11. System Maintenance
IN THIS CHAPTER
The job of a system administrator, or maintainer, is to keep one or more systems useful and convenient for users. On a Mac OS X system, the administrator and user may both be you, with you and a single computer only a few feet apart. Alternatively, the system administrator may be halfway around the world, supporting a network of systems, with you simply one of thousands of users. A system administrator can be one person who works part-time taking care of a system and perhaps is also a user of the system. Alternatively, the administrator can be several people, all working full-time to keep many systems running.
A well-maintained system
In addition, a system administrator should be available to help users with all types of system-related problems, from logging in to obtaining and installing software updates to tracking down and fixing obscure network issues.
Much of the material in this chapter applies equally to Mac OS X versions 10.3 and later, and to both Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server. Where information is specific to a particular version or release, it is so marked.
Because so many services exist, along with different ways to configure or use them, this chapter cannot discuss every system configuration or every action you will have to take as a system maintainer. Instead, it familiarizes you with the concepts you need to understand and the tools you need to use to maintain a Mac OS X system. Where it is not possible to go into depth about a subject, the chapter provides references to other sources.
This chapter assumes that you are familiar with the following terms. Refer to the Glossary (page 919) for their definitions.