May 12, 2019

Linux system administrator. Who is a system administrator and what does he do?

The main duties and responsibilities of a Linux systems engineer.

Sysadmin Linux Server Banner

Un Linux system administrator o system administrator , systemist or sysadmin, is a person in charge of the reliable maintenance, configuration and operation of computer systems ; especially multi-user computers, such as servers. The system administrator tries to ensure that the uptime, performance, resources and security of the computers they manage meet the needs of the users, without exceeding a predetermined budget.

A Linux system administrator takes care of computers running on Linux operating systems. The professional will manage the supporting infrastructure, operating systems, virtual platforms and applications. The administrator is responsible for the integrity and security of servers and IT systems following established security protocols and practices.

These professionals work in conjunction with the computer system engineer to install the system. The Linux administrator ensures that the systems are up to date with changing technologies. They are responsible for installing new software, granting permissions, and training users for applications.

The Linux administrator plays an active role in patching, building, protecting and troubleshooting Linux servers in a heterogeneous environment. The professional performs system updates and server configurations. They are responsible for implementing changes in multiple environments, from development to production. The professional can also develop scripts with various languages, such as Bash, Python and PHP.

Linux system administrator

To meet these needs, a system administrator can acquire, install, or update computer components and software; provide routine automation; maintain security policies; troubleshooting ; train or supervise staff; or offer technical support for projects.

Related fields

Many organizations do other system administration related jobs. In a larger company, these can all be separate positions within an IT support or information services (IS) department. In a smaller group they can be shared by some system administrators or even by a single person.

Un DBA (DBA) operates a database system and is responsible for the data integrity, efficiency and performance of the system.
Un network administrator manages network infrastructure such as switches and routers and diagnoses problems with these or with the behavior of networked computers.
Un security administrator is a specialist in computer and network security, including the administration of security devices such as firewalls, as well as advice on general security measures.
Un web administrator manages Web server services (such as Apache, NGINX, GWAN, or IIS) that allow internal or external access to Web sites. Activities include managing multiple sites, managing security, and configuring the necessary components and software. Responsibilities may also include software change management.
A computer operator performs routine maintenance and maintenance, such as modifying backup tapes or replacing failed drives in a redundant array of independent disks (RAID). Such activities usually require physical presence in the room with the computer and, although less qualified than sysadmin activities, may require a similar level of trust, as the operator has access to potentially confidential data.


The subject of systems administration includes computer systems and how people use them in an organization. This involves a knowledge of operating systems and applications, as well as hardware and software troubleshooting, but also a knowledge of the purposes for which people in the organization use computers.

Perhaps the most important skill for a sysadmin is troubleshooting, often under various kinds of constraints and stresses. The system administrator is on duty when a computer crashes or malfunctions and must be able to quickly and correctly diagnose what is wrong and the best way to fix it. They may also need to have teamwork and communication skills; as well as being able to install and configure hardware and software.

System administrators need to understand the behavior of software to deploy and troubleshoot, and are generally familiar with different programming languages ​​used for scripting or automating routine tasks. A typical role of the sysadmin is not to design or write new application software, but when they are responsible for automating the system or application configuration with various configuration management tools, the lines are slightly blurry. Depending on the sysadmin's role and skills, they are likely to understand key concepts / cores equivalent to those of a software engineer. That said, sysadmins aren't software engineers or developers, in the most restrictive sense related to the job title.

Especially when it comes to Internet systems or business-critical systems, a sysadmin must have a solid understanding of cybersecurity. This includes not only the distribution of software patches, but also the prevention of break-ins and other security problems with preventative measures. In some organizations, the cybersecurity administration is a separate role responsible for the overall security and maintenance of firewalls and intrusion detection systems, but all system administrators are generally responsible for the security of the information systems.


The responsibilities of the system administrator could include:

  • Analyze system logs and identify potential problems with computer systems.
  • Applying operating system updates, patches, and configuration changes.
  • Installation and configuration of new hardware and software.
  • Adding, removing or updating user account information, resetting passwords, etc.
  • Answering technical questions and user assistance.
  • Responsibility for safety.
  • Responsibility for system configuration documentation.
  • Troubleshooting reported issues.
  • System performance tuning.
  • Ensure that the network infrastructure is up and running.
  • Configure, add and delete file systems.
  • Ensure parity between development, test and production environments.
  • User training
  • Plan and manage the engine room environment.

In larger organizations, some of the activities listed above can be split between different system administrators or members of different organizational groups. For example, a dedicated person can apply all system updates, a Quality Assurance (QA) team can perform testing and validation, and one or more technical authors can be responsible for all written technical documentation for a company.

System administrators, in large organizations, tend not to be systems architects, systems engineers, or systems designers.

In smaller organizations, the system administrator can also serve as technical support, database administrator, network administrator, storage (SAN) administrator, or application analyst.

Linux system administrator

A Linux systems engineer is a verticalized systems engineer specialized in the design, installation and configuration of IT solutions based on the Gnu Linux operating system.

Basically he has specific skills on Linux, an Open Source UNIX Like operating system and in particular on the most used distributions in the datacenter field such as Suse (exclusively commercial), Debian and derivatives and RedHat derivatives.

For Debian derivatives we mean above all the various versions of Ubuntu and for RedHat derivatives we mean mainly distributions such as CentOS and Scientific Linux used above all in the field of scientific research.

Since the panorama of Linux distributions is very vast and complex, usually all linux system engineers focus their study and knowledge on distributions Debian and CentOS that guarantee a wide variety of software packages, a vast support both official and from the open source community, and long-term versions that allow the use of a distribution for at least ten years, all accompanied by an ease of installation and configuration that make it ideal in a highly efficient professional context such as a datacenter with tens of thousands of servers and as many customers.

According to the requests and needs, a Linux system engineer can have different skills on Database (PostgreSQL, MySQL Server, Percona Server, MariaDB, Oracle) WebServer (Apache, NGINX, LightHTTP, LiteSpeed) Server Side Languages ​​(PHP, Python, Ruby, Java) , MailServer and POP3 / IMAP Server such as (PostFix, Sendmail, Exim, Dovecot) and many other software in other application fields.


Linux Systems Engineer Evolution


If you are looking for an expert Linux systems engineer on mission critical systems or Debian distributions, Ubuntu, RedHat Enterprise RHEL, CentOS, AlmaLinux or Rocky Linux feel free to contact us, here is a list of the services we could perform for you or your company.

  1. WordPress hosting and performance and speed optimization.
  2. WooCommerce hosting and performance and speed optimization.
  3. Managed Dedicated Servers
  4. MailServer realization
  5. Linux systems hardening and IT security.
  6. Linux systems in OutSourcing
  7. Systems e advice on Amazon AWS
  8. Penetration Testing
  9. Implementation of security solutions such as Firewall and Web Application Firewall.



Do you have doubts? Not sure where to start? Contact us

We have all the answers to your questions to help you make the right choice.

Chat with us

Chat directly with our presales support.


Contact us by phone during office hours 9:30 - 19:30

Contact us online

Open a request directly in the contact area.

INFORMATION is the leading Italian provider of high performance hosting solutions. Our subscription model is affordable and predictable, so customers can access our reliable hosting technologies, dedicated servers and the cloud. also offers excellent support and consulting services on Hosting of the main Open Source CMS such as WordPress, WooCommerce, Drupal, Prestashop, Magento.

Are you looking for a

Linux system administrator?

Scroll to Top