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Unix Unleashed (4th Edition) by Andy…
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Unix Unleashed (4th Edition)

by Andy Johnston

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 067232251X, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:21 -0400)

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