A Practical Guide to Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, 6th Edition

Author: Mark G. Sobell
Pages: 1320
Publisher: Prentice Hall
ISBN: 0132757273


An increasing number of advanced users are drawn to open source solutions as an alternative to Microsoft Windows. The popular free Linux distribution Fedora and it’s big brother Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) are introduced and described in this massive book that will help run your own network services, and more.

About the author

Mark G. Sobell is the author of three best-selling UNIX and Linux books. He has more than twenty years of experience working with UNIX and Linux and is president of Sobell Associates, a consulting firm that designs and builds custom software applications, designs and writes documentation, and provides UNIX and Linux training and support.

Inside the book

In over 1300 pages, this book covers most of the things you will ever need to know about Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux – whether you are a beginner or an experienced user.

It starts with an interesting and practical preface and a jumpstart section that provides a quick reference to the most often used daemon setup sections.

The first chapter offers a brief history of Linux and basic information about the platform, while the second describes how to install your Red hat/Fedora system. The following chapters take you deeper and deeper into Linux, passing and explaining important concepts such as its file system, utilities, shells, networking, etc.

Given its size, the book is organized surprisingly well. It includes official documentation (manual, info and help pages) with examples and how-to’s in every section.

Having red many general books on Linux, I have to note that information on how to go about configuring Cacti can’t be found in many of them, so this is definitely a plus for this book. I enjoyed the chapters on network services (BIND, Apache, NFS) and on programming, which explains the material beautifully with the help of examples, useful bash scripts and an introduction to Perl programming. I also took great pleasure in reading the unusual introduction to MySQL syntax.

On the other hand, the sections on PAM and SELinux are short and incomplete, and the VIM section describes only basic usage.

Final thoughts

One can tell that a lot of time, work and thought went into creating this book. Consequently, it is more thorough, organized and useful than most of the other Linux books I have had the chance to read.

Despite the aforementioned shortcomings, I would greatly recommend Mark G. Sobell’s “Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux” to beginners and system administrators, as it greatly helped me to prepare for my RHCE certification.

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