Frequently Asked Questions
What is PIKT?
An acronym: Problem Informant/Killer Tool.
An innovative new paradigm for global-view, site-at-a-time system and network administration.
System monitoring software that both reports and, wherever possible, fixes problems.
Configuration management software that saves time and eliminates repetition.
A cross-categorical, multi-purpose toolkit with unparalleled versatility and extensibility.
An innovative scripting language with unique, labor saving features.
A sophisticated, feature-rich macro preprocessor and customizing file installer.
A cross-platform, centrally directed process scheduler.
A set of powerful command-line extensions for local and remote command execution.
Available for Linux and many other flavors of Unix, including AIX, Digital UNIX, FreeBSD, HP-UX, IRIX, Mac OS X, OpenBSD, Solaris, and others. PIKT is Open Source software distributed under the GNU GPL.
What is PIKT not?
A GUI-enhanced system. This is in the works, but as an option only.
An all-purpose programming language. PIKT is tailored to systems administration, designed to work hand-in-hand with other languages, not to replace them.
Available for Mac OS X and other Unix variants. (Not yet anyway.) Nor is it available for Windows. (Perhaps some day.)
The last word in system monitoring software. (But maybe it's farther back in the dictionary.)
What are some PIKT alternatives?
For alternative projects and products dealing with system and network monitoring, configuration management, system security, and automated systems and network administration, visit the Related Projects and Products page.
Why the name "PIKT"?
PIKT is like a military picket, "a group of soldiers or a single soldier stationed, usually at an outpost, to guard a body of troops from surprise attack" (Webster's New World College Dictionary). A pickets' primary mission is to warn of the enemy's advance, but to fight if necessary. Similarly, PIKT's primary task is to warn of problems, but to fix those problems when needed.
How do you pronounce "PIKT"?
"PIKT" rhymes with "ticket".
Who uses PIKT?
Judging by "repeat customers" (sites downloading different versions of PIKT more than once), PIKT has been used at thousands of sites worldwide, including the national space agencies of at least two different countries; some international science research institutes; a few major European and American financial institutions; quite a few Fortune 500 companies (electronics, autos, energy, aerospace, defense, and others); a number of European and American telecommunications companies; several well-known computing firms and/or their research labs in America, Europe, and Asia; at least one major American media company; numerous government agencies, both here and abroad; and lots of universities from all over the world, including many computer science departments. (Note: We will not reveal specific names, because for security reasons it would be irresponsible for us to do so.)
What is your "hit" count?
Since PIKT's initial release in 1998, in the past nine years 150,000+ different network addresses have hit the PIKT website two million or more times. (Since limited graphics images were only added to the pikt.org website in early 2004, most of that hit figure represents a true page count.) Well over 100,000 of those hits were software downloads. Including repeat visits, the total visitor count numbers well into the hundreds of thousands. (The PIKT website has moved several times over the past nine years, and there are gaps in our logs, hence the imprecision in these figures.)
PIKT is available for independent download at a number of other websites around the world, including at popular Open Source and Linux software repositories. We of course have no way to monitor download traffic elsewhere. But it's safe to say that the figures quoted above are significant underestimates of PIKT's true hit, visitor, and download counts.
How can we contribute?
The PIKT To-Do List details our current needs. To contribute new program code or other material to the PIKT Project, please contact us using the means described below.
pikt.org collects no user information beyond ordinary web server logs (which record things like IP addresses, date/time stamp, referring pages, etc.; IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information). We respect your privacy and do not share user information with anyone. We are not responsible for the practices of any websites we might link to, nor are we responsible for "cookies", "web beacons" or any other methods that advertisers, affiliate partners, etc. might use for tracking purposes (note that you can choose to disable cookies in your browser settings and/or run privacy software, if you so desire).
How can we contact you?
For e-mail info, help, bug reports, and other correspondence, write the PIKT Maintainer: firstname.lastname@example.org
If necessary, send surface mail to:
c/o Robert Osterlund
1133 S. Grove Avenue
Oak Park, Illinois 60304-1908