Top critical review
32 people found this helpful
mixed bag of choices, "pro" - maybe ? maybe not.. you decide
on June 26, 2009
I always liked "Apress" books and keep purchasing them side by side with O'Reilly titles. Most "Apress" books and authors give very "in the trenches" and "gotcha" oriented approach, while O'Reilly seems very dry . Well, here we have 1053 page volume that is trying to cover most issues and applications that any Linux sysadmin will come across. Plenty of advise, plenty of "do that", "do not do this" options. However, I gave it only 3 (three) stars - here is why:
1) A lot of "entry level" stuff that takes at least 15%-20% of the book. You just do not call the book "Pro" and show "grep localhost /etc/*" on page 97. All previous pages are written about history of Linux, why you need a Linux server, blah-blah - that can be easily skipped. Just randomly opened a page .. page 358 - how to use "df -h" command and what it does. What a revelation! IMHO, a book called "pro" need to spend a lot of time dealing with nitty -gritty stuff - like building HA systems, integration of Spamassassin+postfix+clamav, integration of SVN+Wiki+Bugzilla+Apache - we have built a similar system here, but I would love to read more from authors who know how to architect a scalable solution for 200+ servers. That would be "Pro"
2) The second drawback is very selective choice of applications at hand. I know that Puppet, for example, is an excellent package and has plenty of features - but would you mention at least Cfengine that been long enough and has a huge installation base?! Give a half of page explaining pros/cons Cfengine vs Puppet - and explain your choice for Puppet (Chapter 19) - yet give people an option to explore Cfengine. Or Chapter 10 gives a verdict to Postfix - "postfix is much easier to understand, configure and troubleshoot" - so no reference to Sendmail!!! OK, I agree with you - but can you give a half-page reference list to Sendmail choices?