Resources for Sysadmins

For users of linux/unix, who are having a problem with a machine managed by someone else – the obvious place to get support it via the IT Service Desk – but if you’re a sysadmin and you need some help solving a problem, the process can sometimes be less clear!

Obviously there are external community support forums for various linux distributions and open source projects, but sometimes you need advice a little more targeted at the UoB environment so local sources of support are required.  This page is an attempt to pull together the existing support forums in one place, so that you can easily find the one which is most appropriate for you.

bris-linux@bristol.ac.uk (mailing list)
The bris-linux mailing list is a relatively low volume mailing list for anyone interested in linux at UoB.  It’s an open list that anyone can join via https://sympa.bris.ac.uk/sympa/info/bris-linux – while it specifies “linux” in the subject, questions about Solaris or other unix systems are not considered off topic as a number of the members administer a variety of systems.

#uob-unix (irc channel on freeserve.net)
The IRC channel is reasonably active during the day, and you’ll often get a response to a question more quickly than the mailing list (although we’re all busy, so things like meetings and work can sometimes get in the way of an immediate response!).  Again, all flavours of linux/unix are on-topic here, as is friendly chat.

If you don’t have an IRC client at hand, there are several options available, including dedicated IRC clients (eg irssi, quassel or xchat) common instant messaging clients (eg pidgin, adium, Miranda NG) and if you don’t like any of those, here are a couple of web clients:

If you’ve never used IRC before, and want a bit more information before you dive in – the student computer gaming society has an introduction guide here: http://www.cogsbristol.co.uk/index.php/irc-chat/irc-guide/

Unix Virtual Team Wiki
The Unix Virtual Team meets every 6 weeks or so, and is a forum for discussing linux/unix at the University of Bristol.  The minutes are all available in the Unix Virtual Team wiki  https://wikis.bris.ac.uk/display/vut/Home over time we’re expecting the wiki to fill up with descriptions of “best practice” as well.

At the time of writing, the wiki isn’t open to the public and the process for adding people to the access list is rather manual.  If you don’t have access and think you’d like access, mention it on bris-linux or #uob-unix and someone will point you in the right direction!

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