MCS Systems Group Software
Msys - The MCS Systems Administration Toolkit


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The City Toolkit
Msys Support

Last updated: Mar 29, 2007.
Maintained by msys-maint.


Msys is a set of systems administration utilities and tools, collected into a toolkit. Each tool is described below.

The Toolkit

Msys is not yet available as a single package, but rather as a set of packages downloadable from this page.

We are in the final stages of development on several of the Msys utilities. Once those stabilize, we will prepare a release of the entire toolkit as one file. Until then, your best bet is to snag utilities individually.

Tool Status

Some of this software should be easily installable into other environments, while other pieces of it are really only provided as examples with no expectation that they will easily work elsewhere. See our release philosophy for more on that. The status of the software is indicated with each package, and means:
  Release This software is stable and should be easily installable.
  Pre-Release We are just starting to use this software, and it may not be stable or useable elsewhere yet. You are welcome to try it and send us feedback.
  Example We use this software, but have not yet made an attempt to make it easy to use elsewhere. Still, it may be useful to you as an example so we'll swallow our pride and make it available.

Toolkit Components

whatami 2.3.3 06 February 2007 Status: Release
We often need to be able to determine what type of "architecture" a given machine is, so that we can put the appropriate directories in a path or execute the correct program. No unix utility quite fulfills our requirements, so we've created the "whatami" program to return a single unique string on each architecture. This string is then used in directory names and in program switches.
whatami-2.3.3.tar.bz2 ftp site manual page design docs

softenv 1.6.2 12 March 2007 Status: Release
Softenv is a system used to build the user's environment. Each user has a ".soft" file in which they specify groups of applications that they're interested in. Softenv reads a central database when necessary to update the user's PATH, MANPATH and other variables.
This version of SoftEnv is currently being used at MCS.
softenv-1.6.2.tar.bz2 ftp site manual page design docs

pkg 1.2.3 9 November 1999 Status:Release
"Pkg" is designed to ease the management of a large number of GNU style software packages. In particular Pkg is designed to allow the installation of multiple versions of the same package (such as emacs) without creating conflicts. This is usually necessary in any kind of a complex environment where legacy applications have to be suppored for long periods of time. "Pkg" is a standalone set of scripts that don't depend on anything other then Perl 5. However to be truly useful "Pkg" should be combined with user environment management system such as "softenv"
pkg-1.2.3.tar.gz ftp site manual page design docs

chex 1.1.0 16 March 2000 Status:Release
Chex is a simple tools used to examine and respond to logfiles. Mostly, Chex is used in conjunction with the conserver packages for serial console log file scrutiny.
chex-1.1.0.tar.gz ftp site manual page design docs

sanity 2.0.5 24 March 2000 Status:Release
Sanity is a tools that we use to maintain consistency across a large number of machines. By itself, sanity is a light weight tool that simply runs a series of modules (defined by the sys admin) that check various system settings such as installed software, config files, kernels, zipdrive devices etc. Sanity can be run by hand, by cron, by rc file or any combination thereof.
sanity-2.0.5.tar.gz ftp site manual page design docs

gpd 0.2.0 15 January 2001 Status:Beta
A "General Purpose Daemon" written entirely in Perl. Key features include: services multiple server sockets, non-blocking for all I/O operations, can be renamed and run any number of times on a single machine to provide multiple services, can invoke internal or external (fork-exec) commands using Unix command invocation semantics: "program/subroutine < options/flags> < arguments>", has basic hostname/ip client authentication.
gpd-0.2.0.tar.gz ftp site manual page design docs

netflowdb 0.1.0 5 December 2000 Status:Example
Netflowdb is a collection of scripts that we have used for proof-of-concept capture of Cisco NetFlow records and storing them in SQL databases. These tools are referenced in the LISA 2000 paper Combining Cisco NetFlow Exports with Relational Database Technology for Usage Statistics, Intrusion Detection, and Network Forensics.
netflowdb-0.1.0.tar.gz ftp site (No manual page) (No design doc)

amihappy 0.1.2 12 July 2002 Status:Beta
Amihappy is a monitoring package which can be run on one or many machines. The client script gathers information on a machine by running customizable modules based on its configuration file. It then sends this information through the use of XML-RPC to server scripts which parse the data and update the main database. The state of machines can then be viewed through a web browswer, either by failures or by each machine name.
amihappy-0.1.2.tar.gz ftp site (No manual page) (No design doc)