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Customer Review

24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nobody comes close. The 2nd Edition is THE book to read., May 28, 2001
This review is from: Linux Administration: A Beginner's Guide (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!
If you're new to Linux, and not the sort who buys "Dummies" books, definitely read LA:ABG, 2nd edition. It is the best introductory Linux book I've read, and is strong enough to satisfy novices and intermediate-level users.
(Disclaimer: I received my review copy free from the publisher.)
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