SysAdminpedia

Date March 4, 2011

There are lots of cool resources out there in the world of system administration. Aside from sites like ServerFault and The SysAdmin Network, there are IRC channels out the wazoo. There's also the #sysadmin hash tag on twitter, but that's more for passing thoughts than actual documentation.

I hang out a decent amount on the /r/sysadmin subreddit, and over there, we see a lot of questions along the lines of, "I'm a new sysadmin, and I have no idea what I'm doing. Help!".

There has been some thought of building a sysadmin wiki. I know of a few people who have started, and I installed wiki software on my server for the purpose, too, but I never did anything with it. Redditor Alexinslc also discussed starting a sysadmin wiki, but unlike the other efforts I am aware of, he started it, and openly advertised it.

The SysAdmin Wiki is available at http://www.sysadminpedia.com/.

Sure, as of when I write this, it's a shell, devoid of any content, but by the time you read it, there may be something. Who knows, maybe there's some content you'd like to create? You think the layout could use help, or the visual style is lacking? There's no entry on 'grep' or centralized log management? What do I do? I can create the content! So can you!

Check out the site, see what needs done, and begin to use it as a resource. As the community of sysadmins who contribute to it solidifies, it will begin to take form, and by getting in now, you can help mold it the way you think it should go. I know we can use your help, and I say we, because I want to take part in it, too.

14 Responses to “SysAdminpedia”

  1. Wesley David said:

    Very interesting. A group of people I'm involved with were considering starting a website that was a combination forum, wiki and news site, and some of the wiki would have been a place for SysAdmin information and lore to be collected. Perhaps we won't have to do all of that now... =)

  2. Matt Simmons said:

    @Wes

    Yeah, I think it's something that can definitely be of a lot of value, and there's a wide enough community that it can be self-maintaining. There's a huge value in quasi-wiki sites like ServerFault, but there's an inherent weakness in some use cases, particularly where you just want to establish standing documentation. The combination of the two is very powerful. And since they're both wiki-based, the answers can be updated with the times.

  3. Edward said:

    Good stuff. Just wanted to let you know in the title, it should be Sysadminpedia, not sysadminipedia.

  4. Matt Simmons said:

    @Edward

    Too right. Thanks for pointing that out, I fixed it!

  5. gstlt said:

    I was wondering why there isn't wiki for sysadmins anywhere... and here you go - there is one already. Hail to the free knowledge base! :-)

  6. Alex said:

    I wish it wasn't that slow, it is really slow now, even without any content.

  7. Anthony said:

    This is a brilliant idea.

    At various jobs I've had there have often been a centralized "strange and bizzare" problems list where you could post info about things you ran into that there was no documented solution for or that were quite a bit away from the obvious. I've always thought that type of thing should be posted someplace but there never seemed to be the right place to do it.

    I've also found that even though you can often find decent information in archives of forums and mailing lists, chances are the information is out of date and not applicable to the version of the OS/Sofware/etc that you are using.

    Or the info is posted by joe hacker and though it may work, it isn't the 'correct' way to do it.

  8. Andrew said:

    Good idea. I've always been interested in something like this, especially for get a quick idea for software alternatives.

  9. Lloyd Collins said:

    For all those who venture here: The link to the Sysadminpedia site is dead.

  10. Matt Simmons said:

    Lloyd: Yes, it is. It seems like every initial attempt to start a resource like this dies on the vine. What it really needs is a structured organization backing it which isn't just a few people with an idea.

  11. Wesley said:

    I noticed SysAdminpedia was dead and gone a while ago. Sad. =(

  12. Lloyd Collins said:

    I just thought I would save the people coming here in the future the time taken to click the link. It is sad that these links vanish.

  13. Edward said:

    I'm the former admin of Sysadminpedia. When I first started it, some people were really interested in getting a unified set of information about system administration, I merely wanted to facilitate in growing it. After a flurry of activity in the first month of starting Sysadminpedia, the wiki remained virtually barren. Instead of taking a lot of time dealing with bots spamming the wiki, I decided to close it, due to increasing time commitment at school and work. It sucks to shut something down, after seeing that no one would want to take the mantle from me.

    But yeah, maybe that'll provide some closure. Sorry for the trouble.

    -Edward

  14. Matt Simmons said:

    Edward, have you looked into Ops School at all? If not, you'll probably find it worth your time.

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