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Pro Linux System Administration (Expert's Voice in Open Source) Paperback – 24 Jun 2009

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 13 reviews
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
mixed bag of choices, "pro" - maybe ? maybe not.. you decide 26 Jun. 2009
By Konstantin Kondakov - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I always liked "Apress" books and keep purchasing them side by side with O'Reilly titles. Most "Apress" books and authors give very "in the trenches" and "gotcha" oriented approach, while O'Reilly seems very dry . Well, here we have 1053 page volume that is trying to cover most issues and applications that any Linux sysadmin will come across. Plenty of advise, plenty of "do that", "do not do this" options. However, I gave it only 3 (three) stars - here is why:

1) A lot of "entry level" stuff that takes at least 15%-20% of the book. You just do not call the book "Pro" and show "grep localhost /etc/*" on page 97. All previous pages are written about history of Linux, why you need a Linux server, blah-blah - that can be easily skipped. Just randomly opened a page .. page 358 - how to use "df -h" command and what it does. What a revelation! IMHO, a book called "pro" need to spend a lot of time dealing with nitty -gritty stuff - like building HA systems, integration of Spamassassin+postfix+clamav, integration of SVN+Wiki+Bugzilla+Apache - we have built a similar system here, but I would love to read more from authors who know how to architect a scalable solution for 200+ servers. That would be "Pro"

2) The second drawback is very selective choice of applications at hand. I know that Puppet, for example, is an excellent package and has plenty of features - but would you mention at least Cfengine that been long enough and has a huge installation base?! Give a half of page explaining pros/cons Cfengine vs Puppet - and explain your choice for Puppet (Chapter 19) - yet give people an option to explore Cfengine. Or Chapter 10 gives a verdict to Postfix - "postfix is much easier to understand, configure and troubleshoot" - so no reference to Sendmail!!! OK, I agree with you - but can you give a half-page reference list to Sendmail choices?
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Contains Linux system administration advice and recipes. 26 Sept. 2009
By WM - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have found this book useful, being a Windows admin who doesn't drop into a Linux terminal session very often. The book contains the usual man pages, "history of Linux", etc. The real reason to purchase it is the included advice and recipes. Every chapter that I have read has a real "I've done this many times" feeling to it. I have yet to find a technical mistake in the information that I have gotten from this book (I can't say that about most websites).

This book is not a complete reference to the most popular utilities or the newest distributions. It falls short of a complete Linux reference due to the fact that the authors seem to only discuss tools that they have personal experience with. This book also won't teach you how to become a top-notch Linux System Administrator. What it will do, is quickly point a non-Linux system administrator in a possible direction when they need to make configuration changes. I have also found that this no-batteries-or-Internet-required reference comes in handy when working on Linux machines in remote locations.

A Windows or Mac system admin may find this book a welcome addition to their technical library. A Linux system admin may want to look elsewhere.
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
I agree with my fellow reviewers, but I does deserve 4 stars 18 Oct. 2009
By J. I. Doumet - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Turnbull, Lieverdink & Matotek should do a public service to PRO Linux Administrators and possibly drop the Pro from their Pro Linux System Administration book. For once I totally agree with all the other reviewers (never mind there are only two) of this book in the fact that this is NOT an advanced server title. That is about the only serious complaint I have since accidentally enough since I am not anywhere close to being a seasonal Linux user, much less a PRO.
Now lets suppose I managed to liquid-paper those three words from the cover: I have got the BEST RH/Ubuntu_LTS beginners administration and setup book available; do mind that before purchasing this title. By the way, those are the only two flavors of Linux Server covered in the book which is very fine to me: One paid one free.
In my case I did my homework while looking to replace my previous Linux books: Red Hat Bible and Amazon's bestselling Linux Server book (titles and authors intentionally incomplete.) I have read both of them AND 80% of this one so far.
What I am surprised about is the fact that I did not know there was a student course in Linux book writing, complete with a very strict TOC and Topic coverage. I have come to believe that ALL THE authors of Linux books, at least those available at my local book store, did attend. If you read most Linux Server books or at least browse through their TOC-even regular Linux flavor titles-they cover THE SAME TOPICS: Firewalls, DHCP/DNS/Apache, Networks, SSH, OpenLDAP, etc. I spent a couple of afternoons flipping through pages of these titles and I was very surprised that the topics were not really similiar; THEY WERE THE SAME. My question at that point was: Is there any difference in the book you buy besides the amount of coverage to each topic?
Then I found this book which is not at first sight much more different than the rest. But what sets this title apart is the fact that apparently Mr. Turnbull & company did go to my imaginary Linux Book Writting 101 crash course, but decided to attend some advance courses as well. I found that, at least in the relevant chapters, this book goes the extra mile and provides some fairly interesting material related to it. Chapters like MySql/Ldap/Apache/Mail servers, among others provide interesting examples and sometimes complete follow through of real life applications you can use. The book finally hits a nail in this 'plus' thing with a complete chapter on a collaborative Open Source suite (Zimbra) which was the main reason I was setting up Linux in the first place. After a quick look up, there are no other books that cover this and in my limited knowledge open source groupware is very limited.
I ended up with a server that provides local secure IMAP/Groupware/Time Server services all using this book with minimal references to other books or the internet. For a beginner Linux user setting up and even connecting to the box remotely that IS a big deal.
The errors on the book are very scarce (at least in the relevant chapters I used) but by no means is the book perfect. The utility that is supposed to update the free Antivirus engine still has not updated anything (no coverage on how to check this either), the ClamAV file checker for some reason started to work after a couple of days (it was written by Mr. Turnbull himself??), and for God's sake; WHAT IS IT with these Linux authors that cannot EXPLAIN IN SIMPLE WORDS how to setup remote GUI access? Please! Enough with SSH, half the setups in Linux CAN be done via GNOME or other! Me to ALL Linux Authors: INCLUDE A CHAPTER ON VNC SERVER, NOMACHINE, OR ANYTHING that begins with an X and comes free; PLEASE.
I guess references on the internet were more common that I care to recall.
Anyhow very good book, I'll try and revise this review when done with the book, and thanks for reading this review. If you want to set up a box for home/small or even medium size server load, for nothing more than the cost of the box AND this book, this will get you a pat in the back from your users.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Probably the only book on Linux Sys Adm you'll ever need. 29 Sept. 2011
By jo0x09var - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Probably the only book on Linux Sys Adm you'll ever need. Pro Linux System Administration cleared up my bookshelf by making 10 other books on Linux redundant.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Solid 31 Jan. 2014
By Joshy G - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Needed this text for school, it actually turned out to be pretty good and I would recommend for others learning about the topic.
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