Cover V01, I04


New Messages

u386mon availability

Chris Hare (chare@unilabs.uucp) writes: The version of u386mon I wrote about is available from as comp.sources.misc/volume14/u386mon-2.20; the newer version is in comp.sources.misc/volume22/u386mon.

To: uunet!rdpub!saletter
Subject: Frozen Terminals

I would just like to add something to Mr. Brown's article on trouble-shooting terminal lockup. The problem of "receive flow control lock," which was cited as one of the most common causes of frozen terminals, can be completely avoided by making sure that ixany is set as one of the line control options for all terminals.

Having this parameter set by the stty command tells the computer that any character sent from the keyboard, not just a Control-Q, can be used as the signal to restart output once it has been stopped by typing a Control-S. This restart character could even be another Control-S.

The ixany option could be set up globally either by putting the line "stty ixany" in the file /etc/profile, or by including IXANY in the "final-flags" field (the third field as separated by the # sign) in the /etc/gettydefs file. You can include this in all entries in the gettydefs file or just in selected ones.

If you don't wish to make it global then you can just include the "stty ixany" line in selected users' .profiles.

Brian B. Bosak
AT&T Network Systems

Good point. However, even though we use ixany on all our lines, we still encounter some flow control problems. I suspect that whether ixany is totally effective depends on how well the driver is implemented and how other communications equipment in the link responds. --rlw

Subject: Foobar

I have a question which has been bugging me ever since I started with UNIX -- what is the significance of "foobar"? I would be eternally grateful to be enlightened in this respect!

Garry Perratt
Computer Applications Geophysicist
Phillips Petroleum UK Limited
Woking, England

As the story came to me, "foobar" originated in the military. Allegedly it is a corruption of a straightforward acronym for a scatological phrase ending with the words "beyond all recognition." More than that I won't print. --rlw

Dear Sys Admin Staff,

I just received your second issue, (my first look at your magazine), and I must say that I am impressed. I subscribe to various trade mags, and all too often the articles lack the specifics that I need to help me with my daily tasks. There are exceptions to this, of course, but so far, it looks like your magazine will be a valued reference.

It is with this in mind that I am writing to ask you to please not make too many assumptions regarding your subscribers' knowledge base. I read the letter written by Russ Hill in issue 2, and while I will agree with some of his points, it was his last paragraph which concerned me. In it, he states: "If this mag is going to be for sysadms then realize your readers are SYSADMS! and they know all about shell scripts and they know how to port programs. Please in your articles talk about real sysadm issues!!!!"

I have worked with various platforms such as Sun, Harris, SCO, and NBI, and have worked with UNIX (BSD and SYSV) for about 6 or 7 years. In that time, however, it has never once been required of me to port a program. I would find an article on this to be very interesting and informative. Also, while I have worked with shell scripts, I am always interested in seeing what other people are doing.

Please keep your magazine a technical one, but please, don't assume that because a technique has been around for a while that everyone knows it inside and out. I'm sure there are other individuals out there who share my opinion, and would like articles on not only the latest and greatest, but also the tried and true.

Thank you for your time, and for a great magazine.

James V. Wojno

Thanks for the kind words. I want even the most advanced and sophisticated system administrators to find something useful in this magazine, but I think I can accomplish that without being elitist. Whenever possible, we place related background and tutorial material in a sidebar so that it's available, but so that you aren't forced to read material with which you are already familiar. Excepting material appearing in a sidebar, I try to keep each individual story targeted for a single level of sophistication. I don't want readers to invest 20 minutes in reading the first part of a story only to find out that they don't have the background to absorb some key concept presented later in the story. I don't believe, though, that every story should be aimed only at the most sophisticated reader -- no one is an expert in everything. -- rlw