{Latest update: 13 July 2002}

What is it?

The osptools are a collection of short shell scripts that allow you to do some pretty basic stuff that nevertheless may be quite useful during your everyday administration and usage of a Linux box: kill Netscape in an orderly fashion whenever it hangs (quite often, if I may add), make a backup copy of its most important files (bookmarks, etc.), clean up the browser cache, clean up the directories where RPM packages get built by default in a Red Hat system, etc. The whole suite of scripts was created to be used by the Open Spaces Technologies group, although it's fully GPLd and can therefore be used freely.

Taken directly from the README file:

The tools included in this package are:

hinv: Perl script written by Larry McVoy to emulate the behavior of
  the IRIX command by the same name.

mkclean: cleans the source directory where RPM packages are built
  in Red Hat systems.

mkmonitor: automatically monitors important system services at given
  intervals of time, and restarts them if they exited.

mknetscape: script that allows to kill all Netscape processes in case
  the application is hanging, clean the cache or make a backup of its
  important configuration files such as bookmarks, etc.

mkmozilla: similar to mknetscape, this script allows you to perform 
  the same actions (except for the backup operations) on the Mozilla

mkreport: script to create a report that gets sent to root via email
  containing basic information about the current status of the system.

mksecure: script that takes some extremely simple steps to minimally
  secure the system by making certain files or filesystems read-only.
  Keep in mind that this does NOT in ANY WAY provide much security
  in case the system is broken into by a knowledgeable cracker, but
  it may help if the system suffers an attack from script kiddies.

sysinfo: script that collects some information about the system
  (hostname, overall configuration, memory usage, network info...)
  in order to provide some help in troubleshooting potential problems.
  The information gets emailed.


The list of requirements is pretty much limited to an installation of Red Hat Linux. The original version of the scripts was specifically written for version 6.2 of the distribution, but it also works fine on later releases such as 7.3

How to install and configure

Easy, as with any other RPM package. Simply download it to your hard drive and run the following command as root:
rpm -Uvh [packagename]

Future improvements

Well, who knows! Not sure what else I'll be adding, although the following are some perfect candidates to improve the current scripts:
  • Special messages or warnings whenever the certain parameters in the report created by mkreport exceed a given limit
  • Add the capabilities to the mkreport script to also peruse Apache's and perhaps Sendmail's logs, which should make for a far more comprehensive report.
  • Improve the mksecure script to raise the level of security
Of course, there will hopefull be many more new scripts added to a future release too.


Directly taken from the Changelog file included with the package:
v1.1   (13 July 2002)
        Fixed bug in 'mknetscape' that still caused it to fail when killing
        all the Netscape processes (I finally decided to forget about using
        'cut' and used 'awk' instead, which is far more powerful, in the 
        line to kill the processes).  Also, added the hostname to the subject
        of the reports emailed by 'mkreport' to make it easier to spot them
        in the Inbox folder.  Finally, added a new script ('mkmozilla') to
        use with the Mozilla browser. 

v1.0   (7 January 2002)
        Modified the disk usage command in the 'mkreport' script to work
        correctly under the 2.4 kernel which also displays the usbdevfs.
        Also, added an if test to the section that uses nmap in the same
        script to account for those cases where the utility is not installed.
        Added an "*" entry to the case structure in the 'sysinfo' script
        that deals with arguments passed to the utility (oops!).  Added
        some lines to the 'sysinfo' script to account for those cases
        (like Red Hat 7.2) where there is no inetd.conf and the modules
        configuration file has a different name. Fixed bug in 'mknetscape'
        so that it reliably kills the processes now no matter what (it
        relies on the ~/.netscape/lock file now).