Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Review: Linux Administration Handbook


Linux Administration Handbook Second Edition by Evi Nemeth, Garth Snyder and Trent R. Hein

If you, like many readers of LinuxCommand.org, have been tasked with performing system administration on Linux systems, you would do well to get this book. At nearly one thousand pages, this volume covers a wealth of topics vital to anyone using Linux for common IT infrastructure including processes, filesystems, networking, package management, performance monitoring, security, etc., etc.

One aspect of the book I particularly liked was its in-depth treatment of a few specific topics such as TCP/IP, DNS, routing and email. Even users who are not system administrators would find this book useful for gaining an improved understanding of the fundamentals.

While the book focuses on command line administration, it also recognizes the different GUI admin tools available in the popular distributions. The different styles of configuration between various distributions is covered as well, so this book is good if you are confronted with a system that is running a distribution you are not experienced with.

If I were to find one fault in this book (aside from the child-like graphic design which turns off some readers and belies the serious value of the book), it would be that it's uneven in its depth. Some topics have great coverage while others are only lightly touched upon. I'm still looking for a book that covers NFSv4 in any detail for example.

Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.