFree86 on Solaris explains how to get, install and configure XFree86 on Solaris x86. Written by Gregory A. Lazzaro.

X Servers & Clients for non-Unix machines:

Exceed X server for PCs running Win95/NT. From Hummingbird Communications Ltd.
Intel-Unix-X FAQ covers free and commercial options for X software on Intel-based Unix.
MI/X is an X Server for Macs (PowerPC or 68K) and Intel PCs (Windows 95/NT 3.51 or 4.0). Free for Macs, free trial download for Windows. From MicroImages, Inc.
Starnet Communications, producers of PC X server software for DOS, Windows, Win95/NT.
LabF, makers of Windows software X server, SSH client, NFS server and client, FTP client. Reasonably priced software from the independent software house located in Tampere, Finland.
List of PC/Wintel X11 products from Provantage.
VNC is a remote display system which allows you to view a computing desktop environment on a remote machine. Many Unix and non-Unix systems supported. Contributors are working on client and server versions for other OSes, like Amiga, Acorn, BeOS, DOS, OpenStep/Mach, OS/2, PalmPilot, VMS.

Motif FAQ, available in plain text and HTML from multiple sites.<
MotifZone is a community site for Motif users and developers. Contains information on the Open Motif project, help, forums, articles, reference library, links and more.
An Unreliable Guide to XKB Configuration is a guide to setting up keyboards in X11 so that you can access non-generic character sets and national variations, using the XKB system. How to understand the XKB configuration files and write your own.
X11 FAQs (many!)

Other FAQs:
Didn’t find the FAQ you wanted? Try FAQs.org or the official Usenet FAQ FTP server at rtfm.mit.edu for an enormous number of FAQs.