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I've ran into a small dilemma. I'm am attempting to get out developers all using the same features and functions, and to pretty much manage our networks in specific ways.

I had NewGuy ask me if I have any custom templates to help with system maintenance, and I was embarrassed to have to say no - I do a lot of stuff manually on OSX. My free disk space template says says:

df -ah

and that's it! I use this because I can understand the output, (you can argue that anyone who doesn't should not be in charge of servers!)

Does anyone have any recommendations on terminal scripts for ARD, as I am now beginning to think more like a developer, rather than a system admin when it comes to the notion that I may have to build ARD templates for all the maintenance I do, and that I am not looking forward to, unless the community helps!

I guess my question becomes - Is there a more elegant way of discovering the amount of free disk space from OSX based system, using ARD - Also, vote ups for good suggestions and comments!

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I don't know about using ARD, but if you enable remote logins (SSH) you can just SSH into each machine and run df -- easy enough to automate that with public keys and a shell script.

Another option would be enabling SNMP (Slightly dated instructions here -- anyone know how to enable snmpd without editing /etc/hostconfig?) and using SNMP queries to report disk space, perhaps in concert with a monitoring system (InterMapper would be my choice since it evolved on Macs, Nagios is also popular, as are Monit and a bunch of others). Building out a monitoring system gives you a lot more flexibility than using scripts/ARD.

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Update based on SvenW's answer - the ARD reports menu seems like a great tool if you have a Mac network - the big advantage to SSH or a monitoring system would be that it can also work with non-OSX machines (SSH works for most *nix systems, SNMP works "damn near everywhere") – voretaq7 Aug 15 '11 at 17:29
I am also implementing SNMP for all the network devices we manage and tying that into nagios. It's part of the reason I want my mac guys, and also my own mac knowledge to be more CLI rather than GUI. And yes SNMP works damn near everywhere! :) – Mister IT Guru Aug 15 '11 at 18:56

Please look at the Report menu in your Apple Remote Desktop main menu. You can ask ARD to create detailed reports about many aspects of your systems, including the storage. The ARD manual is really helpful and I would suggest reading it as it describes many non-obvious tools ARD offer.

Also, depending on what kind of systems you manage, you might need some kind of monitoring/alerting system that warns you, i.e. if you are running low on storage or your system load is too hight or countless other aspects relevant in your environment. Watching this data points over time is important to do capacity planning and prevent failures before they happen. Tools you might to consider in this regard are Nagios, Munin, Cacti or many others.

And the last point: Automating your work is the quintessential task of a system administrator and has nothing to do with "thinking like a developer".

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While I agree with everything you said above and there's a lot of helpful info there I am a bit worried about how you said it. Please see :) – voretaq7 Aug 15 '11 at 17:27
@voretaq7: Well, I guess it can count as to be a little bit too much on the snarky side when reading it again, so I edited it a bit. – Sven Aug 15 '11 at 17:36
much better, danke :-) – voretaq7 Aug 15 '11 at 17:39
I should have said - I am aware of the reports feature of ARD, and all the great 'shortcuts' that can be taken by the built in tools - but I also manage linux systems, and I do want my techs, (and myself) to be more aware of what actually goes on on a system. Coming from a linux background, I may think a bit differently! – Mister IT Guru Aug 15 '11 at 18:55

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