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The sysadmin’s essential diagnostic toolkit

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We’ve had a number of people ask us recently what sort of procedures and tricks we use when hunting down problems on systems we maintain, as a lot of the work can seem magical at times. While there’s no short answers to these sorts of questions (you could fill many, many pages with the topic), we thought we’d share some of the most commonly-used tools with you. You may already know a couple of them, which is great. Their real value comes from knowing how and when to use them. strace This is the big one for us, because it so frequently tells us exactly what we need to know. strace hooks into a process using the kernel’s ptrace facility and prints a list of all the syscalls made by…

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