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Python for Unix and Linux System Administration Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0596515829 ISBN-10: 0596515820 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 458 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (August 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596515820
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596515829
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Efficient Problem Solving with Python

About the Author

Noah Gift is the co-author of Python For Unix and Linux by O'Reilly. He is an author, speaker, consultant, and community leader, writing for publications such as IBM Developerworks, Red Hat Magazine, O'Reilly, and MacTech, and Manning.

His consulting company is Giftcs, LLC and it provides solutions for Python Development and Systems Engineering. His personal website is www.noahgift.com. Noah is also the former organizer for PyAtl, which is the Python User Group for Atlanta, GA. He has given presentations at PyCon and PyAtl.

He has a Master's degree in CIS from Cal State Los Angeles, B.S. in Nutritional Science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, is an Apple ACSA and LPI certified SysAdmin, as well as a Avid Certified Support Representative. He has worked at companies such as, Caltech, Disney Feature Animation, Sony Imageworks, and Turner Studios, and Weta Digital. You can see all of his film credits at IMBD.

As a teenager he was a freelance television editor for ABC Network News. While at Caltech he worked for the Nobel Prize Winning President as a Mac Expert, and at Disney and Sony worked on the first feature animated films for both companies: Chicken Little, and Surf's Up, respectively. Recently he has worked on Python development projects as diverse as writing an SNMP auto-discovery system, writing a Content Management System from scratch, creating a large scale Web 2.0/Social Networking Application in Django for Turner Studios, to writing IPhone applications that talk to Google App Engine. He is also involved in a new media journalism project, Spotlight on FOSS, that had a kickoff interview of Mark Shuttleworth.

He is currently co-authoring a book on Google App Engine and writing a large Google App Engine Exercise and Nutrition Tracking Application. Most recently, he works as a Python programmer for Weta Digital in New Zealand, which has one of the world's largest render farms/super computer sites.

In his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife Leah, and their son Liam, and playing and composing piano music. He is also into exercising religiously, including running in and training for marathons, and blogging about it. When he gets a chance, he likes to write open source software. He is also interested in Artificial Intelligence research and software development.

Jeremy Jones is a software engineer/system administrator who works for Predictix. His weapon of choice is Python but he has done plenty of shell and Perl and a touch of Java.

He is the author of the open source projects Munkware, a multiproducer/multiconsumer, transactional, and persistent queuing mechanism, ediplex, an EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) parsing engine, and podgrabber a podcast downloader. All three projects were written in the Python language.

Jeremy spends his spare time enjoying his family and doing a little writing. He lives in Conyers, Georgia, just east of Atlanta, with his wife, Debra and his two children, Zane and Justus.


More About the Author

Software developer, systems architect, and technical writer, who also loves exercise. Coauthored Python for Unix and Linux Systems Administration by O'Reilly, as well as quite a few technical articles for IBM Developerworks, Red Hat Magazine, Mac Tech and more. Enjoys challenging things like learning new languages, solving scary technical problems, and writing high quality code with 100% test coverage. Has been playing around with Haskel, Objective C and Scala , but his first love will always be the Python language.

Customer Reviews

It's very much an into to Python itself, and not anything close to a "cookbook" I was expecting.
Richard T. Harding
At first I thought it was my poor typing but then on page 207 the author finally points me at a url where I can download his source, so I do.
Matthew Herzog
There are others, but I think you get the idea: it's not a book you'll want to curl up with in front of the fire for a pleasant read.
Jeremy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Richard T. Harding on October 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
As a sysadmin and avid Python user I was looking forward to all the cool tricks/hacks I'd pick up from this book. Once I got it, I was a bit disappointed. The title should be "Learning Python for System Admins". It's very much an into to Python itself, and not anything close to a "cookbook" I was expecting. It covers a ton of topics, but all without much depth. It might be useful to some, but definitely not what I was looking for.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Eric Lake on March 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
I recently got my hands on a copy of "Python for Unix and Linux System Administration". After reading it, I felt the time I've invested in reading it was well spent. The author introduced the reader to many different situations where python would help make their lives as system administrators easier, without confusing the reader with some complex forms or statements. My feeling is that this book is aimed at people who want to use Python to solve their problems quickly and efficiently, but only have a limited experience with the language - and the books fits that purpose well with its rather superficial approach that the reader can later extend later on with various available resources. It would only be fair that I too mention some of the shortcomings that I noticed while reading this book.

Pros:
1) The author introduces the reader to ways that Python can be used.
2) Most of the time there will be more than one way to accomplish a task. The author at times presents a scenario and showed the reader how to do the same task with different modules. This places the choice of which to use back where it belongs, with the reader.
3) The book has a website (most do these days) where the code examples can be downloaded. [...]

Cons:
1) More time was spent on iPython than was really needed.
2) The case of a word is important in Python. For instance "import Sys" and "import sys" are two completely different things. There were quite a few occasions where a module name was used as the first word in the sentence and because of that it was capitalized.
3) There was once instance that I saw where a script example had no indentation at all. Trying to run it would have resulted in complete failure.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy on December 18, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Flicking through the table of contents, there seems to be a lot of promise in Python for Unix and Linux System Administration. The book seems targeted specifically for Unix admins, touching on actual problems and providing actual solutions. On the face of it, it looks to be Programming Python with an OS-specific slant.

Unfortunately, the execution here just doesn't seem to be on a par with that of other O'Reilly books. There is useful information to be had in this text, to be sure, but it's at times difficult to extract.

Perhaps my view of this book is tainted by my recent experience with The Ruby Programming Language, one of the most enjoyable technical reference books I've ever encountered. I'll spare you the details (I have a full review on that product page), but rarely have I felt such joy in reading about code.

I do not feel such joy when slogging through Python for Unix and Linux System Administration. I get the impression, at times, that the author should have simply let the code speak for itself, and spared us his narration entirely.

For example, here is a snippet from Chapter 3, on text manipulation:

"The final file method that we will discuss for getting text out of a file is readlines(). Readlines() is not a typo, nor is it a cut-and-paste error from the previous example.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By skippylou on March 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
I felt this was a much better book for me than two other Oreilly titles for picking up Python. That being said, I do believe having a background in another language (Perl/Bash/etc.) and being a Linux/*nix admin is required to get the most from it.

It gave great examples that made practical sense and covered a ton of topics.

My only knocks would be I wish the iPython chapter was not included and the final chapter "Pragmatic Examples" was extended.

If you have never used Perl, or another language, the intro section may not be enough to get you to follow along - that being said, most admins I'm sure have already been exposed to a language of some sort.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Bower on September 23, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a sys-admin who has used Python, I couldn't wait for this text to come out. It certainly fills a need and contains useful insights on how to get the job done faster.

The writing could be better though. The conversational writing style causes the book to take a while to say simple things. It also rambles a bit. I've noticed a couple times that it introduces a topic, goes off on one or two tangents and then gets back to the original topic. I've also noticed more than a few grammar and spelling errors.

Because of the value of the material covered, it is still well worth reading.
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