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Essential System Administration: Tools and Techniques for Linux and Unix Administration Paperback – 2 Sep 2002

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Product details

  • Paperback: 1178 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 3 edition (2 Sep 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596003439
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596003432
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 6.4 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 372,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


A true example of what great technical writing can be, and the standard that O'Reilly sets as a publisher. -- Michael Tiemann, Red Hat July 2002

Books bearing O'Reilly's name and trademark cover images almost never fail to live up to the standard of quality this publisher repeatedly strives to reach. -- Kerri-Leigh Grady, CompuNotes, Feb 2003

I'm delighted to say it's already earned a place on my 'most-used' pile. --, October 8, 2002

She didn't just jam the book with dry, technical facts, but included pertinent, humorous, anecdotes that always underscored the topic at hand. -- Matthew Cheek, UnixReview, Nov 28, 2002

This is the definitive guide for system administrators. --, Oct 3, 2002

From the Publisher

Whether you use a standalone Unix system, routinely provide administrative support for a larger shared system, or just want an understanding of basic administrative functions, Essential System Administration is for you. This comprehensive and invaluable book combines the author's years of practical experience with technical expertise to help you manage Unix systems as productively and painlessly as possible.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By bernie TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Oct 2002
Format: Paperback
This book has been recommended for beginners. That is true. You don't have to wade through a bunch of theory to get to the meat of administration.
The same is true for experienced administrators. This book will point you in the direction to go when you are using the real manuals.
Take some time and slowdown to try some of the examples. Then when you need them you will have already mastered that section.
I have several other books now and know a lot of what is in this one. However I would feel naked if this was not reachable.
A complementary book would be Practical Unix and Internet Security
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul Cooper on 21 April 2009
Format: Paperback
There are probably three types of System Administrators out there:

1) Novices
2) Some experience but still lots to learn
3) Experts

This book is aimed primarily at those in category 2 although category 3 administrators will still find it useful at times of stress.
The book is fabulous in terms of both layout and content. It made me feel at ease immediately and I soon started to learn things about commands that I had wondered about for years. Each command is shown with Solaris, HP-UX and Linux variants alongside each other so its not a case of switching between different chapters to compare them.

I must warn you that its a very big book and certainly not pocket side but boy does it look impressive on the desk. Within 1 week of buying it I had several of my colleagues drooling over it (sad or what!).

As I mentioned above its not pocket size and if you need something to carry with you I suggest its baby brother shown via the link below. Its not got all the content (obviously!) but they work well as a team.

Essential System Administration Pocket Reference: Commands and File Formats (Pocket Administrator)

All in all its a very impressive publication and a must have for any Linux/Unix Administrator. Even if you are a novice it may well be worth getting a copy as it will help boost your rate of learning.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ronald D Bayton on 16 Dec 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Big book with much content , Havn't read it all but will keep it for reference and a future reading
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 30 reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Shouldn't Be Your First Book... 7 Feb 2004
By R. Sandridge - Published on
Format: Paperback
Your first book should be "UNIX System Administration Handbook" by Nemeth, Snyder, Seebass, & Hein. I always turn to that book first. I am not sure I would buy Frisch's "Essential System Administration" again. Definitly try to get it used if you do buy it. Looking in this book is often a last resort, and often if I haven't found the answer in my other two books, then it normally isn't in this one either.
It is a big book, much of which I feel is fluff, but if this was your only book on the topic, you would still be ok. The wording just isn't as clear as I'd prefer.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
THE Unix/Linux Book to Have 23 Jan 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book should be called Indispensable and Complete System Administration. Ok, that's an exaggeration, but not by much. No book will ever be the complete book on Unix or Linux admin, but this one has so much material in it, it will be quite some time before I start looking for material not in the book. Every aspect of System Administration is covered in this book. The material goes into details as necessary, but the author does a good job of not getting bogged down in the details or overwhelming the reader with irrelevant or arcane knowledge that only a handful of people will use. What you will find is broad and thorough coverage of the material in an accessible, easy to read style.
One of the things I appreciate most about this book is the organization. Rather than listing out a bunch of technical information, each chapter deals with a specific task that a sysadmin needs to be able to do, and the information to carry out that task is contained within the chapter, rather than making references to other chapters or appendices, as is common practice.
This is another book that delivers the excellence I've come to expect from O'Reilly.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Great reference, full of examples, for all UNIX/Linux/BSD users 13 Oct 2005
By Tony Abou-Assaleh - Published on
Format: Paperback
At first glance, this book seems like a typical O'Reilly book: a narrow title, rich in material, and is beneficial to a much wider audience than the title reveals. It covers a wide range of system administration subjects and goes way beyond just the essentials.

Over the years, I have administered several multi-user UNIX, Linux, and FreeBSD servers. I believed that I knew the essentials, because if I did not, I would not have been able to do my job all these years. I wanted to see if the things that I learned by experience, often the hard way, are included in "Essential System Administration". Sure enough, they were all there. Not only that, but they are laid out simply, without much unnecessary technical details, and accompanied by numerous examples and anecdotal encounters by the author. If you read one section, you would be able to apply the knowledge and skills that it describes right away. For instance, you don't need to read the entire manual of procmail in order to write some effective mail filters; chapter 9 has a section on "Mail Filtering with procmail" that covers the essentials.

One impressive feature of this book is that it covers how to do things on a variety of operating system including various flavours of UNIX, Linux, and BSD. In the past, I often ran into a situation where I knew how to do something on FreeBSD, but did not know how to accomplish the same task on Solaris. With this book by my side, I will not have this problem again.

Another feature of the book is that it covers a very, VERY, very wide variety of administrative topics: from every day system management, to operating system internals, to various devices, to backing up, to scheduling, to rebuilding the kernel. I am yet to find a task, whether typical or atypical, that is not covered in "Essential System Administration".

But wait, are not most, if not all, of these topics encountered in a user's daily life? Are mail filters limited only to system administrators? Of course not! Many users organize their email by defining personal mail filters. And what about devices? Every user who uses a Linux-based desktop computer goes through the frustration of configuring devices at some point. "Essential System Administration" is really written to be useful for any UNIX/Linux/BSD user, not only system administrators.

On a second thought, any one who owns a computer running UNIX/Linux/BSD is the administrator of one's system. Not only that, but anyone who uses one of these system must still manage their own account and perform tasks such as scheduling tasks, emailing, and printing. "Essential System Administration" was not written for system administrators in the traditional sense -- someone who is paid to administer an expensive system with hundreds or thousands of users -- but for the administrator in the broad sense -- any user who wishes to perform some management tasks on their system.

"Essential System Administration" is an invaluable resource for anyone who wishes to become an expert in system administration, and is a useful resource for users of these systems. I give this book 4.5 out of 5.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A pretty useful book. 11 May 2003
By Tim Greer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is generalized, but in a good way (for once). Instead of a lot of fluff and only touching a little bit on various software and how to do the most basic stripped down installs of things that have little to do with Unix, other than it can "run" on a Unix system, it actually covers a lot of ground. It covers a lot of topics and aspects, like it should be expected. There's parts that could be improved and it's biased towards some platforms over others, but for general knowledge and insight, it can offer a lot.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The New Edition is Great 13 Sep 2002
By "phillguy" - Published on
Format: Paperback
Well, it was a long wait, but the new third edition is great. Covers a couple of Linux distro's, FreeBSD, and your standard Unix platforms. More complete coverage of networking and security. More readable than the previous edition. Good for anyone with minimal Unix experience or those who have worked with it for years.
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