Linux Administration Handbook (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
This 1000+ pages guide is concentrated on one sole thing – expanding and upgrading your knowledge on administration of different Linux operating systems. As with this kind of books, desktop usage is covered very lightly, while the focus is on doing more interesting stuff on your Linux box.
About the authors
Evi Nemeth has retired from the computer science faculty at the University of Colorado but still dabbles in network research at CAIDA, the Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis at the San Diego Supercomputer Center.
Garth Snyder has worked at NeXT and Sun and holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Swarthmore College. He is currently an MD/MBA candidate at the University of Rochester.
Trent R. Hein is the co-founder of Applied Trust Engineering, a company which provides network infrastructure security and performance consulting services. Trent holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of Colorado.
Inside the book
Help Net Security has reviewed the first edition of this book almost five years ago (review). Since then, a lot of things changed, some operating systems went “offline”, some new distributions arouse and there was a definite need for a refreshing the initial Linux Administration Handbook. I should note that this book has been sitting on my “geek shelf” for a year now. I just wanted to mention this so you don’t think that this is a 2008 publication – this second edition was in fact released in late 2006. There isn’t a specific list of the changes from the first edition, as it is quite obvious that you cannot just add a couple of chapters to this kind of book – you need to refresh the contents and focus on the latest Linux distributions.
Authors spread the massive content over three parts:
Basic administration – the content provided here is aimed to the new Linux administrators with topics such as process control, user administration, disk and peripheral setups, software installation and log management.
Network – probably the most important section of the book as it holds a rather extensive list of things you can mangle with on your Linux box. The authors first go deeper with TCP/IP networking, routing and network hardware and after that cover internetworking, different services, electronic mail (with emphasis on applications and spam fighting) and much more.
Bunch o’ stuff – this is a repository of more than 300 pages of information filled guides on different things that didn’t directly have any connection with the previous two sections. In here, the authors talk about kernel drivers, serial devices, printing, system maintenance etc. There is a very interesting chapter on daemons, which gives a detailed guide on all the services that usually start up with your computer.
Chapter 20 is all about security and through 40 pages the authors just touch the main concepts and threats to the state of your Linux server security. As the chapter is very brief, the authors spend just around one page for each security application and protocol.
I just also mention that at the end of each chapter you will find a number of quality links to online resources, books, as well as exercises that deal with the chapter’s topic. This is quite a nice approach, as you will surely find some interesting stuff there.
“Linux Administration Handbook” is definitely a great addition to your bookshelf. While it has over 1000 pages, the authors don’t lose themselves in over describing some technologies, but provide just the concise and important facts on each subject.