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The Definitive Guide to CentOS (Books for Professionals by Professionals)

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The Definitive Guide to CentOS (Books for Professionals by Professionals) [Paperback]

Peter Membrey , Tim Verhoeven , Ralph Angenendt
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 9, 2009 1430219300 978-1430219309 2009

CentOS is just like Red Hat, but without the price tag and with the virtuous license. When belts have to be tightened, we want to read about an OS with all the features of a commercial Linux variety, but without the pain. The Definitive Guide to CentOS is the first definitive reference for CentOS and focuses on CentOS alone, the workhorse Linux distribution, that does the heavy lifting in small and medium-size enterprises without drawing too much attention to itself.

  • Provides tutorial and hands-on learning but is also designed to be used as a reference
  • Bases all examples on real-world tasks that readers are likely to perform
  • Serves up hard-won examples and hints and tips from the author's experiences of CentOS in production

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The Definitive Guide to CentOS (Books for Professionals by Professionals) + Unix Shell Programming (3rd Edition)
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Hailing from the U.K., Peter Membrey has worked for Red Hat, holds a RHCE certification, and worked and taught at a number of educational institutions since the beginning of his career. He knows what Linux users like and need, and hopes that CentOS will get the kudos it deserves. He lives in Hong Kong and is teaching and consulting on all matters to do with Linux Enterprise networking, while studying for his master's degree.

Product Details

  • Series: Books for Professionals by Professionals
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 2009 edition (July 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430219300
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430219309
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,155,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Almost nothing in the book is CentOS-specific November 28, 2010
I bought this book because I am an advanced Linux user considering switching to CentOS. I expected this book to explain to me the philosophy behind Yum, RPM, upstart, configuring services, and everything else that's specific to RedHat and CentOS.

Instead, the book explained to me in detail how to install CentOS using the GUI (as if it's rocket science), then spent the remainder explaining how to set up common services that are configured the same way between all distributions. For me, who is already familiar with other distributions, there was nothing CentOS-specific or even insightful.

The only informative and CentOS-specific information in this book can be boiled down to two pages: where the authors discuss the five or six repositories available to CentOS users, and where the authors list a few 'yum' commands. Everything else is either trivial or unrelated to CentOS.

Basically, the use of CentOS in this book is a means, not an end. If you want to learn about how CentOS differs from other distros, look elsewhere.

A better name for this book might be "An introduction to running a Linux server".
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fresh, clear book August 16, 2009
This book covers the main reasons why anyone would want to run a Linux server: Apache, mail, DNS, Samba. CentOS is a good, userfriendly choice, and this guide goes well with it.

For the more advanced, enterprise user, this book also covers topics such as high-availability and clustering.

Written by experienced Linux users, it also contains tips and tricks they learned while working with Linux, such as frequently forgotten things, frequently reasons for getting stuck somewhere, etc. As an experienced user myself, I recognize those little things no-one would ever care about. This book also tells about them, which is a good thing in my opinion.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The title of this book, "The Definitive Guide to CentOS (Books for Professionals by Professionals)," is misleading.

This guide is NOT "definitive," but it will help you get started using Linux. Also, I wouldn't call it a guide to "CentOS," specifically, more like a guide to getting started with Linux that just so happens to use the CentOS distribution in its examples. Finally, while the guide was probably written by a professional, it clearly wasn't written FOR professionals. This guide is ideal for hobbyists. It spends time explaining reasons to operate your own email server followed by a quick ethics lesson in user data privacy. No "professional" worthy of the designation would need an operating system guide to explain that reading your users' personal emails is unacceptable.

Who should buy this book? Any beginning hobbyist looking to get started running a linux server from home.

Who should consider purchasing a different book? Any professional sysadmin or moderately experienced hobbyist who is looking for specifics on CentOS webserver configuration. If you already feel comfortable using the command prompt, this probably isn't the guide for you.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CentOS introduction October 1, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
When you start to explore the huge possibilities af an OS like Centos this book is a good starting point. I recommend it to all the newbies like me. I found it very useful with a lot of nice advices and helpful how-to-procedures.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing definitive about it April 6, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I already own Wale Soyinka's book "Linux Administration: A Beginner's Guide" and bought this assuming that there would be more CentOS-specific information in it that could help with things like NIS, LDAP, sendmail configuration, etc. While it covers some of its subjects reasonably well, it stops well short of the goal of being the definitive guide to CentOS. Beginner's guide, maybe, but there is very little that makes it definitive.

The first third of the book is dedicated to installation, yum, and Apache configuration. This information is not even as good as the existing information on the CentOS How-To pages on their web site.

The section that I found useful was on setting up virtual private networks. The book does a reasonable job of explaining this, but I find it hard to understand what sets this apart from any other Linux installation.

Don't get me wrong, the book does have value, but if you are looking for the definitive guide to setting up and configuring your CentOS-specific installation, this is definitely not the book for you.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good Centos reference February 10, 2010
The Definitive Guide to CentOS is an excellent reference guide. As an advanced Linux user, I referred to sections that I had either forgotten, or need priming on. These topics ranged from File System configuration, Network configuration, Security and tools such as Samba. The book is easy to read and concise, but is not the end-all reference manual. I would say this book is a good selection for Linux beginners to average users, not advanced users. But it did help me in the areas mentioned.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Several months ago I was asked to evaluate a LAMP platform ( Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP ) for an in-house intranet application. I choose CentOS and this book to begin. So how did I get on.

Getting Started with CentOS ...

This is the first section of the book and spans 4 chapters. It answers the questions, why choose CentOS, installation and where to download the files from, a few basic commands and how to patch your fresh install with the latest updates using the YUM tool. YUM stands for ' Yellow Dog Updater, Modified '; beautiful, I was loving it already. The installation assumes CentOS 5.2; the present release is 6.2 ( as of January 2012 ) which I installed. In the space of a few days I had a fresh CentOS box up and running. The book took me through the steps one at a time. No problems; could it be this simple !.

Going into Production ...

The second section of the book. It spans 6 chapters and introduces ( keyword ) Apache web server ( Yes, LAMP platform here we go ), DNS, DHCP, Mail, Samba and Virtual Private Networks .... Ahh no database chapter. Reality bites !. Nevertheless, being a complete novice only some weeks previous, I now had grasped enough bite sized knowledge and terminology to explore the CentOS website, documentation and forums and other web resources to locate the remaining snippets of information I required to install and configure MySQL. The book now moves from a step by step, do as I say approach to become more of a guide to the features ( the bells and whistles if you like ) of CentOS. It uses Apache, Samba, DNS etc. etc. configuration files to nudge you in the right direction but more in-depth knowledge will be required to move from installation, beyond configuration and finally to release.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
there are better bokks out there on the subject.
Published 11 months ago by BobG
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, Informative, Funny Book. A True Gem!
I buy a lot of books on Amazon and most I don't review because I don't have the time.
But this particular book is outstanding. Read more
Published on July 23, 2013 by Tom Hunter
3.0 out of 5 stars from a Linux Newbie
I am a hobbyist/Linux newbie, so I am surprised to see experienced professionals say this is ideal for beginners. Read more
Published on November 19, 2011 by Averagejoe
1.0 out of 5 stars Lame Book
Way too much of this book is devoted to explaining the most elementary concepts of Unix operating systems. eg: how to use command line functions like "cd", "pwd", and "ls". Read more
Published on September 26, 2011 by WayneBob
3.0 out of 5 stars Not definitive, introductory
This is an easy to understand book, like the OS itself. However, it's not even close to definitive. It's only an introduction and not very useful, by itself.
Published on February 14, 2011 by J. Sweiderk
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for beginners to intermediates.
I appreciate the detail in which this book explains concepts and why things work they way they do in Linux. Read more
Published on October 29, 2009 by Rob
1.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Guide to CentOS
This book is well suited to someone with a basic knowledge of Linux, specifically Redhat based. It does cover some basics but doesn't go to deep into installation, so if you don't... Read more
Published on August 23, 2009 by Royce J. Berry
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More About the Author

Peter Membrey is a Fellow of the British Computer Society and a Chartered IT Professional who holds a masters degree in IT specialising in Information Security. He is the youngest person to have passed the RHCE (which he did when he was 17) and had the honour of working for and with Red Hat for many years. He is currently studying for a PhD in Software Engineering at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He lives in Hong Kong with his wife Sarah and son Kaydyn and is still desperately trying (and still failing) to come to grips with the various Chinese languages.

His personal site is at

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The Definitive Guide to CentOS (Books for Professionals by Professionals)
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