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The Complete FreeBSD Paperback – June, 1999

4.3 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Paperback, June, 1999
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Editorial Reviews


"Naturally, such a long-standing and mature OS requires an equally long-standing and mature book to cover its workings, and FreeBSD fans are blessed to have The Complete FreeBSD, by Greg Lehey." - Paul Hudson, Linux Format, October 2003 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Greg Lehey is an independent computer consultant specializing in UNIX. Born in Australia, he was educated in Malaysia and England before studying chemistry in Germany and chemical engineering in England. He has spent his professional career in Germany, where he worked for computer manufacturers such as Univac and Tandem, the German space research agency, nameless software houses, and a large user before deciding to work for himself. In the course of over 20 years in the industry he has performed most jobs you can think of, ranging from kernel support to product marketing, systems programming to operating, processing satellite data to programming gasoline pumps. About the only thing he hasn't done is write commercial software. He is currently engaged in the production of CD-ROMs of ported free software, and this book is one result of his experience in this area. He is available for short-term contracts and can be reached by mail at grog@lemis.de.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 773 pages
  • Publisher: Walnut Creek CDROM; CD ROM edition (June 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1571762469
  • ISBN-13: 978-1571762467
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.2 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,894,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on November 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
The book is well-written and easy to understand. If you wish to learn the FreeBSD Operating System and start a server, it is well worth the money. You should be up and running in no time. Apart from this, read on.
It is very complete, albeit at a minor cost... some topics are given a few sentences and then glossed over. Now, don't get me wrong. This book is to explain FreeBSD, not those little topics generously thrown in. Therefore, it shouldn't hurt the book's review. Just be aware that you will not learn Unix, X Windows or any of the other addons that can be found in Unix through this book. Obviously, it's not the book's purpose. Its purpose is to teach FreeBSD.
It would have earned five stars, but Chapter 31, Keeping Up To Date (CVS) is uneven and jumpy. This chapter came as a shock when compared to the rest of the book. I think another reviewer shared a similar complaint about it.
On a side note, a reviewer amused me by complimenting the book (giving it five stars) just because of who the author is. I'd rather buy a well-written book by a no-name author than a poorly-written book by a renowned author. It's people like this that trap other people into buying books that aren't helpful. I hope this review helped you. :)
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Format: Paperback
I've read a few FreeBSD books and coming from a background in *nix and *nix-type flavors, I've been let down before. Other books cover maybe a total of 20 commands and nothing you don't know the first day (and don't even have as much information as the man pages), but this one is different.
I wasn't on a *BSD system for a couple of years of mainly using Linux, and I wanted a refresher and for the book to cover new and familiar topics. Useful things, rather than just listing the popular software used on it and not the things you need to know about them, etc.
This book covers more than the others in regards to commands, common tasks, installs, configurations and so on. It actually covers the TOPIC (Being the FreeBSD OS). Not a quick and dirty run down of a few commands and a lot of fluff like other books. This gives you what you need to know, be it you have some experience or are new.
It doesn't skip around like the other books and only offer maybe a total of one decent chapter on the topic of the book (FreeBSD), it covers many chapters worth. I can't stand when a book only has some information about the title, as much as it does about some irrelevant third party software (and only talks about it as briefly at that).
I don't want or need information about anything other than what the book is about--and finally, a FreeBSD book that covers FreeBSD. I was impressed. It may not cover everything, but it sure gets close and is very professional, well structured and informative.
Between this book, man pages and online (and up to date) documentation, it's unlikely you will need (much) more information about how to install, configure and use FreeBSD, it's tools and programs and work in it daily and have the information you need. Trust me, this book is far better than the others (see my review on "Absolute BSD: The Ultimate Guide to FreeBSD" to see what I mean).
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Format: Paperback
IMHO FreeBSD is the best server Operating System available and this book covers all of the details for both beginners and experienced Unix Admins alike. If you are considering using FreeBSD I strongly urge you to buy this book. The bootable CDs that come with the book make installation a breeze.
One of the truly great features of this book are the man pages that make up about half of the book. The ability to sit on the couch and study a man page for some task or other is simply wonderful and saves the paper that would otherwise be used to print it.
The book covers in step by step fashion the setup of all normally used aspects of the system and covers them in great detail. The section on compiling a custom kernel is simply fantastic and an excellent guide for beginners. Building a custom kernel is a vital part of a fully functioning Unix system and this book makes it as simple as a cookbook.
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Format: Paperback
A good book for those who either need to know where to start to do something under FreeBSD, or those would already know most of what they need to and just need a reminder of something they might be forgetting.
However, the biggest shortcoming of this book is that it leads you into a topic, gets you going, and then drops you right at the point when you need it most.
Example: the book has a chapter on printing. The average home user probably has an inkjet printer, or a low-end laser. The author, though, has a fully PostScript-compatible printer, and goes on to set up printing as if everyone has this printer. No ground is covered for the every-day people, ie how to set up filters to allow PostScript printing to non-PS printers.
Also leaves other areas short, such as updating the operating system. The book has excellent coverage of how to rebuild the kernel, but if you compare the book's steps on how to update the rest of the system (ie using CVS to get from 3.2 to 3.4) with the docs provided with the operating system, or provided on the web (especially at the FreeBSD.org Handbook section) then the author misses a huge chunk of stuff that has the ability to kill a machine (yes, this happened to me but I was lucky enough to catch it before the reboot to let the system come up with the new rev of the OS).
I used the book for about the first two weeks of adding/configuring components, then realised I was getting better information off the web, provided I was willing to take the time to find it.
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