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Absolute FreeBSD: The Complete Guide to FreeBSD, 2nd Edition Paperback – November 14, 2007


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Absolute FreeBSD: The Complete Guide to FreeBSD, 2nd Edition + Building a Server with FreeBSD 7
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 744 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press; Second Edition edition (November 14, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593271514
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593271510
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michael W. Lucas is a network/security engineer with extensive experience working with high-availability systems. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Absolute BSD, Absolute OpenBSD, Cisco Routers for the Desperate, and PGP & GPG, all from No Starch Press.


More About the Author

Michael W Lucas is from Detroit, Michigan. He's worked as a network engineer, systems administrator, library cataloger, and gerbil wrangler. You can find his Web site at http://www.michaelwlucas.com, his blog at http://blather.michaelwlucas.com, and on Twitter as @mwlauthor.

"Michael Lucas is probably the best system administration author I've read. I am amazed that he can communicate top-notch content with a sense of humor, while not offending the reader or sounding stupid. When was the last time you could physically feel yourself getting smarter while reading a book?" -- Richard Bejtlich, TaoSecurity

"For me, reading this book was like having one of the guys in my company who lives and breathes Cisco sitting down with me for a day and explaining everything I need to know to handle problems or issues likely to come my way. There may be many additional things I could potentially learn about my Cisco switches, but likely few I'm likely to encounter in my environment." -- IT World

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 29 customer reviews
If you want to learn FreeBSD from in to out, get this book.
Lisandro Grullon
I am very glad I chose "Absolute FreeBSD" because it is the perfect example of how write a clear, informative, nice and accurate technical book.
L. Garcia
I've read a few UNIX/freeBSD books and this one was the best.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Richard Bejtlich on December 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
Almost five years ago I reviewed Absolute BSD, Michael Lucas' first book on FreeBSD. I gave that book five stars, back when several other BSD books provided competition. On the eve of 2008, I am happy to say that Michael Lucas is probably the best system administration author I've read. I am amazed that he can communicate top-notch content with a sense of humor, while not offending the reader or sounding stupid. When was the last time you could physically feel yourself getting smarter while reading a book? If you are a beginning to average FreeBSD user, Absolute FreeBSD 2nd Ed (AF2E) will deliver that sensation in spades. Even more advanced users will find plenty to enjoy.

One of the best aspects of AF2E is that it is modern and covers FreeBSD 7.x. The previous edition covered 4.x, and plenty has changed since then. I've used FreeBSD regularly since 4.1.1 (Aug 2000), and AF2E taught me a lot about my favorite OS. Michael's coverage of GEOM, NanoBSD, FreeSBIE, journaling, memory file systems, filesystems in a file, and other topics really opened my eyes. Michael delivers excellent line-by-line explanations of system output, using numbered references to guide the reader.

Another major reason I love AF2E is that it is a good system administration book that covers plenty of FreeBSD nuances. Michael shares many of his experiences running FreeBSD in production, and I always believe he is teaching the reader what he or she needs to use FreeBSD to support customers. For example, I liked the hint on p 221 about disabling hard drive write caching (hw.ata.wc=0 in /boot/loader.conf). I also liked hearing about netstat -m to see kernel memory used for networking.

The book is also very lively for a system administration title.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Lisandro Grullon on November 29, 2007
Format: Paperback
I have been a freebsd user for a little over 3 years in a real network environment with over 1000+ nodes at my facility. At first the handbook seems like a very complicated compilation of how-to's from different individuals, a class mate ask me to grab a copy of Absolute FreeBSD by Michael W.Lucas. I got online and this book was just coming out, so I decided to give a try, after reading half of the book, I have to say that Michael Lucas is an excellent writer; he describes in a very chronological/concise manner using graphics and commands the necessary steps to install, secure and make a useful system out of FreeBSD. Many of us are waiting for the 7.x release, he also cover the material in that upcoming release or at least part of it.

I am really exited about this book, I will be purchasing the OpenPGP book that Michael Lucas also published, as I said he is a great writer and if you want to learn FreeBSD without going through the nuts and bolds of the handbook this is the best source that will teach you step by step this great Operating System.

If you want to learn FreeBSD from in to out, get this book. Period.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Dan McKinnon VINE VOICE on January 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
'Absolute FreeBSD: The Complete Guide to FreeBSD' is another hit in the No Starch collection of books which have their own unique layout and style of writing associated with the authors publishing with them. With around 700 pages of content you will learn the ins and outs of this Unix-like operating system and see how powerful it is and what it can do for you. If you use FREEBSD on the job or are just a tinkerer that plays with non Windows/Mac systems this will enable you do do administration, learn to programmatically script, and get behind the curtain to do more than you thought possible! If you need a FREEBSD book, No Starch makes learning FUN and it's a great addition to your library!

***** RECOMMENDED
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By L. Garcia on March 19, 2008
Format: Paperback
I am a big fan of open source software. I've been a GNU/Linux user for years but I must admit I had never played with BSD before. I bought this book because I wanted to set up a network server at home and I thought it was the perfect occasion to try FreeBSD. I expected one of those thick and boring reference books but, hey! I am very glad I chose "Absolute FreeBSD" because it is the perfect example of how write a clear, informative, nice and accurate technical book. The book is not for the absolute beginner but, in general, it's very easy to read. It should be self-explanatory to anyone with a little experience in networking, UNIX-like systems or, in general, computer science.

The author is a FreeBSD developer himself, so he talks about the inner workings of the FreeBSD community, providing an interesting point of view of the operating system, not only as a regular user but also as one of its "insiders".

The book covers everything a BSD system administrator should know. It covers basic things like how to install the system, how to make backups and recover from data loss, how to configure the network, disk management, etc. It also includes detailed explanations and sysadmin tricks of the usual network services: DNS, SSH, DHCP, FTP, printing server, web Server, mail Server... The author also gets into more advanced topics like, kernel tunning, security, performance analysis and tunning or RAID management. I was particularly interested in using hard disk encryption. I thought getting it was going to be a pain in the neck but the book explains how to do it with 6 simple commands. Nice!

In general the book is well structured. Concepts are explained clearly and with a lot of examples.
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