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Unix System Administration Handbook Paperback – 29 Aug 2000

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 896 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 3 edition (Sept. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0130206016
  • ISBN-13: 978-0130206015
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 3.1 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 879,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Amazon Review

In the five years since the last version of the Unix System Administration Handbook Linux has changed the Unix world. The previous version discussed six commercial unices. This one has two commercial unicies--Solaris and HP-UX--along with two free ones--Linux and FreeBSD. It looks like a trend.

This information dense book is a surprising mixture of arcane fact and weird humour--with emphasis on the former. The dense facts are leavened by extensive references to the authors' personal experiences with Unix. This hands on knowledge leavens a fairly dry text with interesting anecdote and occasionally breaks into proselytising. For example, when discussing the automount utility in RedHat Linux the authors can barely bring themselves to mention it before telling us how much better amd is--for four pages.

It's interesting that though X-Windows gets a few mentions the desktop environments--such as Gnome and KDE--that run on it get none at all. Clearly real men still don't use graphical interfaces.

This is a working book. It's aimed at those who have to make the system work and keep it working. There's a great deal of emphasis on troubleshooting, and the utilities capable of providing the system information you need to do it. No configuration file goes unmentioned. The authors also emphasise the commercial realities a sysadmin must acknowledge.

Over the last five years there has been an explosion of books on Unix, and especially Linux. Many of these are referenced in the text. But if you need a practical guide to system administration on Unix systems the Unix System Administration Handbook is hard to beat. --Steve Patient

From the Publisher

Summary and contents
This classic, best-selling guide to Unix system administration combines theory with practical application to explore Solaris, HP-UX, Free BSD, and significant coverage of Linux. Professional insight from those in the field helps make this in-depth treatment an indispensable tutorial.

NEW-Updated information throughout.

Provides students with a depth and breadth of material not found in other texts.

NEW—Expanded coverage of Linux.

Learn to administer Redhat Linux, the most widely used version of this open source operating system.

NEW—Revised material on TCP/IP and DNS configuration.

Provides a "crash course" on routing. Detailed coverage of server maintenance. Demonstrates how to configure the kernel on HP-UX, Solaris, Redhat Linux and Berkeley Unix as well as how to configure and manage send-email.


Where to Start. Booting and Shutting Down. Rootly Powers. Controlling Processes. The Filesystem. Adding New Users. Serial Devices. Adding a Disk. Periodic Processes. Backups. Syslog and Log Files. Devices and the Kernel. TCP/IP and the Internet. Routing. Network Hardware. The Domain Name System. The Network File System. Sharing System Files. Electronic Mail. Network Management. Security. Servers and Internet Hosting. Printing. Hardware Maintenance. Performing Analysis. Cooperating with Windows. Daemons. Policy and Politics.

© 2001,

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
There are people in the industry who won't take a UNIX admin seriously if they've not even heard of this book, commonly known as The Purple Book. It is a fantastic book on how UNIX admin should be done, written by people with very strong views on what is The Right Way to do things. They've written it in such a way that it is a very readable book. Something you can take on the tube in the morning and actually get funny looks because you'll find yourself sniggering out loud.
Covering most flavours of UNIX, with sections detailing the differences between them for each subject, it goes through most of the issues a UNIX admin needs to think about and understand. If you admin, or support UNIX systems in any way, it is an invaluable reference to have and should probably be read, cover to cover, at least once.
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Format: Paperback
This book has a lot to live up to. Previous editions are almost standard items on sys-admins' shelves. How does this measure up?
It remains a trove on information. Its contents have been updated (Usenet news is far less important, so coverage has contracted, for example.)
Its coverage of security is more thorough, and web serving (very important these days) gets a lot more coverage.
And it has lost the CDROM. How big a loss? In poorer countries, probably considerable. But with the number of security problems found, I wouldn't be happy with old software. Go download the stuff. And get the secure versions. Would you want an old version of SUDO?
BTW, looking back over the 2ed at the weekend, everywhere I looked, they mentioned The world has changed since then.
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Format: Paperback
I agree somewhat with that if you have the 2nd ed maybe not worth it. For me the best thing about the book is that I can administer my Linix machine (book's fine for SuSE) and at the same time learn how to do the same task on Solaris or HP-UX - or at least know that the same task is done differently on those platforms.
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Format: Paperback
OK, 2nd ed was a classic. It's the only non-O'Reilly book universally posessed by all sysadmins I know. Is 3rd ed as good? If you deal with legacy systems, 2nd Ed deals with them more closely, since it covers Solaris, HP-UK, IRIX, OSF/1, and BSDI, while 3rd Ed deals only with Red Hat Linux, Solaris, HP-UX and FreeBSD. Also, 2nd ed is cheaper, and comes with a CD-ROM. If you don't have 2nd ed, I'd recommend getting that instead. If you already have 2nd Ed, is 3rd Ed worth getting? Well, yes. I think so. But remember, it has no CD-ROM, it costs a bomb, and it's repeating much of what you already have. If you're a sysadmin, it's your job - grin and bear it, buy the book, and enjoy the updated info on OSes, NIS, NFS, etc. Bottom line: 2nd ed gave you a lot more bang for your buck.
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