Intro - unixgeek

Hey there, Practical ZFS community!

I’m a long time UNIX/Linux administrator and user. My first exposure to UNIX systems was in the mid-80’s before graduating high school. I’ve been a FreeBSD and Linux user since the mid-90’s, and I’ve worked professionally with Solaris, AIX, HP-UX and a few others I’ve forgotten.

I’ve worked in a lot of different companies in a variety of capacities - systems administrator, systems engineering, software development, support and have a lot of experience with a number of technologies.

I’ve been a ZFS user since I discovered Proxmox in 2015 and used it in my homelab, and shared it with colleagues at work. We deployed our next project on Proxmox as we loved the capabilities of ZFS combined with a hypervisor. We developed and managed a distributed analytics cluster that supported our support and sustaining engineering teams with a combined ~600 TiB of raw storage and a few TB of memory.

I’ve moved into less technically demanding roles with my current role, but still try keep up with ZFS with a small NAS running TrueNAS SCALE, a small home server, and a few home lab systems and teach myself how to build stuff out of wood instead of electrons and silicon.

Many thanks to @mercenary_sysadmin for establishing this community. I’ve been lurking for a little while and love the vibe compared to r/zfs.


Hi, fellow old person! Sounds like we’re pretty contemporaneous–I graduated high school in '89–but you beat me to the Unix-y punch by a few years. It was all eight-bit bittyboxes for me in the 80s, followed by MS-DOS and eventually Win9x and NT in the 90s. I finally made it into the *nix world with FreeBSD three point something in the late 90s. :slight_smile:

Can I flex? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Remember the MKS Toolkit? [0] I used it back in the early '80s because was so lame. It was not really UNIX, but it gave me a taste. My first “real” PC (not counting a Heathkit H8 that I built myself) was an 80368 based system running SCO’s SYSVR3. I still have the manuals sitting om my shelf. I rocked that until I had a desire to learn C++. SCO wanted almost $600 for the AT&T C++ compiler. IBM offered a package including OS/2 and their C++ compiler for about $250 so I switched to that. And moved from text mode UNIX to graphical OS/2. :laughing: It turned out to be a useful niche and I got several jobs writing C++ code for OS/2.

Eventually it became clear that MS had outmaneuvered IBM and OS/2 was going nowhere. Somewhere in that time frame I discovered Linux and went with that. It flew on a dual Pentium Pro based system! But still took about an hour to build a kernel and that was necessary because there were no loadable modules at the time. that does not include the time needed to make config :roll_eyes: make menuconfig and make xconfig were such huge steps forward. And except for testing some kernel patches for Debian on Raspberry Pi, I haven’t built a kernel in years. (decades?)

Nod to Jim, I even earned a living writing mod_perl for some data scraping applications for a while. I also used it for general scripting for lots of other stuff. Good times!

And yes, thanks to Jim for providing this site and the denizens who hang out here to make it what it is. :+1:

[0] Mortice Kern Systems provided a usable Korn shell and common UNIX utilities so one could at least feel like they were on UNIX when they were really on MS-DOS.

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