I am not an experienced system administrator. However, my company distributes software remotely to customers which means that I occasionally have to make adjustments to or install small scripts or services on UNIX machines. These servers (virtual or physical) are usually fresh out-of-the-box which always costs a lot time getting started.
Therefore, my question is: What are your first steps on a fresh "virgin" machine? What tools are particularly helpful and in what order? Also, is there any harm in installing "too much" (I am thinking why not install all the popular packages just-in-case (Java, mySQL, Apache, Tomcat, etc.)? What is good practice to make life easier for later administrators?
Here is what I do so far:
* Find out release: cat /etc/*-release * Kernel info: uname -a * Complier version: gcc -v * cpuinfo: cat /proc/cpuinfo * try out by hand whether apt-get, yum, up2date or fink exist