Today two of my servers went down. It turned out, that the datacenter they are hosted in had a slight connectivity hiccup – nothing serious. While I was battling my monitoring system and frantically typed support tickets, I wanted an audible alert if the hosts where reachable again in the meantime.

That’s when I thought of OS X’s text to speech system and devised the following little shell script.

https://gist.github.com/florianbeer/8c1e0a56bc306d603987

It will announce that the host is back up with your configured standard voice as soon as there is a ping response and then quit. Just copy it in your .bashrc file call it with the desired hostname or IP address, leave it running in a Terminal window in the background and turn up your speakers.

hostup no-panic.at

One of my most used means of monitoring what’s going on at a remote Linux server, is looking at the log lines that each daemon or client program writes to the disk. Using this technique you can see a real time view about what is happening and find out if there are any outstanding errors or optimizations in your configuration. I am going to show how I tackle this task and what tricks I use to make tons of lines of dull text more readable.

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