A Selection of Tips for the UNIX Developer

Useful books | Terminal drivers | Security and integrity | Shutting down

Gary Schmidt - UNIX Guru - Powerflex Corporation

A version of this article was originally published in POWERlines Volume 4, No. 4.

Useful UNIX Books

The following three books contain information that is very useful when setting up and working with Unix systems.

A useful book for evaluating and tuning Unix systems is

A valuable book for administering TCP/IP networks is

If you want a lot of really good Unix tools, a great book is

Terminal Drivers - CURSES versus PFX_CURSES

The PFX_CURSES driver can update screens faster than the CURSES driver on many terminals, but possibly not all, at the cost of slightly higher CPU load. If your machine is highly loaded, you may have to trade-off the speed of PFX_CURSES against the slightly lower load of CURSES, or even to having some users on CURSES, where speed is not so important, and others on PFX_CURSES where update speed is paramount. As always on multi-user systems, it depends on your load mix.

Security versus Integrity

Security is a question of how easy it is for unauthorised users to access the machine, or the data stored on the machine. Walking away from an active terminal is a breach of security.

Integrity is a question of how safe the data is on the machine. Users who leave incomplete updates on their terminals are a potential danger to data integrity.

Shutting Down

Always shut down your UNIX machine cleanly. The power switch and reset button are for emergencies, not convenience.

Teach your users to log out of the machine when they have finished work. If they simply turn their terminal off, they may not close their login session; this leaves a large hole in the security and integrity of the system.

Back to FAQ Page