UNIX Sysadmin Resources – Software

This content was originally created, collected, and maintained by Stokely Consulting.
As of May 2005, it is being hosted and maintained by Bill Bradford.

Software licensing note:
These lists are a collection of useful Unix software that is either no-cost or low-cost. Some of the items are neither shareware nor public domain, but are licensed under the General Public License. GPL guarantees freedom of source code (unlike shareware, where a certain amount must be paid for the use of the software and source code is usually not provided), but the author’s copyright is protected (as opposed to public-domain software, where no copyright applies). For details, see the GNU General Public License.

Creating Free Software | Individual Tool/Package Sites | Large Archive Sites

Creating Free Software:

There are obviously many more sites that cater to the developers of free software, especially for Unix. If you know of a good site, let us know.
Help create more GNU Tools: The Gnu Project is sponsored by the Free Software Foundation. They’re always looking for more developers.
Help create more open source software: SourceForge.net is the world’s largest Open Source software development website, with the largest repository of Open Source code and applications available on the Internet. SourceForge.net provides free services to Open Source developers.

Individual Tool/Package Sites:

amd, BSD automounter
am-utils is the "next generation" of the BSD Automounter. Maintained by Erez Zadok.
Original amd source and binaries, a replacement for the automounter for SunOS, Solaris, Next, Irix, Linux, and more.
Automounter Reference Manual from the NetBSD documentation.

Audio CDs on Unix:

Xmcd and cda are freeware audio CD players for Motif and command-line, curses-based access. Both allow you to play music CDs on your machine from your CD-ROM, CD-R or CD-RW. Multi-disc changers and CD network database queries supported. Runs on many platforms.


BMDFM is software which runs an application in parallel on shared memory multiprocessors (SMP). Automatically identifies and executes all parallelism of unparalleled programs due to the static and mainly dynamic scheduling of the data flow instruction sequences derived from the formerly sequential program. No directives for parallel execution are required. Runs on at least Linux, Sun, HP-UX, AIX and IRIX.br>


Dmalloc – Debug Malloc Library is a drop in replacement for the system’s malloc, realloc, calloc, free and other memory management routines. Provides powerful debugging facilities configurable at runtime, including memory-leak tracking, fence-post write detection, file/line number reporting, and statistics logging. Runs on many Unix and Microsoft operating systems. Written by Gray Watson.


dnsupdate creates or updates DNS tables using the dynamic update feature of BIND8 or higher. Runs on FreeBSD, SunOS/Solaris. Licensed under GPL. Excellent documentation available.

Encoding & Compressing

gzip home page includes sources, binaries, FAQ, and related links, in English and French.
BinHex encoding and decoding for Unix: macutils contains hexbin, binhex, macstream, macunpack, macsave, tomac and frommac.
Info-Zip is a free, portable, great set of Zip/UnZip compressor-archiver utilities compatible with DOS-based PKZIP. Can be used to make self-extracting archives. Runs on an impressive array of operating systems. Can use PGP encryption.
UUDeview is a free encoder/decoder which automatically detects the encoding type, including MIME Base64, BinHex, uuencode, xxencode. Software for Unix, Windows, and DOS. Designed for easy use with mail and news. Command-line or GUI front-end.


Expect is THE tool for automating Interactive applications such as telnet, ftp, passwd, fsck, rlogin, tip, etc. The site contains the code, documentation, info on books, examples, articles and more on Expect.


Hardwr lists the hardware found on your Unix or NT machine. Writen in csh and runs on at least Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, Digital Unix, Ultrix, Irix, SCO, Linux, Nextstep. Results in English, French, Spanish or German.


Idled is an Idle daemon which warns and logs out idle users. Runs on HP-UX, SGI, Linux, AIX, BSDI, BSD/OS2, SunOS 4.s, Solaris 2.x, Ultrix and Digital Unix.


lsof lists all the open files for running Unix processes. Works on most Unix versions. A must-have for every Unix sysadm’s toolkit.

mp3/MPEG players

ShowMeTV is a free multimedia player for Solaris. It’s used to view local digital video and audio and to transmit and receive video over a corporate network.
mp3.com has several downloadable Unix mp3 players.
Xaudio SDK libraries are free for personal use.


MultiTail lets you view one or multiple files like the original tail program. It creates multiple windows on your console (with ncurses), can use colors and supports regular expressions. Runs on Linux, BSD, MacOS X, Solaris, MS Windows with CygWin, Irix, HP-UX, AIX.


NcFTPd and (free) NcFTP Client – The server is a very low-priced, high-performance package with many security features and support for virtual hosts. Free client is scriptable and can resume stopped downloads. Runs at least on Linux, BSDi, FreeBSD, Solaris/SunOS, AIX, HP-UX and IRIX.


SANFACE Software provides several free, public domain and commercial tools for text to PDF, written in Perl. Tools also for PDF indexing, PDFmail, PDF Perl libraries, and more.


rsync is a file transfer program for Unix systems. rsync uses the “rsync algorithm” which provides a very fast method for bringing remote files into sync. It does this by sending just the differences in the files across the link, without requiring that both sets of files are present at one of the ends of the link beforehand. Good documentation and examples, source download, binaries available for many Unix versions.


SANE (Scanner Access Now Easy) is a free universal scanner interface for Unix, available under Gnu Public License. Supports many scanners, cameras, frame-grabbers, and most Unix versions. Good documentation, tools, discussion groups.


sps for Solaris 2.x is a better version of ps that runs faster and displays processes in an intuitive way.


OpenSSH is a free version of the SSH suite of network connectivity tools. Includes sshd,, ssh-add, ssh-agent, ssh-keygen. Runs on many Unix versions, plus Windows, Mac, Java, VMS, and others. Cool T-shirts.
ssh, from SSH Communications Security, is a program to log into another computer, execute commands remotely and move files. Provides strong authentication and secure communications over insecure channels.


star is a tar-like archiver. Fast, offers pattern matching, no namelen limits, deals with all 3 file times, doesn’t clobber files, sophisticated diff capability, automatic byte swap and format detect. Runs on at least HP-UX, Linux, and Solaris. Written by Joerg Schilling


Sudo allows the system administrator to grant certain users the ability to run some commands as root, while logging all commands and arguments.
sudosh is designed specifically to be used in conjunction with sudo, and allows the execution of a root shell with logging. It will record root shell sessions and can play back the sessions as they were originally recorded. It records all input/output, keyboard input, and timing information so that the session can be played back in the original format.


sysinfo, written by Michael Cooper will show you information about the hardware and OS software configuration for at least SunOS 4.1.4, Solaris 2.x (SPARC and x86) AIX 3.x/4.x, Irix 5.3/6.x, HP-UX 9.x/10.x, and Convex SPP/SPP-UX. It often works on other Unix versions, too.


Syslog-ng is a syslogd replacement that lets you filter message contents using regular expressions.


Top official source site. Top provides a rolling display of the top cpu-using processes on a Unix system, load averages, and memory utilization. A must for Unix systems. The site also includes the Top FAQ.


tusc for HP-UX traces the system calls that a process invokes and the signals it receives. It displays arguments in a symbolic way, shows the first bytes of read and write buffers and shows signal information when available. Tusc can attach to live processes.


Typhon (formerly known as the Portable Unix Shell Environment/Toolkit) is a set of Korn shell login environment files and Korn shell, Perl and Expect scripts that have been ported to several Unix versions. It’s a collection of utility programs for text processing, file and directory processing, customizing your login environment, disk space management, performance analysis, system monitoring and system security. Typhon is available for Windows as well as all modern Unix systems The scripts can be used independently of the login environment files and include general utility scripts and sysadm scripts. Some of it is available free for download, some is commercial.


wu-ftpd official sources and the wu-ftpd FAQ. Beware the security holes with this package. Make sure you run the latest version.


xps displays Unix processes as a tree or forest, in an X window. Process status and different user processes can be indicated by color. Written by Rocky Bernstein.

Large Archive Sites:

comp.sources.unix archive site and FAQ. A good site for sources for X applications, archivers, editors, games, applications for networking, development, and more.
Freshmeat is loaded with lots of excellent Unix shareware and freeware. Forums, editorials, well-done site.
GNU Tools: The Gnu Project is sponsored by the Free Software Foundation. It contains the list of FTP sites for GNU Software around the world.
The Catalog of Free Compilers and Interpreters is a superb resource of freely available software for language tools and includes compilers, compiler generators, interpreters, translators, imprortant libraries, assemblers, etc.
Prime Time Freeware is a must-get for free software enthusiasts. Rich Morin publishes books and CDROMs of freely redistributable software and documentation for AI, Unix, Tex, and UnixWare. The site has lots of links to other free software.
SCO Skunkware is a collection of useful Open Source applications for the SCO UNIX environment. It includes Apache, GCC, The Gimp, KDE, Enhyra, and many more.
SunSITE is Sun’s worldwide information exchange. Check here for public domain software and other Sun information.
Linuxberg is part of tucows.com and has lots of Linux software available for download.

Pre-compiled binaries:
Tired of spending all day compiling public-domain software?

HP-UX Software Porting & Archive Centre contains an enormous amount of public domain software ported to HP-UX, sorted by category. Links to mirror servers worldwide.
Silicon Graphic’s Taste of the Developers’ Toolbox is loaded with source and pre-compiled freeware binaries for SGI.
Sunfreeware.com is a shareware/freeware site of pre-compiled Solaris 2.5/2.6/Solaris 7 software for SPARC and x86, containing lots of applications that Solaris admins have been looking for, like top, emacs, tin, gzip, emacs, gcc, perl5 and more. Ready to install via pkgadd. Well-done site, and one of our favorites.
Pre-compiled shareware for Unix from the Computing and Communications Division of Brookhaven National Laboratory contains lots of software for AIX, AIX3, AIX4, HP-UX, IRIX, IRIX64, SunOS4, SunOS5 and SunOS5 x86.
CSW – Community SoftWare for Solaris contains a lot of free software that can be automatically installed to a Solaris computer (Sparc or x86 based) over the network. Uses pkg-get, similar to Debian.
Solaris Package Archive from MetaLab UNC contains many GNU tools and other essential, free Solaris software for Intel and SPARC, Solaris 2.3 to Solaris 7, pre-compiled and ready to install easily.
freeware4Sun.com has pre-compiled binaries for Solaris 2.5.1 – Solaris 7, including x86 and 64 bit packages. Site includes software, patches, gnome, kde, games, docs, and more.
Ready-To-Run Software Inc. sells pre-compiled sets of popular utilities for most Unix versions at very low prices.
The Depot Archive from the University of Florda has a huge number of software packages, precompiled and ready to install, for Solaris 2.5, 2.6, and Irix 6.2. Well-presented archive.
ftp.patriots.net has a large collection of software, precompiled and pkgadd-ready for Solaris 7 Sparc and x86, and Solaris 8.
Merijn’s HP-UX software for ITRC members provides a lot of pre-compiled freeware for HP-UX.
opcom.sun.ca contains binaries for Solaris 2.x, RFCs, ported PD source and pre-compiled binaries in Solaris pkg format, GNU tools, X11R5, and a lot more. Check the README in their directory for what’s where.
SAGE-AU ftp site of information and programs for System Administrators contains a wealth of useful utilities, including patches for Sun, Microsoft, Digital, SGI. (See the pub directory.) Search their archives. Provided by SAGE-AU, the System Administrators Guild of Australia.
Mark Baranowski’s FTP site of useful tools contains software to: make bootable tapes for SunOS 4.1.3, replace df, add/remove a diskless client under SunOS 4.1.x, check for dead NFS servers, monitor user processes, provide a patched /bin/rmt for Sequents running Dynix, have a termcap version of Sun’s console/shelltool. Be sure and check his README for all the techie bits.
University of Oregon’s Solaris Sysadm Tools: Lots of tools, newsgroups, security and monitoring programs, daemons, news readers, mail readers, X apps and more.
Doug Hughes’ tools and utilities site: Large collection of useful stuff: Solaris 2.x lpd, print filters, SNMP agents, last, statically linked ls, a modified rexec, lots of logging utilities, locking vi, Exabyte 10h/10e jukebox utilities, Sparc Storage Array tools, process listers, network tools, good password enforcer.
Philip Piotrowski’s useful tools and documentation on HA (High Availability) VCS / VVR / GCM. Documentation and cheat sheets for products like VxVM / FS, DBED for Unix, large selection of VCS Custom Agents.
Jumbo! is a huge site of shareware and freeware for PCs and Macs, with some Unix tools. Good sysadm and telecommunications tools. A lot of it has become cripple-ware or demo-ware, not fully-functional free software, so downloader beware.

WWW Tools | HTTP Servers & Add-ons | WWW Information

WWW Tools:

Elsop Webmaster Resource Center is a comprehensive site of software, site mappers, link validators, trade associations, computer law, webmaster humor, training, site develpment services, and more.
Linklint is fast, free html link checker shareware package. Written in Perl. Checks local files, remote sites, and remote links. Full proxy support, SSL. Great documentation.
ScriptSearch is a huge catalog of contributed scripts you can use for Web development. Lots of samples in Perl, Java, JavaScript, Tcl, Shell, Applescript, VB, C/C++ and other languages. Well organized.
The World Wide Web Consortium has an excellent set of tools, doc format-to-html filters, editors, checkers, robots, administrative tools, and more at http://www.w3.org/Tools.
Web Site Test Tools and Site Management is a great set of tools for load, regression, and performance testing, Java testing, link checkers, HTML validators, Web site security and management, and much more. Part of the overall Software QA and Testing Resource Center.
CDI’s Comprehensive HTML Cross Reference covers tags that are in HTML 2.0, 3.2, Netscape and MS Explorer extensions.
A Beginner’s Guide to HTML from NCSA, covers HTML Version 2.0 plus some additional features.
Amaya from W3.org is a Web client that acts as a browser and an authoring tool. It’s a testbed for working with Style sheete, HTML 3.2, libwww and more. Freed downloads, and many binaries. Fascinating authoring tool!

Image Converters & Manipulators:

Gimp is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. Freely distributed software for photo retouching, image composition and image authoring (paint). Runs under X11 on Unix. Great web site.
Gimp, precompiled for Solaris in pkg-get format, is available at www.blastwave.org. The blastwave.org site version is standard gimp with pointergrab disabled in places to allow XINPUT dev to function with Xsun, like for Philip Brown’s USB wacom tablet driver.
ImageMagick is a freely-available source package for display and interactive manipulation of images for all X/Unix systems. Excellent conversion among image formats (like GIF and JPEG), crop, create thumbnail, and many more features. Also runs on NT, Win96, Macintosh and VMS. Pre-compiled binaries available.
XV image manipulation for X. Works on many image formats to display, grab, stretch, crop, remap hues, dither, and more. Runs on almost every Unix version with X windows, plus VMS and NT. Free source and nice web site.

Free search engines for your web site:

SWISH-E Simple Web Indexing System for Humans – Enhanced is distributed under the GNU Public License. Runs on Unix and NT.
ht://Dig is a complete web indexing and searching system for a small domain or intranet.
by Panagiotis J. Christias is great public-domain software which converts man output to HTML on the fly. He provides source and special SGI and Sun Solaris versions on his site.
SiteAngel from BMC Software tests the performance and availability of static, dynamic and personalized dynamic Web pages. Free trial.
SiteScope and SiteSeer from Freshwater Software are Java-based commercial products for monitoring your Web site on Sun/Solaris, Linux, SGI/Irix, and Windows NT & 2000. Includes scripting tools along with neat graphical Web server monitoring tools. Demo and free 30-day eval download from their site.
snarf is a command line resource grabber. It can transfer files through the http, gopher, finger, and ftp protocols withoug user interaction. Small and fast. Free software by Zachary Beane.
wget source (look for wget in the directory), from the Free Software Foundation, is widely used to retrieve files from entire websites, recursively. Search for the wget documentation in html or ascii format.

HTTP Servers & Add-ons:

Apache HTTP Server. Also see ApacheWeek for support, documentation, info, and Apache feature articles.
Apache::ASP This perl module provides an Active Server Pages port to the Apache Web Server with perl as the host scripting language. Active Server Pages is a web application platform that originated with the Microsoft NT/IIS server. Under Apache for Unix and Win32 platforms it allows a developer to create dynamic web applications with session management and embedded perl code.
Chili!Soft Active Server Pages products include commercial cross-platform ASP for Unix. Good ASP information on their site.
Microsoft FrontPage Server Extensions for Unix http servers. Software and documentation to enable the extensions on Apache and Netscape servers. From Ready-To-Run Software.
PHP Hypertext Preprocessor is a server-side, cross-platform HTML embedded scripting language. Add the server extensions included and create dynamic web pages. Syntax is borrowed from C, Java and Perl. Support for MsSQL and Access database calls. Open Source, binaries for Windows and Unix servers. Good documentation.
NCSA HTTPd is no longer under development, and even they suggest you use Apache. Still, sometimes one needs the documentation found at the site.
Roxen Challenger is a free (Gnu Public License) modular http server package, distributed with source. It is feature-rich and easy to install, configure, and extend. Runs on most Unix versions. Supports preparsing of HTML files, and has its own server-side macro language. Free software download. Reasonably-priced commercial licenses with extra tools available.
Squid Internet Object Cache is a free, high performance proxy cache package for Web clients. Runs on all popular Unix platforms. Supports FTP, Gopher and HTTP requests. From UCSD.

WWW Information:

Elsop Webmaster Resource Center is a comprehensive site of software, site mappers, link validators, trade associations, computer law, webmaster humor, training, site develpment services, and more.
internet.com from Mecklermedia can help you search the list of Internet Service Providers, give you data on all the browsers available, compare features of web server and Internet apps. Great "Guide to Electronic Commerce".
Web Design Group’s Web Authoring FAQ (also known as the comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html FAQ) has valuable info on editors, HTML tags and special characters, HTML tips, search engine submissions, and other common HTML issues. A great starter site for all HTML authors.
Web Servers Feature Chart contains an interesting table on features of virtually all the Web Server software packages.
WWW: Beyond the Basics is an online book by the Virginia Tech Computer Science department. It covers the history and evolution of the Web, standards, effective information representation, and social and legal issues of the Web.
Netcraft’s Web Server Survey shows the market share of different Web Server software on Internet connected computers.
Thomas Boutell’s WWW FAQ site will point you to the FAQ in the country and language of your choice.