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This is the Unix Administrator's Tips page.  I have placed a few of my gems here. Thanks for checking it out, and submit one yourself. All are welcome.

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For monitoring system response, I often use a form of the ps command that can be rather lengthy. It looks like this: ps -elf|sort +5|tail -12
To save keystrokes, I created a script that looks like this:
rp() {ps -elf|sort+5|tail -12; }
Edit your .profile placing this line of code at the bottom <make a backup first!>. Remember, you must log out and log back in for this change to take effect.
Type rp and look at your most intensive processes under the 'c' column.
This makes a long listing of all the processes on the system, sorts them on the processor usage column, then only reports the last 20 lines, which is where the high usage jobs will be. If I have an orphaned process that is just eating up resources, I can kill it by job number from this listing.

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There is a little known utility in UNIX that enables chat between 2 users. I use it to talk to other administrators logged on at remote locations in my organization. To use it, the .profile file has to have messages turned on. ( Edit the line that says mesg n to mesg y ) To use, type talk <username>, and the window will split horizontally, awaiting the other party's response. This is real time chat.

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During the summer, we have quick thunderstorms with little warning here in North Carolina. Occasionally, I will have to shut the server down on about 5 minutes notice. I use the wall command (write all) to notify my users that the system will be shut down on short notice. Type wall, and the next few lines will have no prompt. Insert your text here and use <control d> to send it. All users logged into the system will be notified with beeps and text addressed from 'root on (server)' with a broadcast message. Note that this will probably anger some users as it resizes their screens. They will probably have a hard time getting back to their application unless they are slightly savvy.

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For those of you who use scoadmin print spooler, you know that sometimes you cant always delete a job from the queue. They say there is a command line command that will stop and restart the spooler, but I have yet to get mine to work. To work around this, go to scoadmin printer, click on services and stop the local service. Then start it again. This has the same effect as lpshut|lpsched.

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InterFlex Technologies makes no warranties, express or implied, as to the validity of these Tips. InterFlex technologies also accepts no liability for problems that may arise from the use of these Tips. These Tips are simply a compilation of real world solutions that we have used in our own experiences and are provided for edification and discussion purposes only. If you do decide to implement any of these Tips, do so in a controlled environment and at your own risk.