Monitoring your system means more than just watching the amount of free hard disk space or the number of users running a certain application. Many aspects of your system are static over fairly long periods of time, such as the layout of your hard disk. However, such information is as important to really knowing your system as how much free memory there is at any given time.
Linux provides a wide range of tools to not only monitor your system as it runs but to find out how it’s configured. In this chapter, I am going to talk about the tools you need and the files you can look in to find out anything about your system that you need. In the next chapter, we will take some of these tools and see how you can use them to help you achieve the goal of administering your system.