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Linux Administration: A Beginner's Guide, Fifth Edition Paperback – September 23, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0071545884 ISBN-10: 0071545883 Edition: 5th

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Product Details

  • Series: Beginner's Guide
  • Paperback: 662 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media; 5 edition (September 23, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071545883
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071545884
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.3 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #293,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Administering a Linux system isn't much like administering a Windows machine. Though the goals are similar and comparable problems arise under both environments, they each require administrators to adopt a certain way of thinking about processes and data. Linux Administration: A Beginner's Guide helps readers adapt their Windows experience to Linux work. Author Steve Shah does a great job of clueing Linux newcomers into the environment. His explanations are clear, patient, accurate, and useful, and they cover all aspects of the system administrator's job. He's careful to explain hundreds of commands in a logical way, including lists of options and examples of typical uses in many cases.

But this is no mere command reference or novice's introduction. Shah doesn't shy away from explaining the really interesting aspects of Linux administration, including kernel compilation, Domain Name Service (DNS) configuration, sendmail setup, and establishing firewall protection with IP chaining. For all of these subjects (and many more), this book includes clear statements of what concepts are relevant, which commands to issue, and what to expect in response. It's a great help in self-guided explorations. It's also worth having this book on hand for work assignments--you'll find complete recipes for configuring all major Internet and local area network (LAN) services that also take into account easy maintenance and security. --David Wall

Topics covered: Administering Linux 2.2.x (particularly Red Hat, Caldera, and SuSE distributions). Installation, initial configuration, using the bash command shell, managing files, managing software, and granting rights to users. DNS, FTP, Apache, sendmail, Samba, and other services receive lots of attention. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"A delight to read. I think this book is well-written enough in explaining what is behind much of Linux." -- Harvey Friedman, Linux Journal --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

A well organized book that covers the topic advertised nicely.
Cycleguy
Steve has written THE book for beginning Linux system administrators, and I heartily recommend it.
Richard Bejtlich
The more advanced books I have pretty much figured one already knew how to do that.
Bradley Simonin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 49 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you are familiar with Linux or Unix and want to start into some network services, this book is a solid introduction. As the title says, this book is for beginner's, but the author doesn't assume that means weenie. He has done a nice job of selecting basic tasks, and for each one lays out the commands, file locations, and basic configurations for the files. Other books either relied on GUI utilities, or used twice as many pages going into too much detail on some sections and not enough on others. This book is just what it says, a beginner's guide to help you get started with Linux servers and/or integrating Linux into an existing NT network.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Jason Winchell on February 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
Definitely an excellent book to start with. While it is possible to get books which are exhaustive on a given subject (i.e. DNS and Bind by O'Reilly), this book provides a great deal of coverage on everything. I fully intend to use it as a reference.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By sofferin on February 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have other Linux books and I found this book seemed to have the correct mix of overview and detail for the new admin. Other books with much detail would be a great second book but to get started this is the book.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
As a web developer, I decided to pick up this book along with O'Reilly's Running Linux to get at least a basic understanding of different conecpts, issues, concerns, etc. that anyone wanting to create a good web site (and a secure one) should be familiar with.
Between the two, I have found this book far more helpful, as it discusses the basics of Linux (to me important) as well as administration concerns, security issues, and principles that every SysAdmin should understand and follow.
It flows well, the writer's style is great and I read the entire thing over a course of 4 days. After reading it and doing additional research on the net, I realize that Steve has covered about 80% of what most authors are writing about when it comes to securing a single server.
The book starts easy and gets quite in-depth, so if you are a rookie (like myself) you should at least have aptitude for computers or a strong will to learn. If that is the case, this is a great reference book which I will no doubt continue to use as I explore Linux further.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Juan Puchalski on April 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is a very solid introduction for those who know their way around computers and operating systems in general. It's good to find books that don't treat the user like complete weenies or books that go so techincally deep but speak of very little...
This book as a lot of analogies between the Linux and NT world, including some pretty nice network blueprints showing how a NT network would be server-wise, compared to a Linux network.
Overall this was a great intro level book. My highest recommendations to everyone.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Richard Bejtlich on May 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
I am a senior engineer for network security operations, and fairly new to Linux. I bought this 2nd edition of LA:ABG to gain familiarity with installing, configuring, and optimizing Red Hat Linux 7, specifically. Steve has written THE book for beginning Linux system administrators, and I heartily recommend it.
LA:ABG never wavers from its primary goal: to give new sys admins the knowledge to build and maintain Linux services. The novelty of this "beginner's guide" is Steve's belief that "beginner" does not equal "GUI." Steve explains each service using its command line interface, since that may be the only available interface in an emergency. He also explains how to compile each software package from source, useful when one needs to upgrade or replace applications.
I was surprised by the number of helpful commands and options packed into this 2nd edition. Even when I knew a command, Steve added a new twist; use ps -auxww vice ps -aux for process listings, or netstat -natup vice netstat -a for active sockets. I repeatedly wondered if Steve hadn't read my mind before writing LA:ABG, since most questions were answered seconds after I formed them. Steve also explains new aspects of the 2.4 kernel and Red Hat 7 (xinetd, iptables, etc.) that other so-called "Red Hat 7" books neglect.
On the down side, the book had a few typos, and pages 527-8 seem to misinterpret TCPDump output. I would have liked more information on SSH, too. Be aware that the book is Red Hat-oriented, since it contains a "publisher's edition" of RH 7. Workarounds for other distros are given, and Steve even criticizes certain aspects of Red Hat's file structure!
Read more ›
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Cs Henry on November 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
I've quite a few books on Linux, and this is one of the best. A lot of the books I have either think you're a Linux guru, or that you have no concept of computers. I have many years of experience with administering NT servers so I know the concepts, but lack the know how of getting it done in Linux.
This book is perfect for people like me. I'd recomend it to anyone. Well done!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Adam Barrett on January 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
As Wale Soyinka claims at the beginning, Linux Administration: A Beginner's Guide, Fifth Edition; is a book for beginners, not for "dummies." He assumes you know most of the basic terms and concepts needed to run a modest Windows network. This book explains the "why" for many of the facets in running a Linux server, to further complete your knowledge of your system and to understand the options available to you when setting up and tweaking your server to suit your needs.

It covers so many topics that it understandably doesn't go into a lot of detail on some of them. But then again, this is not an expert's guide. It will, however, help you get pretty familiar with the tools you'll need and even provides background information about how certain programs evolved. The content was kept fresh by the author adding gems of humor and making the text read a lot less like a math book than I expected.

There are plenty of command line examples strewn throughout the book, and human-readable explanations of each option you have available to you. Because sometimes, Linux's man page documentation is too cryptic for those not intimately familiar with an application. This adds to the book's value as a reference manual for when you can't remember everything you read.

This book filled in a lot of the holes in my education concerning Linux and administration in general. A good investment for anyone looking to start their own solid Linux server, or a reference book for the more seasoned admin. From reading this book, I feel much more confident in my admin-abilities and have solid ground to reach higher levels of Linux administration. All of which of course, adds to my value as an employee!
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