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on 9 September 2002
This book doesn't spend much time covering things like X and window managers that you would use on a desktop system, because this book isn't targetted at people installing a system for desktop use. It's most definately aimed at people who want a system to do 'real work'!
That's not to say it's full of impenetrable language aimed at IT professionals only, it's not. It's a very readable guide to using the excellent FreeBSD OS as a server. There's plenty of information, and Lucas covers a LOT of ground and gives a really good impression of what you can achieve.
The book starts by showing you how to install and configure FreeBSD. And then moves through sections such as configuring a kernel, setting up networking, security, dns, www servers, ftp servers, raid systems and more..Recommened!
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This has been my BSD bible for a couple of years. Free BSD 5 has now been superseded but this book is packed with useful information conveyed in a fun and interesting way. If you have some Linux experience and want a look at Free BSD I can't recommend it more. Free BSD may not have some of the Linux Glitz but it is a great workhorse and this book shows you how to get in the saddle.
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on 19 December 2003
1. The book does not start from scratch, but assumes some basic knowledge of unix system. It does not explain things as what a shell is and what the 'cd' command does. This is a plus as I see it.
2. Michael Lucas writes with an enthusiastic voice. The text is 'catchy' and easy to follow.
3. The book is, to a certain extent, oriented towards _explaining_concepts_ rather than oriented towards _tasks_. There is little of "How to configure XY: Click there, write this, press that, write that". The book leans more in the direction of giving the reader an understanding of how things work. This very important for me as I want to understand how things work rather than mechanically be able to perform specific tasks.
4. The book targets the 4-branch, but most of the topics explored in the book have seen few important changes. I consider the book to also be relevant for the 5-branch.
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