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The Book of PF: A No-Nonsense Guide to the OpenBSD Firewall and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

The Book of PF: A No-Nonsense Guide to the OpenBSD Firewall 3rd Edition

8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1593275891
ISBN-10: 1593275897
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The Book of PF: A No-Nonsense Guide to the OpenBSD Firewall + Absolute OpenBSD: Unix for the Practical Paranoid + SSH Mastery: OpenSSH, PuTTY, Tunnels and Keys
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Peter N. M. Hansteen is a consultant, writer, and sysadmin based in Bergen, Norway. A longtime Freenix advocate, Hansteen is a frequent lecturer on OpenBSD and FreeBSD topics, an occasional contributor to BSD Magazine, and the author of an often-slashdotted blog (http://bsdly.blogspot.com/). Hansteen was a participant in the original RFC 1149 implementation team. The Book of PF is an expanded follow-up to his very popular online PF tutorial (http://home.nuug.no/~peter/pf/).

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press; 3 edition (October 18, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593275897
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593275891
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 6.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #375,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael W Lucas on November 19, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Third edition, huh? So how does this stack up?

Let’s get the obvious out of the way. All three editions have yellow covers, but the first edition had blue trim; the second edition, pumpkin; the third, a kind of fern green.

Once you open the cover, you find that the third edition works much like the earlier editions, starting with a simple packet filter setup and building upon it. Building upon success is perhaps the best education technique, and it fits the topic quite well.

Structurally, BoPF3 is very similar to the earlier editions. CARP and redundancy now gets its own chapter, which is a welcome addition.

The real meat of this book is in the examples, tutorials, and explanations. PF has changed since the second edition, notably with more flexible traffic management and some syntax changes. Not all BSDs have remained synchronized with OpenBSD’s PF, so he has the unenviable job of documenting the differences between OpenBSD, NetBSD, and FreeBSD. He’s done an excellent job of this by combining information where appropriate, but breaking out some topics by operating system. For example, if a topic needs a sysctl, he lists them for each operating system. When a topic requires more in-depth explanation, such as traffic prioritization, he breaks out OpenBSD’s new priority system into one section and FreeBSD/NetBSD’s older altq prioritization scheme in another. This makes it very easy to find what you’re looking for. This book teaches you how to use PF to filter packets just as well as a million dollar appliance, with more insight and control.

One impressive thing is that this book is very clear.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ameer on February 16, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you find yourself suddenly managing an OpenBSD-based firewall (i.e. PF) , THIS IS the book that you want to have at your desk and in your backpack.
If you want to give OpenBSD's PF a try for your home lab or work network, I would definitely recommend this book to you.
For the past few years, I have been managing a good-size network protected by a couple CARP-ed OpenBSD servers and this book (and it's 2nd edition) have helped me a great deal. Peter Hansteen knows what he is talking about. I recommend watching this interview with him on BSD Now:
http://www.jupiterbroadcasting.com/56402/puffy-firewall-bsd-now-35/

Also, I highly recommend getting Michael W Lucas's book "Absolute OpenBSD" http://www.amazon.com/Absolute-OpenBSD-Unix-Practical-Paranoid/dp/1593274769/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1424148306&sr=1-1&keywords=absolute+openbsd

Peter Hansteen and Michael W Lucas are two fine sysadmins who also happen to be great writers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Brower on February 1, 2015
Format: Paperback
Though this is the 3rd edition, this is the first time I have picked up this book. As a proponent of the *BSDs, I appreciate have good quality material like this book available to overview and then get down into the mechanics of key subsystems, like PF.

I appreciated the clear, concise writing, as well as the multitude of real world examples.

One of the key chapters for me was Chapter 6: Turning the Tables for Proactive Defense. Peter goes in-depth into how PF elegantly handles issues like SSH bruteforcing, as well as how PF handles spam with stuttering, blacklisting and greylisting.

Highly recommended for someone that is interested in working with PF, or is already administrating PF, but looking for some extra help in certain areas.
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Format: Paperback
The Book of PF is a necessity to have on hand for general OpenBSD consulting. This is the 3rd edition, so is more current, ergo, you need this one.

OpenBSD is the open source operating system that offers you the greatest chance to secure your network. About 1/2 of that capability in the BSD architecture overall and most of the rest is PF. PF is the packet filter/router/address translator that has evolved ongoing with OpenBSD.

OpenBSD is copiously documented for the expert but very few tutorial guides exist aside from scattered examples in the OpenBSD FAQ. Many admins who hope to surge in OpenBSD get swatted down asking trite questions on the mailing list ("Did you search to mail archives?"). If you want to find extended explanations with examples all in one place, at least for this critical component of the OpenBSD security model, you simply have to have this book.

The book covers OpenBSD networking copiously and is also especially helpful if you are dealing with wireless networks and VPNs.

Disclosure: I have used OpenBSD since 2.5 and still consult on OpenBSD. I was gifted with a review copy of the book by No Starch Press but not otherwise compensated for this review.
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