Book Review: Linux Administration Handbook
If you are familiar with the Unix System Administration Handbook, you already are familiar with the subjects this new book is addressing. Much like Linux being a re-implementation of UNIX, this book is a re-implementation of the Unix SA Handbook. But, things get better.
So many of the available books about Linux are either too generic to be of much use for doing serious systems administration or so specific that they are useful only for one version of one Linux distribution. This book is an exception. First, it is heavy on concept, so you actually learn how things work instead of learning how to be a technician. The specifics are then addressed by showing what you do on Red Hat 7.2, SuSE 7.3 and Debian 3.0.
The scope of the book does not stop at what is inside a Linux box. Don't be surprised when you start reading what various routing protocols are, what the different Ethernet cable colors are supposed to mean or how to configure a Cisco router. This book tells you how to administer a company that has Linux systems, not just how to administer Linux systems.
You will also find liberal references to other reading materials and exercises at the end of each chapter. Considering this book is close to 900 pages of useful information, the references are helpful but daunting.
The book doesn't assume you know much about systems administration. It's good if you do know a bit, but don't shy away for the book if you are a Linux user with little or no SA experience. The authors start at the beginning and build.
There are 29 chapters in the book, starting with some Linux background and taking you through policy and politics. In between you will find excellent coverage of booting and the related scripts, process control, filesystems, user administration and the usual hardware stuff, including serial and disk. Then it's on to backups, logs and drivers.
The next part of the book talks about networking and covers TCP/IP, routing, network hardware, DNS, NFS, NIS, e-mail, network management, security and web hosting. When I say it "covers" these topics, I don't mean it merely gives you some internal Linux commands; instead, it tells you what you need to know to get the Linux system talking to the world.
The last part, titled "Bunch O'Stuff", is a collection of other useful information, such as software installation, printing, maintenance, performance analysis, cooperating with Windows and dæmons.
I really don't see anything that is left out of this book. In the few cases where I needed to know more, the references quickly pointed me to additional information. Overall, the book is well written, complete and up-to-date. If you need to learn about Linux administration or simply want a great reference, buying this book will be the best $50 investment you could make.
Phil Hughes is the publisher of Linux Journal.
Fast/Flexible Linux OS Recovery
On Demand Now
In this live one-hour webinar, learn how to enhance your existing backup strategies for complete disaster recovery preparedness using Storix System Backup Administrator (SBAdmin), a highly flexible full-system recovery solution for UNIX and Linux systems.
Join Linux Journal's Shawn Powers and David Huffman, President/CEO, Storix, Inc.
Free to Linux Journal readers.Register Now!
- Download "Linux Management with Red Hat Satellite: Measuring Business Impact and ROI"
- Profiles and RC Files
- Astronomy for KDE
- Maru OS Brings Debian to Your Phone
- Understanding Ceph and Its Place in the Market
- Git 2.9 Released
- Snappy Moves to New Platforms
- OpenSwitch Finds a New Home
- What's Our Next Fight?
- The Giant Zero, Part 0.x
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide