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Thursday, August 21, 2014



In my .profile (on CentOS 5, just in case there were some changes in dstat) I have following alias to dstat (wdstat stands for Wawrzek's dstat):

alias wdstat="dstat -lcpymsgdn 5"

Where the options stands for:
  • -l  - UNIX load (1m   5m  15m) load average in 1, 5 and 15 minutes, respectively;
  • -c - cpu stats (usr sys idl wai hiq siq) percent of time spent in user and system space, idle, waiting on resource,  serving interrupts and softirqs (software interrupts);
  • -p - process stats (run blk new) number of running, blocked and newly created processes;
  • -y - system stats (int   csw) - number of interrupts and context switches;
  • -m - memory stats (used  buff  cach  free) amount of memory used by processes, disk buffers, disk cache and free;
  • -s - swap stats (used  free) - amount of used and free swap space;
  • -g - page stats (in   out) number of page put in and out from swap;
  • -d -disk stats (read  writ) - number of reads and writes from all disks;
  • -n -network stats (recv  send) number of received and send network packages;

Further reading:

Thursday, August 07, 2014

netstat, ports, hosts and awk glue

Recently, I needed to create a list of all servers connected on a given port (in following example port 80). I used a mixture of awk and other UNIX command line tools.

netstat -nt| \
 awk -F':'\
   '$5==80 {count[$8]++} \
   END{ for (i in count) { \
      cmd="host "i; \
      cmd |& getline j; \
      split(j, a, " "); \
      printf "%40s - %d\n", a[5], count[i]}}'| \
 sort -n -k 3

First netstat provided the list of all connection (netstat -nt); -n stands for numeric and -t for only TCP connections.

Next awk, with the ':' defined as a field separator (awk -F':'), used lines where local port was 80 ($5==80) to create an associated array with a key define by connected host ip and a value equal to  number of connection from it ({count[$8]++}). At the end of the script execution, awk looped over all element of the array (END{for (i in count)).  Next there was a crux of the script, the cmd was define as a run the OS host command with the awk variable i as an argument  (cmd="host" i). The |& operator created two-way pipe between awk and a execution of the previously defined cmd. The getline command was used to store cmd output into the variable j (cmd |& getline j). Next the split command split the content of the  j into separate words and saved them into the a array (split(j, a, " ")). Finally the printf formatted output (printf "%40s - %d\n", a[5], count[i])).  The actual hostname was fifth element of the a.

For continence, output lines were sorted by numeric order on third column  (sort -n -k 3). Each output line consisted of a hostname ,'-' and a number - e.g. - 3456.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Python for SysAdmins

Preparing for a interview some time ago I made a list of python module interesting for SysAdmins. Today looking for something else I found that half baked note and decided to polish it enough to put it on the blog. It's mostly for myself as quick reference.

Each module is describe by one, two sentences (from Python documentation) and have a link to official online document. At the end there is a list of example function, object.

Python modules for SysAdmin

import sys

This module provides access to some variables used or maintained by the interpreter and to functions that interact strongly with the interpreter. It is always available.


  • argv,
  • exit(),
  • path,
  • modules,
  • exec().


import os

This module provides a portable way of using operating system dependent functionality.


  • chdir(),
  • getuid(),
  • uname(),
  • listdir(),
  • stat(),
  • rename(),
  • access().


import os.path

This module implements some useful functions on pathnames.


  • isdir(), 
  • isfile(), 
  • exist(), 
  • getmtime(), 
  • abspath(), 
  • join(), 
  • basename(), 
  • dirname().


import time

This module provides various time-related functions.


  • time(), 
  • ctime(), 
  • sleep(), 
  • strftime(), 
  • strptime().


import glob

The glob module finds all the pathnames matching a specified pattern according to the rules used by the Unix shell. No tilde expansion is done, but *, ?, and character ranges expressed with [] will be correctly matched.


  • glob(),
  • iglob().


import fnmatch

This module provides support for Unix shell-style wildcards, which are not the same as regular expressions (which are documented in the re module).


  •  fnmatch().


import re

This module provides regular expression matching operations similar to those found in Perl. Both patterns and strings to be searched can be Unicode strings as well as 8-bit strings.


  • compile(), 
  • match(), 
  • search(), 
  • split(), 
  • findall(), 
  • sub(),
  • group().


Match objects always have a boolean value of True. Since match() and search() return None when there is no match, you can test whether there was a match with a simple if statement:

match =, string)
if match:

Friday, March 28, 2014


Usually zombie process is not a big problem, but sometimes... just look at the screenshot below. It wants the whole machine as fried eggs! or maybe boiled?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Multiprocessing (in Python)

I needed to do some multi-threading in Python. As I needed effect quick I decided to use standard threading module. However, every time I had to use it I felt it was rather complicated beast. At threading module documentation page there is a link to multiprocessing module. I was tired with threading, on the one hand, but didn't have enough time to learn about greenlet or another competing project, on the other, so I decided to take a quick glance at multiprocessing module...
... And my life became much easier, sky bluer, grass, greener, oh and scripts faster ;-).
I don't do anything special with it, so just one simple code example, but this is very good tutorial you can find much more:

Main part of nearly all my scripts looks the same:

import multiprocessing 

SIZE = 30
pool = multiprocessing.Pool(processes=SIZE)
pool_output =, servers)
pool.close() # no more tasks

Where servers is a list with servers I need get information from, and get_values is a function (sometimes with a different name).  Simple, isn't it?

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

shell, history and substitution

One of the most known tricks in using shell history is to use:

to replace string old by new in last command. The only problem is that it replaces only first appearance. But there is another command replacing all string old by new:


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Space War

Let say it is a late Christmas present for Science Fiction fans. Especially ones who like a lot of science in SF. Two articles discussion how space warfare can look. Have fun.