Talk:System administrator

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Improvement Drive[edit]

Pazhaniyappan has been nominated to be improved by Wikipedia:This week's improvement drive. Vote for this article to support it.--Fenice 06:56, 11 August 2005 (UTC) i love you —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:14, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

The SysAdmin's Career[edit]

I'd like to add more descriptive text here about the actual career of being a Sys Admin. Like typical career paths, Sys Admin burnout, average age rage, typical length of time that a person stays in this career, average pay by region, and others. You get the idea. Make this article have more about the general characteristics of the role as seen by those who experience it. I'll be working on it, but I wanted to kick off some discussion about it, and see what other's ideas might bring up to include along these lines. --NightMonkey 08:45, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

I would expect the SAGE annual survey would be an excellent source of reliable data for this. Do you have access to them? — Coren (talk) 01:21, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

There are some thoughts on SysAdmin careers recorded at:

.."I have been a Sysadmin for <some_uni> since about 1995." ...

..." I was hired as a Unix Sys Admin, for the very reasons you have outlined."

"In my first job, circa 1982, I was Node Liason Officer - effectively the System Administrator for a PDP 11 node on CSIRONET, and Pascal programmer on a standalone Northstar and Fortran Programmer on a Cyber 76."...

"From the quck brainstorming session it seems there may be a role for SysAdmins in Purchasing, System Design decisions/Tuning/Capacity Planning," — Preceding unsigned comment added by Marghanita (talkcontribs) 00:43, 1 October 2012 (UTC)


I'd like to request some info that sysadmins could use. Just like we have very in-depth articles on diseases, plants and what-not. It could easily link to many of the software categories that i've found useful from time to time. -- 12:21, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

re-removed negative comments about certifications[edit]

I re-removed the comments: "However, some employers consider reliance on such certifications to be a sign of a poor candidate, one with trade-school "book learning" rather than formal theoretical knowledge or hard practical experience." The statement in that paragraph is that 1.) employers often require experience. 2.) sometimes they expect certifications. Maybe some people think that certifications are just "book learning", but that's besides the point. We're talking about what kind of training a job as a sysadmin might require, and sometimes you just have to get a cert. Maybe someone could add something a bit more neutral about certifications vs. experience? (BTW, I have no certifications yet am a sysadmin). -- JSBillings 13:17, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Well, it would be original research to cite it, of course, but I've spoken with a number of senior sysadmins (in a position to hire others) who think rather negatively of resumés that present certifications as a proof of competence. --FOo 01:29, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Related Fields[edit]

It's interesting that software developer is not mentioned in the list of related fields, especially since the article itself says that SA's do some programming. Moreover, the article also emphasizes that SA's are not software developers or computer programmers. Well, if the relationship is that close, that the two roles could be confused and need explicit differentiation in the article, doesn't that imply that they are also close enough for software developer to be listed under "Related Fields"? Toddcs (talk) 14:14, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Inadequate definition[edit]

I and many other computer owners have had a message asking for a system administrator when no human system administrator exists. This article does not address what segment of the computer program is being asked for when the computer asks for a system administrator's permission and no system administrator or path to a system administrator exists.Richard Dates (talk) 05:23, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

A System Administrator sometimes (not always) needs Super User access to fix a problem. This does not mean that a Sysadmin is a Super User. Super Users are more (but not exactly) synonymous with root access. When you get a message saying that a system administrator is required - it does not even mean that Super user access is required. It means it needs whomever set up this computer is required to fix a problem (in many instances it is the user himself - which is unfortunate as most "users" haven't got a clue about how to fix most things on their computer AND there is no one else...) The definition is accurate - its the users understanding of the message that is at fault combined with the manufacturers who sell these things as appliances that anyone can manage... (talk) 14:49, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

The above statement is mean but true.

Perhaps it is worthwhile to tell that system administrators has privileged access to computer systems, which means the persons who they are working for need to trust on them. Not breaking this trust is part of system administrator ethics. Assuming there will be some sort of ethics title one could write to that section also requirement to fair service to clients, e.g. something completely opposite than Bastard Operator From Hell attitude. Sami Kerola (talk) 12:31, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

I updated and expanded the System Administrator Privilages section (as requested), and I hope this addresses the ommission. Jenny c —Preceding undated comment added 02:52, 2 February 2012 (UTC).


I don't think a merge is appropriate. This article discusses the position, whereas superuser discusses a technical feature of some OS for privileged operations. — Coren (talk) 01:19, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

I concur, no merge, please. Many operating systems just don't have the concept of "SuperUser". Palm OS, DOS, Embedded Systems,etc. Being able to login as a superuser is just one of many tools and privileges often associated with the work of a SysAdmin, like having console access or having the keys to the data center cage. It is theoretically possible to be a SysAdmin and never have "superuser" access, as the systems maintained could actually not have the concept implemented therein. Keep the articles seperate. --NightMonkey (talk) 23:30, 13 November 2008 (UTC)


Hey, y'all. I'm just giving a heads-up here: please don't add any more unsourced content to the article. I threw on the sources tag specifically to get more sourced text (most of the article is not sourced). Adding more unsourced material (especially material that isn't very encyclopedic) will just result in its removal. Thanks. --NightMonkey (talk) 21:17, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

There is a problem providing authoritative sourcing on this topic. The role is still relitively new and ill-defined. There IS no authoratative source for the definition, other than the combined wisdom of experienced Sys Admins, and what they (we) believe the job entails. I cannot think what would count as a reliable source!! Monster? Any serious ideas? User:JennPublic ([user talk:Jennpublic|talk]]) 2 February 2012 —Preceding undated comment added 02:57, 2 February 2012 (UTC).

Suggestion for semi-protection[edit]

Article may be subjected to vandalism. See the following xkcd-comic —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:35, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

Please simi-protect this article there had been excessive vandalism non registered user are removing important information from this article.--010 09:58, 11 April 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kkm010 (talkcontribs)

Personal commentary[edit]

There may be a bit too much commentary on personal experience of the job here:

I.e.: "However, perhaps the most important skill for a system administrator is problem solving -- frequently under various sorts of constraints and stress... "

It's fair enough to mention that a Sys Admin may work under tight timelines, then again, is that more true of this job than any other such that it needs to be pointed out? Stress is a human experience to time pressures, and not one that everyone experiences, so this is out of place in a factual description (unless you want to note that Sys Admins often report a high stress level, per some study). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:13, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

I have been system administrator for some years already and I do not think fixing stuff is the most important skill. The whole profession is about serving people in their computing needs, because they do not have time, knowledge, interest etc 'insert here reason' to do it themselves. The service is supposed to be discreet, but often when things go bad enough wrong clients get interested what system administrators do. While some system administrators feel client interest stressful the true professionals aim to get on top that situation, which means communicating with clients. IMHO the most important skill in system administration is to understand the role is about making systems to behave the way clients want and need. At the times of crisis, when people are in panic keeping calm and carrying on is also useful skill to posses, thought not absolutely necessary. If one does better job in mental state of panic that is also fine. No-one cares the style when clients are happy. Sami Kerola (talk) 11:37, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

"system administrator" vs "systems administrator"[edit]

The New Oxford American Dictionary defines "system" as "a set of connected things or parts forming a complex whole", and the professional organization SAGE (System Administrator's Guild, a USENIX SIG: uses the mass noun form, therefore I propose that the proper term for use in this article is "system administrator". Doctorgage (talk) 14:18, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

Update: no debate a month later, so I've made the change. Doctorgage (talk) 09:46, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

No such article on (operating) systems engineering[edit]

Bleh, this needs a rewrite. The last paragraph under the heading "Duties of a system administrator" lists three related fields: "System administrators, in larger organizations, tend not to be system architects, system engineers, or system designers.". The first links to an article that describes computer system architect; while the latter links to an article that includes mention of computer system design. However, the article at Systems engineering does not adequately describe computer systems engineering. I would actually suggest that these related fields are moved to the "Related fields" section, and each field summarized and broken out into a new article that more fully describes each skill. There's also mention of the lines of demarcation being less well defined in smaller organizations -- that could simply refer to the "Related fields" rather attempt to define a whole 'nother set of related fields. Just my two pennorth.--Rfsmit (talk) 20:43, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Needs more LART[edit]

and a picture of your typical system administrator at work. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:52, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Crappy External Links[edit]

A lot of the external links listed are really crappy sites that don't add anything whatsoever. Really?

I propose removing the link to,,,, and BigAdmin (since the Sun acquisition by Oracle, it just gets redirected to the Sun homepage).


StandaloneSA (talk) 10:33, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Removal of photograph of professional system administrator[edit]

Per the Wikipedia:Good article criteria:

Illustrated, if possible, by images:[8]
images are tagged with their copyright status, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content; and
images are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions.[9]

I am adding back in the original image, from June 2013. If you have a valid reason to remove it, discuss it here, otherwise leave it alone.

StandaloneSA (talk) 00:43, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

Can't get Matplotlib to work in Python[edit]

I can't get Matplotlib to work in python. I tried to install the programs but they all said "no modules names (numpy, setup, etc)". What do I have to do to make it work?? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:14, 28 September 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Sources no longer active[edit]

The source for sources 7 and 8 are no longer active, they link to a 404 page — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:41, 6 December 2016 (UTC)