Book review: Linux Server Security, 2nd Edition

Securing Linux server from intruders is a big challenge especially if you are new to world of Linux (read as new Linux sys admin). Linux is rapidly gaining popularity in an enterprise-computing environment. Its market share of is rapidly growing. The need for security is very high in fast moving IT world. The book Linux Server Security, 2nd Edition by Michael D. Bauer covers general security philosophy, issues faced by the administrator of Linux system, and practical systematic instructions for protecting a server that runs industry strength Linux.

The book is clearly aimed at all new Linux server administrators with little experience or expertise in Linux environment.


Threat Modeling and Risk Management
This chapter explains threat to an enterprise Linux server. It explains risk management cost wise, time wise etc. In short it explains why security needed and how far (read as how much you want to spend on security issues) you need to go is up to you.

Designing Perimeter Networks
Author covers network topologies that isolate your publicly accessible servers from your private systems while still providing those public systems some level of protection. It includes coverage on DMZ & firewall, and related security consideration. However, I think more coverage is needed on firewall and policy issues.

Hardening Linux and Using iptables
It covers system-hardening principles and specific techniques for hardening the Linux. It explains what should be installed, what services need to run, disable services & unnecessary user accounts etc. It has very nice coverage of Bastille hardening system software.

Secure Remote Administration
The real action began from this chapter. It includes coverage of ssh with intermediate & advanced SSH usage.

OpenSSL and Stunnel
This chapter explains basic stuff in OpenSSL, which provides encryption and authentication mechanisms for Apache and many other applications. It covers creating of SSL certification and use of stunnel to protect services.

Securing Domain Name Services (DNS)
DNS is a life line of Internet. All major services such as Apache, Email etc depend upon proper working of DNS server. It covers BIND and djbdns installation and security.

Using LDAP for Authentication
This chapter covers an introduction to LDAP service, setting up the OpenLDAP server for centralized Authentication.

Database Security
This chapter covers MySQL database server configuration and security issues related to MySQL server. However, security coverage is not enough. If database is your business, you had better opt for separate book on MySQL.

Securing Internet Email
Like DNS email is very important service. This chapter covers Sendmail & Postfix MTA and issues related to email security. It also covers Sendmail that support SMTP AUTH and STARTTLS. However, STARTTLS and SMTP AUTH in Postfix are not covered.

Securing Web Servers
This chapter is all about web servers, security related to it and nice coverage of apache security. It also covers security of web application written in Perl and PHP.

Securing File Services

File sharing is one the most important feature of network. This chapter covers FTP security and securing the ProFTPD FTP server. It also cover scp, sftp and rsync for sharing files over secure ssh session.

System Log Management and Monitoring
This chapter is all about securing system logs. It also covers syslog-ng, which is more powerful than the old syslog software. It also discuses the techniques related to log monitoring including swatch and offline log-reporting tools.

Simple Intrusion Detection Techniques
It explains principles of intrusion detection systems and related concepts. It covers tripwire and snort IDS.

The book is Suse/Red Hat specific. The book will serve as an essential guide for all new Linux server administrators (experienced system administrator will not find much stuff here). I recommend this book because of its simplicity and clear cut step by step instructions.


  • Book title: Linux Server Security, 2nd Edition
  • Author: Michael D. Bauer
  • Publisher: O’Reilly
  • Pub Date: January 2005
  • ISBN: 0-596-00670-5
  • Pages: 542
  • Level of experience needed: Linux Beginners (noobs)
  • Who will find useful: Linux sys admins
  • Additional goodies included (such as CDROM) : No
  • Sample chapters: Chapter 12: System Log Management and Monitoring (PDF)
  • Our rating: ****+ (4/5)
  • Purchase online at Amazon
[ * Poor | ** Average | *** Fine | **** Must have ]
🐧 Get the latest tutorials on Linux, Open Source & DevOps via RSS feed or Weekly email newsletter.

🐧 1 comment so far... add one
CategoryList of Unix and Linux commands
Disk space analyzersncdu pydf
File Managementcat
FirewallAlpine Awall CentOS 8 OpenSUSE RHEL 8 Ubuntu 16.04 Ubuntu 18.04 Ubuntu 20.04
Network UtilitiesNetHogs dig host ip nmap
OpenVPNCentOS 7 CentOS 8 Debian 10 Debian 8/9 Ubuntu 18.04 Ubuntu 20.04
Package Managerapk apt
Processes Managementbg chroot cron disown fg jobs killall kill pidof pstree pwdx time
Searchinggrep whereis which
User Informationgroups id lastcomm last lid/libuser-lid logname members users whoami who w
WireGuard VPNAlpine CentOS 8 Debian 10 Firewall Ubuntu 20.04
1 comment… add one
  • Marisa Gunther Jun 28, 2013 @ 15:52

    Excellent article, thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Use HTML <pre>...</pre> for code samples. Still have questions? Post it on our forum