An Introduction to Libral, A Systems Management Library for Linux

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Libral provides a uniform management API across system resources and serves as a solid foundation for scripting management tasks and building configuration-management systems.

Linux, in keeping with Unix traditions, doesn’t have a comprehensive systems management API. Instead, management is done through a variety of special-purpose tools and APIs, all with their own conventions and idiosyncrasies. That makes scripting even simple systems-management tasks difficult and brittle.

For example, changing the login shell of the “app” user is done by running usermod -s /sbin/nologin app. This works great until it is attempted on a system that does not have an app user. To fix the ensuing failure, the enterprising script writer might now resort to:

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