On the Server Side: Lotsa Links

Ryan gives you a selection of his favorite Web sites for system administrators

I’m not a Web junkie. Who has time to surf? Until we really have automatic agents and psychic search engines, the Web will continue to be a tangled mess. So, in the interest of helping out my loyal readers, I’ve hand-picked some of the best sites for system administrators from my favorites list.

Windows

LabMice (www.labmice.net) sorts links to relevant articles on the Web by categories, such as Active Directory, performance tuning and troubleshooting (a good starting point for research).

15 Seconds (www.15seconds.com) is an amazing resource for Active Server Page developers. Lots of source code, discussion, quality answers to questions, minimal advertising and a solid search feature make this site a must for new and experienced ASP developers. It’s also worth it for tips on running Internet Information Server.

The Microsoft Support Knowledge Base (http://support.microsoft.com) is the search engine for all things MS. It’s a quick and easy way to get to tech support information.

TechNet (www.microsoft.com/technet) is the online version of Microsoft’s support CD package. TechNet offers white papers, lists of top support issues, case studies and lots of other detailed technical info.

Two other interesting sites are Fix Windows Troubleshooting guides (www.fixwindows.com); and NT Help (www.nthelp.com).

Linux

The Linux Online Support Center (www. linux.org/help) supplies useful links to how-tos, documentation sites, Usenet groups, FAQs and support sites. While Linux Online is really the official Linux site, the Support Center is the most useful with high content and low rhetoric.

Freshmeat (http://freshmeat.net) is updated daily with the latest packages and releases. It’s a quick way to find the Linux software you need with a minimum of the rabid "up with Linux" propaganda on many sites. Users can post comments about the applications and a chat room called the "lounge" features a high degree of technical talk.

Linux Administration Made Easy (www.linuxninja.com/ linux-admin/index.php3), a.k.a. LAME, is a great site for new Linux system admins. It covers all the basics, such as installation, backup, account management, and starting and stopping processes. Anyone new to UNIX will find this site useful.

Portico (http://portico.org) is a simple site which provides Linux and other UNIX tips. By tips, I mean paragraph-long hints and technical tricks on nearly any subject. The site can randomly display tips from a database or you can search on a particular topic.

Other sites are Linux Hardware (www.linuxhardware.net), device drivers and hardware advice; Destination Linux (www.destinationlinux.com), a good portal site; and LinuxHQ (www.linuxhq.com), for both stable and unstable kernels.

Security

CERT (www.cert.org) is a great stop for the latest information on virii and known security holes on many operating systems. Funded by the Department of Defense and other federal agencies, their mandate is to keep everyone informed about security threats.

Linux Security (www.linuxsecurity.com) is the place to go for both warnings about the latest holes and security primer information.

NT Security (www.ntsecurity.net) is the one-stop shop for Windows-based security issues. The site offers the latest Windows-related warnings (usually virus related) and detailed, technical, original content on topics, such as securing your NT server and combating denial of service attacks. The site also hosts several discussion forums of very high quality and sponsors an e-mail list that will warn of the latest security threats.

2600 Magazine (www.2600.com), "The Hacker Quarterly," is devoted to the exploits of those who want to break into computers and phone systems. This is an excellent site, which is probably the voice for the hacker culture.

University of California at Davis archives a large number of very technical security-related papers at http://seclab.cs.ucdavis.edu/papers.html. The site holds academic research and results and is targeted to an academic audience. While most of the information here is abstract and not related to a particular platform, it is very interesting reading on the theories and concepts of security.

Other interesting security sites are Technotronic (www.technotronic.com) for news on many platforms; and SecuritySearch.Net (www.securitysearch.net), a search engine for security issues.