Aeleen Frisch: Essential System Administration
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JPOC Rating
Eight out of ten.

A book that will live on your desk.

You can buy this essential book from

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My Review

If you are performing any level of system administration on any varient of Unix then this is a great book to have on your desk. It covers just about all aspects of system administration necessary for small to medium systems and networks.

Each topic is dealt with first by an approachable description of what is going on, a discussion of the differences between different systems and some examples of commands or configuration files together with a discussion of what each example is doing and how it does it. It really is an easy way to work out what you need to do on your own system.

The structure works equally well as an aide memoir or as a tutorial to a new topic and this is backed up by an effective index which seems to guide me to the right part of the book much more reliably than is the case in many computing texts.

Although the book, even in its second edition, is now several years old, it is still relevant. The basics if the task do not change and, even if the task in hand has changed a little, reading and understanding the section in the book will leave you well placed to sort out minor variations which is not something that you would get from just plugging away at the man pages.

The main thing that is missing as a result of this is coverage of completely new material, don't expect to find anything about IPv6 or running a webserver for example. That is not such a big problem though as if you are dealing with these issues, you will almost certainly need books on those subjects as well as a general admin book.

For me, it is simple, this is a book that lives on my desk and not on my bookshelf. It helps me out with my mixed network of Linux, Solaris, SunOS and FreeBSD.