Fan the Linux Flames

Anyone who knows me knows that I HATE inefficiency. If I find a new way of doing things that eliminates the resources I spend doing that thing, I pounce on it. So when I ran across a nifty little program that makes life managing my two linux boxes easier, I pounced. The tool I’m speaking about is called “Fanterm” and it makes managing a limited amount of Linux boxes a snap. I had forgotten that I had installed this and when I brought up my second Linux box (upgrade motherboard) I remembered reading about it on the web somewhere. A quick google search refreshed my memory…although this article only talks about fanout. Fanterm really brings a powerful tool for smaller network system admins.

So what does it do? It’s pretty easy and straightforward. After you download & install the necessary files, open up an Xterm and use the following syntax to parse your command:

fansetup onemachine anothermachine user@yetathirdmachine

The command above opens up 3 xterm windows in addition to the local one you opened up. Now you type your command in the original and watch as the command is mirrored in the other xterm windows. Making quick changes to smb.conf files works like a top. If you want to know the uptime of all your systems, you’re set. This makes managing a limited number of linux boxes a snap…apt-get update; apt-get upgrade anyone? The thing I like most about it is that I get to SEE what happens on each computer…that way if something goes haywire, I’m not executing a command on a file that doesn’t exist on the remote linux box.

Make sure you give this tool a go, it makes life much easier in small networks. Hope it comes to be as useful to you as it is to me.

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Author: devnet

devnet has been a project manager for a Fortune 500 company, a Unix and Linux administrator, a Technical Writer, a System Analyst, and a Systems Engineer during his 20+ years working with Technology.