I have a lot of work to do, and many posts I'd like to write, but that will have to wait. I need to vent some frustration right now.
I am currently on a systems administration mission where I need to inspect and fix (if necessary... lol!) a few virtual servers.
Let's start with the documentation. Oh wait, I can't really start from there. There's nothing. A bunch of IP addresses, a few very weak passwords. A list of a few shell commands, out of the blue. A list of stuff that's been done, or at least I suppose that's what it's supposed to be (the list contains entries such as "Access phpmyadmin", followed by "Change init level"). Nothing to see here, let's move on.
The server's list of virtual hosts includes a SSH gateway, from which you're supposed to connect to the server's other VMs. Well, that sounded fine to me, as it may have meant I wouldn't need to go there and could simply log on through that gateway. Of course, since the "existing" documentation doesn't really list the VM's IP addresses, it's a bit messy. Especially since most ICMP packets seem to be blocked, somewhere, somehow. Oh, and some of the VMs do not listen on port 22. Has it been changed to some other port? Is it being blocked by iptables rules? No fucking clue. In addition, it was possible to log in as root (using a password that wasn't much better than "test") on the gateway.
For now, I've been able to find 3 out of the 11 VMs I'm supposed to take a look at, including the aforementioned gateway. Each host includes the full Gnome desktop, as well as a random assortment of useless stuff (laptop-detect? Dude, it's a VM!). Of course, since the... person... who did this decided to use Ubuntu Server, it's not even possible to remove dbus, because upstart depends on it. Still, I was able to remove a few gigabytes of crap on the servers I could access.
I expect more bad surprises as I keep on working on that. In the meantime, my opinion is that whoever committed this in the first place should seriously think about giving up on systems administration and looking for a career in, oh, I don't know, floor wiping. Or something like that.