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UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook (4th Edition) [Paperback]

Evi Nemeth , Garth Snyder , Trent R. Hein , Ben Whaley
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 24, 2010 0131480057 978-0131480056 4th

“As an author, editor, and publisher, I never paid much attention to the competition–except in a few cases. This is one of those cases. The UNIX System Administration Handbook is one of the few books we ever measured ourselves against.”   

–From the Foreword by Tim O’Reilly, founder of O’Reilly Media


“This book is fun and functional as a desktop reference. If you use UNIX and Linux systems, you need this book in your short-reach library. It covers a bit of the systems’ history but doesn’t bloviate. It’s just straightfoward information delivered in colorful and memorable fashion.”  

–Jason A. Nunnelley

“This is a comprehensive guide to the care and feeding of UNIX and Linux systems. The authors present the facts along with seasoned advice and real-world examples. Their perspective on the variations among systems is valuable for anyone who runs a heterogeneous computing facility.”  

–Pat Parseghian

The twentieth anniversary edition of the world’s best-selling UNIX system administration book has been made even better by adding coverage of the leading Linux distributions: Ubuntu, openSUSE, and RHEL.  


This book approaches system administration in a practical way and is an invaluable reference for both new administrators and experienced professionals. It details best practices for every facet of system administration, including storage management, network design and administration, email, web hosting, scripting, software configuration management, performance analysis, Windows interoperability, virtualization, DNS, security, management of IT service organizations, and much more. UNIX® and Linux® System Administration Handbook, Fourth Edition, reflects the current versions of these operating systems:

Ubuntu® Linux
openSUSE® Linux
Red Hat® Enterprise Linux®
Oracle America® Solaris™ (formerly Sun Solaris)

Frequently Bought Together

UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook (4th Edition) + The Linux Command Line: A Complete Introduction + Linux Bible
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Evi Nemeth has retired from the Computer Science faculty at the University of Colorado. She is currently exploring the Pacific on her 40-foot sailboat named Wonderland. Garth Snyder has worked at NeXT and Sun and holds a BS in Engineering from Swarthmore College and an MD and an MBA from the University of Rochester. Trent R. Hein is the co-founder of Applied Trust, a company that provides IT infrastructure consulting services. Trent holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of Colorado. Ben Whaley is the Director of Enterprise Architecture at Applied Trust. Ben earned a BS in Computer Science from the University of Colorado. He is an expert in storage management, virtualization, and web infrastructure.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 1344 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 4th edition (July 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0131480057
  • ISBN-13: 978-0131480056
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.1 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Trent R. Hein is co-founder and CEO of AppliedTrust, a Colorado-based provider IT security and network/systems infrastructure consulting services that helps clients maximize their IT investment in the areas of security, performance, and availability. Trent has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the USENIX Association for his work with the University of California at Berkeley's Computer Systems Research Group (CSRG), and he was the third engineer hired at Berkeley Software Design Inc. (BSDI). He holds a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Colorado at Boulder, which in 2004 awarded him the Kalpana Chawla Outstanding Recent Alumni Award, one of the most prestigious honors given by the University. Trent served on the Board of Directors of the Humane Society of Boulder Valley for seven years, and held the office of President for the 2004-2005 term.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
91 of 96 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book good, kindle edition has flaws May 13, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I used and liked a much earlier edition of this book; the new one looks as good. The 4 stars is for the book, the Kindle edition would get 1-2 stars because of the following flaws:

1) The book contains many tables of text information. These were apparently formatted as images, or at least they are images in the Kindle edition. The result is that the tiny text cannot be magnified. Worse, the characters are a very light gray which is very difficult to read.

2) The newer go-to-page-number feature is not supported in this edition; perhaps the feature wasn't available at the time. Since the authors make many references to other page numbers, go-to-page-number is necessary.

I hope the publisher improves the Kindle edition; otherwise get the print version.
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88 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not your average Linux book. September 17, 2010
By Josh
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Also not designed to teach you how to run Linux in your basement (but you can take everything they say and still apply yourself to that if you choose.) I was almost scared off when I read that in the preface, since I didn't have large systems to test on. Fear not however, the book is a masterpiece and even non-pro users will find themselves discovering the power of Unix/Linux, and I mean the full power, they don't leave many stones unturned in this book.

However this book is targeted to larger system deployments and real world large systems. Which is fantastic, everything to get Linux users to the 'next' level is here. IT/IS professionals who have for the most part mastered basic *Nix commands will find this book extraordinary. I have the e-book version of this, but I really needed to get the paper one too. That is how good this is, and I have read just about everything in it at this point.

The book is well laid out, unlike my review it stays focused within each section. So much content is in here I can't even pull out half of the parts I found useful so I won't even try.

If you're a Unix/Linux user (IT/IS pro), buy it. If you're learning how to walk in Linux, you might want to stay away for a little bit, though it does do a reasonable job of refreshing the memory of most users, there is not THAT much introductory level information in this book to get you all the way up to speed. If you're ambitious enough I guess a new user could make use of this book, but I would suggest reading other material before this.

Best Linux book I have purchased ever to date.
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Linux/UNIX Book I've Read. Ever. August 23, 2012
By opcode
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There's a reason this book receives glowing reviews, and it doesn't have much to do with what's in it. It has to do with what's not in it.

I am so accustomed to really miserable, overly verbose tech writing by people who are clearly not good writers that finding this book blew me away. In an era of disposable and free blog writing, I forgot how good tech writing can be. We need more writing like this. I bought the paperback and the Kindle edition. First time, ever, that I bought a book twice. When they come out with a new edition, I'll buy that one, too. Another first.

Tech book publishers, take note of why this book works:

- There aren't equally-weighted discussions about every single option available.
- There's not a lot of BS filler.
- There's historical context which aids in memorization. Stories teach.
- There's a lot of "do this, here's why" aka "best practices".
- There aren't pages and pages of useless code that nobody cares about.
- There are no gimmicks (free CD/DVDs and the like) attached to the book.
- The writing style assumes you are busy and treats your time as valuable.

In this book is practical wisdom and tested/tried techniques to get you started on most things you will do as an admin. The authors know you have Google, and they don't kill you wasting your time. They give you a description of the technology, the most appropriate way(s) to handle it (with syntax), how to think about it, and how it differs (if it differs) between versions of Linux/UNIX.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Written to be understood May 30, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The problem that I've had with most Linux/Unix Sys Administration books is the fact that they're either too easy (assume that you've never touched a command line and don't want to) or they teach the material in the most obfuscated/difficult to understand manner. This book is great! I've been a sys admin for around a year and a half and I've learned so much from this book. Unlike other books, it details the history of certain concepts to enforce the concept rather than just to provide you with a history lesson. Definitely pick this book up!
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's the Bible for Unix & Linux Admins September 13, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition
The 3rd edition is great, the 4th edition updates that greatness. This book had been out for about a week when I noticed it and I had to get my hands on it!

There is a change I am bummed out about... They removed FreeBSD as one of their example systems but included OpenSolaris ( Oracle killed OpenSolaris after buying Sun). Thankfully FreeBSD has it's own Bible, Absolute FreeBSD: The Complete Guide to FreeBSD, 2nd Edition, by Michael W. Lucas ( must have for FreeBSD admins).

Besides the OpenSolaris/FreeBSD change, this is still a solid book worthy of 5 stars. Since this might be the last edition of The Handbook I am glad to see an update. There is more Linux in this edition compared to the 3rd, they added a great introduction to scripting chapter, updated chapters for with the latest technologies, and removed references and chapters on obsolete tech.

If this is their last edition good way to go out. I hope someone else can put together a similar book for the future that can live up to this classic. Again, MUST HAVE!!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Book - Highly Recommended
The book is pretty good. It spends time on the inner-workings of UNIX/LINUX, and less on common commands, but then the book is entitled "UNIX and LINUX System Administration... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Bubba Gong
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended.
If you work with linux or unix this book is a priceless reference book. Highly recommended.
Published 4 days ago by Andrew Albers
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
Really Useful, the book meet my spectatives and cover some advanced topics,
have a nice aproximation with the sysadmin job, cool
Published 2 months ago by Alberto Rodriguez
4.0 out of 5 stars informative
THis book is very good if you are planning on being a Linux system admin. This book will help you become very skilled when it comes to using the linux kernel.
Published 2 months ago by sebastien legros
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you need
Great book to use as a reference for all of your *nix needs. I highly recommend this book for anyone needing assistance with administering and/or learning to operate on *nix... Read more
Published 2 months ago by JasonS
4.0 out of 5 stars Sorry, not inspired to make a title
I liked this book. Not much else to say. I used to be a "mac guy" but one day realized I was using a nazi version of Linux on training wheels. Read more
Published 2 months ago by W Morningstar
5.0 out of 5 stars the best book money can buy (on this theme).
The book is thorough and basically it can be called "the complete guide on unix/linux administrative tasks". Read more
Published 3 months ago by Gregory Maltsev
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect
It deserves a 5 stars despite of some technologies have changed and it's a little outdated regarding to booting, the topics covered and the explanation of the unix/linux... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Luis M. Ibarra
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bible of System Administrators and Architects with hands on skills
This is the Bible of System Administrators and Architects with hands on skills.
Very high quality, and pretty much the standard that other books try to measure up to.
Published 4 months ago by Firstclass
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid
Needed this text for school, it actually turned out to be pretty good and I would recommend for others learning about the topic.
Published 5 months ago by Joshy G
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