USENIX Tenth System Administration Conference (LISA
PC Administration Tools: Using Linux to Manage Personal Computers
American Cyanamid Company
Personal computers in a networked environment can provide
users with access to a broad set of distributed resources.
Unfortunately, the management overhead of maintaining PC clients
can become overwhelming, especially with a large installed base.
Popular PC operating systems do not provide system administrators
with a set of efficient and flexible management tools that can take
advantage of a networked environment. UNIX system administrators
are accustomed to having such tools at their disposal to handle
common administration tasks, such as software upgrades, initial
machine installation, networked file transfer, and remote backup.
This paper describes the PC Administration (PCADM) tools
developed to provide PCs with a UNIX environment and robust tool
set for client administration purposes, without installing
supporting software on individual clients. Linux, custom scripts
and libraries, MD5 signatures, and freely available software
including Perl [Schwartz], Bash, and SAMBA are used to accomplish
this task - all made accessible from a single floppy disk.
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