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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Focuses on CFengine
I bought this book expecting it would describe and demonstrate a variety of automation methods and tools. The book surprised me -- pleasantly. The majority of the book focuses on CFEngine ([...]) and how to use it to manage server configurations, deliver applications automatically to those servers, and enforce a consist policy across the servers.

The book...
Published on January 3, 2009 by Gordon Ewasiuk

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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Covers CFEngine version 2 not version 3
A few points:
-- I just bought this book and it is very interesting.
-- CFEngine TOTALLY ROCKS!
-- I'm a Unix Admin and will be using CFEngine to manage 500+ servers.

But.... CFEngine is now at version 3 which is a LOT different from version 2. I can't use this version to help me develop the config files ("promises") because to do so would...
Published on June 24, 2011 by Charlie Brune


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Focuses on CFengine, January 3, 2009
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This review is from: Automating Linux and Unix System Administration (Expert's Voice in Linux) (Paperback)
I bought this book expecting it would describe and demonstrate a variety of automation methods and tools. The book surprised me -- pleasantly. The majority of the book focuses on CFEngine ([...]) and how to use it to manage server configurations, deliver applications automatically to those servers, and enforce a consist policy across the servers.

The book goes into some depth demonstrating how cfengine works. It has chapters on configuration, setting up a production environment, setting up automated installations, and delivering applications using cfengine.

There are smaller chapters on SSH, Nagios (and using CFengine to deliver it), and improving server security using cfengine.

The book is about 400 pages and is packed with content. There are interesting facts and config bits in every chapter.

With the exception of the cfengine manuals, there are no other books on the market today which provide a detailed, comprehensive look at cfengine...until now. If you are using, will use, or have questions about what CFengine can do, get this book. I'm happy I did.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book with a lot of CFEngine, January 30, 2009
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This review is from: Automating Linux and Unix System Administration (Expert's Voice in Linux) (Paperback)
Repetitive tasks not only waste time, but each repitition is prone to error. Automation is the solution to repetition and any serious System Administrator will tell you that automation is a cornerstone of the profession. Automating Linux and UNIX System Administration is a great guide to building this cornerstone.

This book covers a wide variety of topics including: simple shell scripting, remote management with SSH, automated installations, monitoring, and configuration management. The majority of the items are explained with using CFEngine in mind -- so much so that I feel this book should probably advertise its heavy use of CFEngine somewhere in the title or at least on the cover. If you don't use CFEngine and have no plans to do so, a lot of this book becomes irrelevant. However, CFEngine is a popular, robust management system and is worth getting to know.

If you're still managing servers by hand, it's probably time to start thinking about automation. Automating Linux and UNIX System Administration is a solid book that will set you on the right track.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cfengine missing manual, June 26, 2009
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This review is from: Automating Linux and Unix System Administration (Expert's Voice in Linux) (Paperback)
As a CFengine evangelist I find this book very useful to brush up my automation skills, Cfengine peculiarities and even such obscure features as modules and methods in Cfengine. THe only drawback of this book that it needs better visualization - a Cfengine and automation is a complex concept, so few more diagrams would be very helpful. The Cfengine portal ([...]) already has this book present!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, December 12, 2009
By 
J. I. Asenjo (Arnhem, The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Automating Linux and Unix System Administration (Expert's Voice in Linux) (Paperback)
Having the authors guide you through the process of configuring automated installations and configuration of servers is priceless.

This book is a must for any linux/unix sysadmin out there. I hope there is a 3rd edition with the new Cfengine 3 soon!

This book is not for the beginning linux/unix admin, though. You should have a thorough knowledge of the systems already. Once you have that, using the methods in this book will save you and your bosses countless hours of managing your servers.

I would like to thank the authors for a brilliant piece of work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Content and Coverage, February 8, 2009
This review is from: Automating Linux and Unix System Administration (Expert's Voice in Linux) (Paperback)
The book fulfills the promise of showing how to setup and manage a properly automated fleet of Debian, RedHat Linux, and Solaris systems. It touches on all the essential points of doing so, from bootstrapping the initial install systems to configuring essential services such as NTP and Nagios. I believe the text is stronger for not considering (the many!) alternative configuration management and monitoring tools available, and not going into detail on LDAP and Kerberos, as these topics are covered elsewhere, and would make this book loose focus.

Inexperienced systems administrators will benefit from the coverage of need-to-know utilities, such as sudo and SSH, along with the appendix of useful Unix tools, as well as learning how to properly setup a site from scratch. As an experienced sysadmin, I enjoyed the book, picking up a variety of good shell tips, and an excellent way of organizing cfengine configuration files.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just the reference you were looking for., May 11, 2009
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This review is from: Automating Linux and Unix System Administration (Expert's Voice in Linux) (Paperback)
If you are the kind of person that doesn't have time to reinvent the wheel and you like solutions that Just Work but are also well though out, then this book is just the thing for you. Linux admins that have to handle a large number of machines in an Enterprise environment where downtime is just not an option will love that this book gives you in depth explanations supported by rock solution solutions to let you manage the configurations of a massive number of machines with a moderate investment of time and almost zero ongoing effort. The authors do an exception job of delving down into the details when necessary and painting a robust "big picture" that an experienced admin will certain appreciate. I predict this book will become a must-have for your administrative reference shelf.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good do it yourself with Cfengine for System Administration, March 5, 2012
By 
David Ramirez "Davinken" (College Station, TX USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Automating Linux and Unix System Administration (Expert's Voice in Linux) (Paperback)
This book goes over implementing cfengine as an effective tool for system deployment and administration. Its example cases have helped me a lot in setting up my own environment - now I'm managing more than 70 computers (server & workstations) with cfengine. This book was my 101 on it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good book, but Cfengine3 is out now, June 30, 2011
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This review is from: Automating Linux and Unix System Administration (Expert's Voice in Linux) (Paperback)
This book has a lot of good advice in general about some of the issues in automated server management. Now that cfengine3 is out, however, a lot of the material here is obsolete because it relies on cfengine2. Cfengine3 is a major rewrite of the tool, so basically none of the examples here are totally relevant. An updated edition would be great, but it would probably mean basically rewriting the book from scratch.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Covers CFEngine version 2 not version 3, June 24, 2011
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This review is from: Automating Linux and Unix System Administration (Expert's Voice in Linux) (Paperback)
A few points:
-- I just bought this book and it is very interesting.
-- CFEngine TOTALLY ROCKS!
-- I'm a Unix Admin and will be using CFEngine to manage 500+ servers.

But.... CFEngine is now at version 3 which is a LOT different from version 2. I can't use this version to help me develop the config files ("promises") because to do so would result in them either not working or not using the better capabilities of version 3. In addition, some executables and paths are a bit different.

So, I have put this book up on the shelf to gather dust. I'm hoping it will (quickly) be updated to cover version 3.

That said, the non-CFEngine parts of the book are good.
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