Tag Archives: Gnome

Tips: Managing Many Servers via SSH

I manage many servers in my line of work and have found a few things to make life a little easier when it comes to SSH’ing into them when I start my laptop up.The first of these is maintaining an up to date ssh config file which is kept in ~/.ssh that allows me to alias the server address and key. A basic entry in the config file would be for an Amazon Web Services EC2 instance:

Host prod-servername01
HostName ec2-184-88-888-88.compute-1.amazonaws.com
User someuser
IdentityFile /.ssh_keys/servergroup.pem

Once you have all your servers in the config file I create a very simple script to start gnome-terminal with each group of servers:

gnome-terminal --tab --title=prod-servername01 -e 'ssh prdo-servername01' --tab --title=prod-servername02 -e 'ssh prod-servername02'

From the above example you can get the idea of adding more tabs for each additional server. I then create desktop or menu shortcuts for each grouping of server to launch a terminal and ssh into all in the group.

Speeding Up Your Linux Desktop

Speeding Up LinuxFor some time I have been using Ubuntu as my desktop distribution.  Recently even though my computer is quite powerful I have run into issues of slow going. The first thing I did was change to using Google Chrome for my daily browsing and Firefox as my backup browser for certain things.  This has helped the issue greatly by just using Chrome and closing Firefox on occasion and restarting it when slowness occurs.  Yet the speed still was not there as it use to be for me.  So I made a simple but effective change to my desktop environment.  I switched from Gnome to IceWM which has made all the difference in the world. Gone are the nifty yet resource intensive Compiz trickery replaced by pure simplistic beauty.  Reminding me more of the basic X Windows days when all you needed was a terminal and your favorite shell. It seems in an effort to appease the Windows types the Linux sect has made their desktops bloated just like what they were trying to avoid doing.  I only use a small handful of things throughout my day.

  • Browser
  • XTerm
  • gedit (or similar text editor)
  • pidgin (for IM)

That is about it.  I sometimes might open GIMP to edit an image or something to manage images when I upload them.  But this is not a daily occurrence. For work I now use Google Apps which includes Google Docs so there is not even a need to use OpenOffice or a PDF viewer for that matter.  It’s a minimal new world and I am just fine with that.