Tom Ryder (tejr)

Systems administrator and programmer living in New Zealand.

FA09 C06E 1B67 0CD0 B2F5  DE60 C142 86EA 77BB 8872

Please email me if you’d like a listing of work experience including my current employer.


I maintain a blog called Arabesque, with posts mostly about Unix terminal tools. Its byline is Systems, Tools, and Terminal Science.

Some popular articles:


In February 2016, the second edition of my book Nagios Core Administrator’s Cookbook was published with Packt Publishing. It explains how to set up Nagios Core to solve various monitoring problems. The first edition reviews pretty well on Amazon.

  1. Ryder, Tom. Nagios Core Administration Cookbook. Birmingham: Packt Pub, 2013. Print. ISBN: 978-1-84951-556-6.
  2. Ryder, Tom. Nagios Core Administration Cookbook - Second Edition. Birmingham: Packt Publishing, Limited, 2016. Print. ISBN: 978-1-78588-933-2.


I’m particularly interested in C, Perl, and Unix shell script programming, especially for the purposes of automation, reporting, and monitoring. I also write a lot of PHP and JavaScript; I started my technical career as a web developer, but most of my web development is for internal tools now. I’m comfortable adapting to whatever stack is needed for a given project.

I publish code on my cgit instance. It varies a lot in usefulness and seriousness. Here’s a list of some of the more interesting/useful/complete projects:

Scripts and configuration files for Unix-like systems.
Plugin for Nagios that can perform multiple NRPE checks and return a status based on the aggregated results.
Wrapper for cron(8) tasks to encrypt stdout and stderr with gpg(1) before sending to the MAILTO address.
Brick-stupid wrapper around Unix crypt(3) for quick prototyping on the command line.
Write timed lyric files (.lrc format) for currently playing songs in Music Player Daemon to stdout.
Shell scripts for command-line interaction with a Nagios server via MK Livestatus to save the hassle of using the CGI scripts.
Motions towards SGML (HTML, XHTML, XML) tags in the text editor Vim.
Shell script wrapper for tasks to send appropriate passive Nagios service checks using send_nsca.
Shell script for easy use of the ndiff(1) program included with the Nmap suite.
Find and play media from your collection in your shell, based on a lazy keyword search wrapper around find(1).
Persistent SSH daemon setup for Debian-like systems using start-stop-daemon(8).
Little tool in C to print hex octets of UTF-8 strings to show how the characters in them are encoded.


I made a few presentations on encryption and text editing to a local technology group:


I’ve contributed small patches to dodo, ngIRCd, tmux, and Vim.


There’s an an email interview with me about text editor usage patterns on How I Vim.


Free Software Foundation
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My public key is available here, over what should be a secure TLS connection in modern browsers:

pub   4096R/0xC14286EA77BB8872 2013-03-12 [expires: 2018-01-02]
      Key fingerprint = FA09 C06E 1B67 0CD0 B2F5  DE60 C142 86EA 77BB 8872
uid                 [ultimate] Thomas Ryder (tyrmored, tejr) <>
sub   4096R/0x96C2CD91E67AC61D 2013-03-12 [expires: 2018-01-02]
sub   4096R/0xB5AF5F8925926609 2013-03-12 [expires: 2018-01-02]

All of the HTML pages on this site have a detached PGP signature available in ASCII format. For example, you can check this page from a Unix shell with cURL and GnuPG like so:

$ curl -O
$ curl -O
$ gpg --verify index.html.asc index.html


Nothing public-facing on this site uses cookies. I don’t use any form of client-side tracking, but I do record IP addresses and user agents in my webserver logs to see what people are looking at, and where they’re coming from. The site works via the Tor anonymity network if you want to avoid that.