HOWTO Install and maintain free software easily under Solaris: pkg-get

This article was first written in August 2004 for the BeezNest technical
website (
pkg-get is somewhat a rewrite of the apt-get of to Sun's Solaris. It is a script that uses wget and the pkg suite [1] of tools from Solaris to install, upgrade, and uninstall free software easily on Solaris. The list of packages available is already impressive: To

Why adding . to the PATH on UNIX is BAD ?

This article was first written in December 2003 for
the BeezNest technical website (
Some UNIX administrators find it handy to add «.» in the PATH (and some even put it at the beginning of the PATH). Why is this bad? On UNIX, everything is made so that you don't have to do it. Anything not doing so can be considered buggy, and can be fixed easily. Imagine someone has access to write a file in a otherwise harmless directory, like /tmp for example. Image now that that someone wants to do harm.

HOWTO Automatically logout your UNIX shell

This article is incomplete and was first written in June 2007
for the BeezNest technical website (
To ensure a shell left open automatically logs out (kicks the user) after a certain idle time, most recent shells implement its autologout. Just set the right environment variable and you're done! The following two expressions are equivalent.


TMOUT (expressed in seconds)
export TMOUT=300


autologout (expressed in minutes)
set autologout=5
But maybe what you are looking for i

Sun Solaris

This article was first written in February 2006 for the BeezNest technical
website (
Sun Solaris is probably today's most-used UNIX OS around, probably due to its security and high-performance approach. It has been traditionally running mostly on SPARC, a little on Intel platforms, but is now happily running on AMD64 also. Lately, Sun decided to opensource it, and everybody should probably be happy of this move.

UNIX and ports < 1024

This article was first written in May 2005 for the BeezNest technical
website (
On UNIX, the ports < 1024 are accessible to user root only. That has many implications, as then most standard networked servers have to start as root anyway, because they use well-known ports (like HTTP, SMTP, POP, IMAP, FTP, …). To reduce the risk, most of them then start as root, open the port(s) they need and then change to another user.

HOWTO Convert carriage returns between UNIX and DOS on Debian

This article was first written in February 2005 for the BeezNest technical
website (
The convert carriage returns between UNIX- and DOS-kind of CR, use the tools dos2unix and unix2dos from the sysutils package. Usage is really simple:
$ dos2unix filename
$ unix2dos filename
where filename is the name of the file to convert. To convert a hierarchy of files starting from current directory:
$ find . -type f -exec dos2unix {} ;
For more information see the manpages.