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RE: Interview Questions for a Unix Solaris System Admin

From: John Kanagaraj <>
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2003 10:41:19 -0700
Message-Id: <>

As someone who previously was a SysAdmin and has had to interview other prospective ones, I have one question that trips up even the most experienced: What are the *seven* types of files in UNIX? I don't expect a full answer, but use this as a launch pad to talk of these files - named pipes and link files are one discussion point, block and device files are another.

A modern SysAdmin also has to be strong in TCP/IP and other networking skills and almost always has to manage some combination of NT boxes as well as UNIX. As well, most installations have a SAN or NAS and a SA needs to know about SAN fabric, FCALs, and the whole thingamagiks that come along with it. RAID discussions are also a good indication of what they know - I would immediately suspect those that supported RAID 5 for _everything_ (BAARF!), although I might be Ok with an SA who knows when to use RAID 5 as against RAID 1+0. And a discussion of RAID 0+1 as against RAID 1+0 might also reveal much. Talk about clusters and Logical Volume Managers as well in this.

As pointed out, experience with 'Enterprise-wide' B & R tools such as Legato, ADSM, etc. is a must. Along with this, they will have to know and have used associated Hw such as Tape Libraries, etc.

Experience with troubleshooting tools - truss, lsof, tcpdump, etc. as well as Monitoring tools is another essential IMHO.

John Kanagaraj
Oracle Applications DBA
DB Soft Inc
Work : (408) 970 7002

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Received on Wed Jul 16 2003 - 12:41:19 CDT

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