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Linux Cookbook [Paperback]

Carla Schroder
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: £32.50
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Book Description

9 Dec 2004

This unique and valuable collection of tips, tools, and scripts provides clear, concise, hands-on solutions that can be applied to the challenges facing anyone running a network of Linux servers from small networks to large data centers in the practical and popular problem-solution-discussion O'Reilly cookbook format.The Linux Cookbook covers everything you'd expect: backups, new users, and the like. But it also covers the non-obvious information that is often ignored in other books the time-sinks and headaches that are a real part of an administrator's job, such as: dealing with odd kinds of devices that Linux historically hasn't supported well, building multi-boot systems, and handling things like video and audio.The knowledge needed to install, deploy, and maintain Linux is not easily found, and no Linux distribution gets it just right. Scattered information can be found in a pile of man pages, texinfo files, and source code comments, but the best source of information is the experts themselves who built up a working knowledge of managing Linux systems. This cookbook's proven techniques distill years of hard-won experience into practical cut-and-paste solutions to everyday Linux dilemmas.Use just one recipe from this varied collection of real-world solutions, and the hours of tedious trial-and-error saved will more than pay for the cost of the book. But those who prefer to learn hands-on will find that this cookbook not only solves immediate problems quickly, it also cuts right to the chase pointing out potential pitfalls and illustrating tested practices that can be applied to a myriad of other situations.Whether you're responsible for a small Linux system, a huge corporate system, or a mixed Linux/Windows/MacOS network, you'll find valuable, to-the-point, practical recipes for dealing with Linux systems everyday. The Linux Cookbook is more than a time-saver; it's a sanity saver.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 584 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (9 Dec 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596006403
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596006402
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 18 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 710,495 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Book Description

Practical Advice for Linux System Administrators

From the Publisher

Linux information can be found scattered in man pages, texinfo files, and source code comments, but the best source is the experts who have built up a working knowledge of managing Linux systems. The Linux Cookbook's tested techniques distill years of hard-won experience into practical cut-and-paste solutions to everyday Linux dilemmas. Use just one recipe from this collection of real-world solutions, and the hours of tedious trial-and-error saved will more than pay for the cost of the book. It's more than a time-saver; it's a sanity saver.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Straight forward information 25 Jan 2005
I have been waiting for a book like this for some time. Whilst not quite a Linux newbie, there is a lot I still have to learn and wish to find out about. I already have a reasonable library of books, but they tend to be of the "complete" series types, which have the information but it takes some time to find. On the other hand, the Linux Cookbook has it all there, all well laid out and properly explained. And its not just for the everyday Linux admin type jobs, there are some in-depth subjects covered. The 'recipe' and the jaunty have-a-go style for me is a real winner. Carla is obviously very enthusiastic about Linux, and this comes across in all the recipes. Well worth the money, highly recommended, this book is always on my desk.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than a library of RedHat & Suse manuals 22 Feb 2005
This book just tells you how to do the tasks poorly explained elsewhere. I messed around with YAST for 2 days trying to setup postfix - Courier IMAP. This book had it going in less than an hour (because I type slowly). It's got useful stuff on topics like RPM and YUM which are just not documented this well elsewhere, and anyone who would use Debian if only they knew more, this is the answer too. If you've never quite had the courage to compile and install from source, it's here, and because all the other things from this book work, you'll finally have the courage to do it.
This book is the pinnacle of O'Reilly's skill at publishing "just damn useful books".
PS Thanks to Dawn Marie for giving Carla the time to write this book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable Introductory Text 5 July 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
To be honest I expected this book (given the title) to be a bit more like the standard "Unix Power Tools" type of thing so I was a little surprised at the contents. I work with Linux everyday its the standard desktop environment in the company were I work. There is some excellent reference material here. But:

The writing style is clearly aimed at beginners. However,
I find it a curious mix of beginners' topics and Systems Administration material. It may be the ideal manual for someone just starting in a company were Unix/Linux based systems are the default development /deployment and testing environments. It may not get you to advanced-super-guru status but it would be a reasonable introduction.

There's less here for the user of a personal Linux system. A substantial amount of the material is never likely to be useful at home except to the most serious of hobbyists or perhaps comp-sci students. I'd advise all those considering the purchase of a Linux reference to examine the Table of Contents thoroughly.

From a professional point of view I found the material simplistic but generally clear. It's enough to get you up and running in areas were you have little or no experience. It's a useful, but by no means complete reference.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for command-line administration 10 July 2005
By Elizabeth Krumbach - Published on
First off, this book focuses on RPM-based and Debian-based distributions. This doesnt, by any means, make it useless for those that don't, but some of the "recipes" are specific to either of these.

I am not even sure where to begin with my praise of this book, it's got over a dozen sticky notes marking key sections that I find useful. I guess I can start by saying that the author is deeply involved with doing system administration via the command line, which is fantastic news for me! There are plenty of decent GUI tools out there, but when x dies and you're stuck at a command line, using them isn't an option. I feel that if you don't have the knowledge to fix things yourself, at least have a book by your side that offers you some tips, and that is what this book is for. And some people just prefer doing administration via the command line all the time, myself included.

The time I most often pull out this book, however, is not when I run into a problem, but when I'm setting up a new system. I don't reinstall often, but when I do there are little things that I often forget how to do, since I do them so infrequently. Things like setting up ssh keys, setting up users and groups, setting up NTP, setting up new fstab.

I also found this book useful when I wanted a quick and clean explaination of different filesystems and more information about command line options for CD burning. Also I got some good ideas for backups and local file transfer methods from the chapter on Backup and Recover.

Best of all, this book contains a great chapter on kernels. So many books and online how-tos I've seen give you the steps of compiling a kernel, but don't explain what is going on. This always left me feeling like I had no clue what I was doing, and if there was an error I'd have no idea where I'd begin fixing it, since I didn't really know what "make mrproper," for instance, means (side note, she even quickly explains "according to Linux lore" the reasoning behind the name Mr. Proper, a delightful bit of trivia). Now that I've read this chapter on kernels I'm much more comfortable recompiling and customizing my own. She also talks about patching a kernel, which is something I had trouble with for a while, since so much documentation I found and people I asked said "just use patch" which meant nothing to me.

An excellent book for the linux user who wants to move away from the GUI and learn more about core, command-line administration. I love it.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Numerous tips on direct command line usage 16 Jan 2005
By W Boudville - Published on
Perhaps the most surprising thing about this book is that it wasn't published prior to December 2004. Linux has been popular enough in recent years that the book would have been useful earlier. But given that it has just appeared, Schroder has a very up to date coverage of linux tips.

Take for example the chapter on CD and DVD recording or copying. All sorts of guidance on using DVDs for data or audio. Linux has powerful but obscure commands for these tasks. But they are run at the command line. Often with many input arguments. Not the easiest of things for someone to remember. Linux lacks a nice UI to take some of this burden off you.

Some of you should check out the chapter on Knoppix. There is an allure about making a bootable version of linux on a CD or DVD that you can then run on an arbitrary Intel or AMD machine.

The chapter on managing spam has a very limited discussion on using a blacklist. It talks about how it's used to block incoming messages from addresses on the list. No mention about using the list against domains from hyperlinks in the message body.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good choice for command-line Linux admins... 2 April 2005
By Thomas Duff - Published on
If you're a Linux admin/guru who loves the command line, you'll probably really like Linux Cookbook by Carla Schroder (O'Reilly)...

Chapter List: Finding Documentation; Installing and Managing Software on RPM-Based Systems; Installing and Managing Software on Debian-Based Systems; Installing Programs from Source Code; Discovering Hardware from Outside the Box; Editing Text Files with JOE and Vim; Starting and Stopping Linux; Managing Users and Groups; Managing Files and Partitions; Patching, Customizing, and Upgrading Kernels; CD and DVD Recording; Managing the Bootloader and Multi-Booting; System Rescue and Recovery with Knoppix; Printing and CUPS; Configuring Video and Managing X Windows; Backup and Recovery; Remote Access; Version Control; Keeping Time with NTP; Building a Postfix Mail Server; Managing Spam and Malware; Running an Apache Web Server; File and Printer Sharing, and Domain Authentication with Samba; Managing Name Resolution; Finding Linux Documentation; On-line References; Microsoft File Types; Init Script for CVSD; Index

The standard "Cookbook" format has a problem (such as "Installing YUM"), a solution, a discussion of the problem and solution, as well as additional reference material (either other cookbook items or external sources). The focus is less on theory and more on practicality. The author wants to help you learn to do something without necessarily understanding every little nuance or subtle effect. Because one of the primary target audiences is Linux administrators, there's a strong emphasis on command line techniques. For instance, there's a "recipe" for password-protecting LILO. All the things you do involve entering command line statements at prompts.

This wouldn't be the type of book you'd buy if you're looking for things you can do from the KDE or GNOME desktop environment. You'd walk away with very little, if any, value. But if you're an administrator who wants to tap into the full power of the command line server interface, this will be an interesting book for you...
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy two copies and lend one to your friends 6 July 2005
By Boulder Patterns Group - Published on
Linux Cookbook by Carla Schroder (O'Reilly)

I have already lost my copy of this excellent book to my coworkers. This is another great entry to O'Reilly's "Cookbook" series. I have been running and administering Linux for 10 years and I didn't expect too much from this book. I was wrong. It is packed full of useful recipes that are the kind of thing I can never remember and spend ages digging out of documentation when I need them. Two of my favourites so far are how to use Grub to boot your machine when you have toasted your Master Boot Record, and a script to create a "phantom rpm package" that reflects all those libraries on your system that you have compiled and installed from source so that RPM knows about them.

The author has clearly had to make some hard decisions about what information to include in here and she has done a great job. The recipes cover the full spectrum of common administrative tasks that have details which are hard to remember. They include tasks such as configuring Samba, Apache, NTP, DNS, printing, mail servers, backups, and user accounts. There is information on installing software for both Debian and RPM based systems, and on rebuilding the kernel and how to patch it. The list goes on; you'll just have to read the book.

In short, there are lots of great tips in here that are easy to find and use. Keep this book at hand for all those times when you are asking yourself, "now how do I ... ?"
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It was perfect to get me moving on LINUX 10 Aug 2005
By Guilherme Rocha - Published on
I wanted to become more experienced with UNIX so I had the Ubuntu distribution installed in my computer. I spent six months having a hard time getting simple things done until I came accross this book.

It is organized in such a way that it is easy to get to do what you want/need and, what's better, the explanations provided give you insights on how UNIX works. After a while, you will find yourself doing new stuff on your own.

If you want to get into UNIX but knows little about it my advice for you is: get this book and jump into LINUX - it is worth it!
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