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Unix Unleashed (4th Edition) 4th Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 075-2063322512
ISBN-10: 067232251X
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Using Solaris 8 and Linux 7.1 as their reference flavors, Robin Anderson and Andy Johnston (as well as a slew of contributors) show how to be a system administrator--and get all sorts of other work done--in the fourth edition of Unix Unleashed. Significantly different from its predecessors, this book stays generally clear of very basic matters, as well as subjects of interest primarily to software developers. The middle ground that's left--and there is a lot of it, as this book spans more than 1,100 mostly unillustrated pages--is the knowledge that a system administrator needs. Since lots of the people who work with Unix are administrators (either of databases, Internet sites, or some other kind of back-end resource), the shift in focus makes sense.

The authors employ a style that's nicely suited to the personality of administrators, as well as their job. To satisfy the "job" side of the equation, there are "best practices" sections that recommend how to configure various pieces of the system. For the "personality" side, there's rather a lot of explanatory material to explain why the best practices are what they are, and why they're not without flaw. There's very little step-by-step guidance in these pages. The authors instead prefer to use prose to explain solid thought processes: "This is what we want to accomplish (say, harden a system before it's connected to the network), here are the issues associated with that goal (known openings in default configurations, known techniques that attackers use, and so on), and here are the tools and procedures recommended for combating those problems." It's an excellent approach for administrators who approach their jobs as engineering problems. --David Wall

Topics covered: How to be a Unix system administrator with deep knowledge of all of your machine's critical subsystems. Sections deal with configuring, defending, and performance-optimizing mail services, Web services, authentication, printing, and applications. There is, unfortunately, not enough information on firewalls.

From the Back Cover

The fourth edition of 'Unix Unleashed' will take a different tack from previous editions and other Unix books:It is readable as though it is a series of lectures on individual topics from Unix Wizards. This different approach will take the reader through the following topics:
* Basic operation of the system and system administration in its simplest form: managing users and disks, starting up and shutting down the system, authenticating user connections, and administering the X Window System.


* Common subsystems - the typical day-to-day tasks of system administration: sharing files, providing basic web services, printing, e-mail, and backing up the system.


* The Unix toolset to make system administration more reliable and more powerful, and to administer more complex and important systems running on top of Unix.


* System administration as a profession: much work needs to be done not to do the job in a purely technical sense but in a practical, real-world sense.

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Product Details

  • Series: Unleashed
  • Paperback: 1200 pages
  • Publisher: Sams; 4 edition (December 27, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067232251X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0672322518
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 2.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,748,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Stephen Northcutt on June 26, 2003
I wonder how many people will buy this book since most Unix people are pretty certain they already know everything! I am guilty of that myself, I was modifying kernal code on ATT SYS V r 2 back in 1984, so I confess to being pretty skeptical about Unix Unleashed, but I must applaud the authors, this is a wealth of knowledge. And when I finished reading the book, I was glad I invested the time, it was a humbling reminder that just because I can spell "su", that doesn't mean I know everything about Unix.
The writing is very clear, think of the book as the polar opposite of a man page. They use charts, illustrations and other devices to convey difficult ideas. The book has been laid out well and that is critically important when you weigh in with over 1,100 pages. There are only a few pages in the entire work that don't have a subsection heading.
This is a good book and quite servicable as it is, I think it could even be used as a text in a semester long college course on Unix. When this goes to 5th edition I would recommend losing about 100 pages and not try to cover things like Snort, it is better to do one thing well and the Unix coverage is excellent. I would also like to see a bit more effort in meeting the promise of the title in the Towards Better Sysadmin section of the book, this is such an important topic and Andy and Robin clearly have the knowledge, experience and writing ability to help us in our journey to be better system administrators.
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This specifically covers all the necessary but not easily found tips which are useful to SysAdmins (and personal users) of these two most popular versions of Unix. This book has now become my #1 choice of the ONE unix book to buy! Look at the TOC: it's very complete topic coverage! I'd even say it replaces the classic "Running Linux" Ora book for content breadth.
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All perfect, but there r too many words I can't understand at first sight(not technically) , such as "gotchas" ¡°weired... etc. ...
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