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Essential System Administration (Nutshell Handbooks) Paperback – September 11, 1995

ISBN-13: 978-1565921276 ISBN-10: 1565921275 Edition: Second Edition

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Essential System Administration takes an in-depth look at the fundamentals of UNIX system administration in a real-world, heterogeneous environment. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced administrator, you'll quickly be able to apply its principles and advice to your everyday problems. The book approaches UNIX system administration from the perspective of your job -- the routine tasks and troubleshooting that make up your day. Whether you're dealing with frustrated users, convincing an uncomprehending management that you need new hardware, rebuilding the kernel, or simply adding new users, you'll find help in this book. You'll also learn about back up and restore and how to set up printers, secure your system, and perform many other system administration tasks. But the book is not for full-time system administrators alone. Linux users and others who administer their own systems will benefit from its practical, hands-on approach. This second edition has been updated for the latest versions of all major UNIX platforms, including SunOS 4.1, Solaris 2.4, AIX 4.1, Linux 1.1, Digital UNIX, OSF/1, SCO UNIX version 3, HP/UX versions 9 and 10, and IRIX version 6. The entire book has been thoroughly reviewed and tested on all of the platforms covered. In addition, networking, electronic mail, security, and kernel configuration topics have been expanded substantially. Topics covered include: Starting up and shutting down your system Adding new users Managing processes System security Organizing and planning file systems Planning and performing backups Setting up pointers TCP/IP networking Setting up email Adding terminals and disk drives Setting up and using the accounting system

From the Back Cover

Rewritten from the ground up, this new edition covers all facets of UNIX system administration: the general concepts, underlying structure, and guiding assumptions that define the UNIX environment, as well as the commands, procedures, strategies, and policies essential to success as a system administrator. The book talks about all the usual administrative tools that UNIX provides - and also shows how to use those tools in smarter and more efficient ways. Author Aeleen Frisch expands coverage of networking, electronic mail, security, and kernel configuration - topics of increasing importance to administrators. She tackles head-on the problems administrators must solve in multi-vendor computing environments. The latest versions of all major UNIX platforms, including SunOS 4.1.4, Solaris 2.4, AIX 4, Digital UNIX 3, SCO UNIX 3, HP-UX 9 and 10, IRIX 6, and Linux 1.3, have been thoroughly reviewed and tested. You will find this book indispensable whatever your UNIX environment: whether you are responsible for a large, shared computer system or a network of workstations, or if you use a standalone UNIX system and have found that the fine line between a user and an administrator has vanished. And even if you aren't directly or solely responsible for system administration, you'll find that understanding important administrative functions will greatly increase your ability to use UNIX effectively.
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Product Details

  • Series: Nutshell Handbooks
  • Paperback: 788 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly & Associates; Second Edition edition (September 11, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565921275
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565921276
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,598,342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Among the many books that I had bought was this one.
Jake McDermott
The book does a good job of taking a seemingly overwhelming amount of material and presenting it in a very manageable format.
David Olszewski
I recommend this book for anyone who knows UNIX in general but what to get into the system administration side of it.
David Lin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By stephen mcclaren on January 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
From the book--" This book is the foundation volume for O'Reilly & Associates' system administration series...provides you with the fundamental information needed by everyone who takes care of UNIX systems...consciously avoids trying to be all things to all people; the other books in the series treat individual topics in 'complete' detail." This book gives he reader a good understanding of what goes on under the hood of a UNIX system, without getting you bogged down in the details, and also points out the diff. and sim. b/w many variants of the OS(BSD,SCO,AIX,...). You need to know a little about scripts and a few tools to get the most of the book, it's not for complete beginners, but it is very clearly written. I had been using Linux for about 9 months before buying this book, and had worked with SCO and SunOS on the job for about 5 or so years(off and on). Almost every page had an answer to a question I have asked myself over that time. "UNIX Power Tools"(1-56592-260-3)works really well as a companion book to this one. tells the ins and outs of the commands and such.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By David Olszewski on March 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
I'm a graduate student in chemistry who purchased this book when I was charged with assisting my department's system administrator. I had previous experience as an occasional Unix user, but certainly was no expert.
This book was a very useful resource to me in my first few months on the job, and still provides me with answers to occasional problems I run into. The conversational tone and organization by subject matter made the book very readable when I wanted to sit down with it, but it also was modular enough so that I could skip to whatever topics I needed to learn about quickly. The author's descriptions of her own experiences as system administrator have an honest and practical feel to them. (For example, early in the book she gives a time breakdown of her typical day with tasks ranging from setting up new user accounts to moving around office furniture to accomodate new computer equipment.)
For me, an added strength of this book is that it provides descriptions of how to accomplish the same task on different variants of Unix. This has been especially important for me since I deal with computers running Digital Unix, AIX, IRIX, and Linux. The book does a good job of taking a seemingly overwhelming amount of material and presenting it in a very manageable format.
Clearly a Unix book can't contain every answer in the world, but I find that this book still is a place I go to first for answers unless I'm looking for a very specific piece of information. I think this book is excellent for the intermediate Unix user who suddenly finds himself or herself in the position of caring for a number of computers. This is the most useful general purpose Unix book that I have purchased, and I recommend it highly.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By John Peter O'connor on November 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
If you are performing any level of system administration on any varient of Unix then this is a great book to have on your desk. It covers just about all aspects of system administration necessary for small to medium systems and networks.
Each topic is dealt with first by an approachable description of what is going on, a discussion of the differences between different systems and some examples of commands or configuration files together with a discussion of what each example is doing and how it does it. It really is an easy way to work out what you need to do on your own system.
The structure works equally well as an aide memoir or as a tutorial to a new topic and this is backed up by an effective index which seems to guide me to the right part of the book much more reliably than is the case in many computing texts.
Although the book, even in its second edition, is now several years old, it is still relevant. The basics if the task do not change and, even if the task in hand has changed a little, reading and understanding the section in the book will leave you well placed to sort out minor variations which is not something that you would get from just plugging away at the man pages.
The main thing that is missing as a result of this is coverage of completely new material, don't expect to find anything about IPv6 or running a webserver for example. That is not such a big problem though as if you are dealing with these issues, you will almost certainly need books on those subjects as well as a general admin book.
For me, it is simple, this is a book that lives on my desk and not on my bookshelf. It helps me out with my mixed network of Linux, Solaris, SunOS and FreeBSD.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By pvargasmas@speedchoice.com on January 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
I really liked how the author organized this book by task, and then provided an explanation of each task in Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, Linux, etc. A very well organized, easy to follow reference that should be on every UNIX System Administrators bookshelf. The beginning SysAdmin should find it very educational. Intermediate SysAdmins should find this book to be an essential reference. Advanced SysAdmins may want to teach out of this book. All in all, well worth your time.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Maggie N. on October 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book as to satisfy my fascination with unix-based systems - I mean, after a while cd, mv, and mkdir just won't do anymore. It is an excellent book explaining the intricacies of unix-based systems and the differences between them. It covers topics such as the management of processes and devices, the filesystem, essentials in administrative tools, startup and shutdown, managing users, securing your system from others, automating your work, backups, system resources, even configuring kernels and TCP/IP Network Management. It explains everything in great detail in a way that's clear to understand while making the reader feel good about him/herself. Even though I didn't end up a system administrator after reading the book, I enjoyed it.
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