Linux System Administration is a book for a seasoned Linux or UNIX administrator. The book attempts to describe day-to-day administration, maintenance and advanced issues commonly faced by Linux system administrator. Book covers wild verity of topics.
Both Tom Adelstein and Bill Lubanovic has done an extraordinary work to put together Linux System Administration. Tom is not just a system administrator but a good technical writer.
So what’s unique about this book?
Generally most Linux classes and books cover topics such as user administration, setting up mail and web servers, printers, new hard disk / file system etc. But, very few books or classes deals with scalability and availability issues. The book teaches you how to setup a reverse proxy in front of Apache, setting up a load balancing server, hot backups and running Linux based server 24×7.
The entire book is divided into 11 chapters that cover from practical advice on building everything from SOHO hubs, web servers, and LAN servers to load-balanced clusters and servers consolidated through virtualization.
Chapter 1. Requirements for a Linux System Administrator
The first chapter is all about requirements for a sys admin work and what system managers should know about Linux. To be frank you can skip this chapter.
Chapter 2. Setting Up a Linux Multifunction Server
If you are reading about a Linux sys admin work, you must try the actual configuration and build a server for yourself. Once you build a box you can keep practicing, learning and mastering Linux. You will learn howto deploy Debian Linux box and configure following services:
- A web server (Apache 2.0.x)
- A mail server (Postfix)
- A DNS server (BIND 9)
- An FTP server (ProFTPD)
- Mail delivery agents (POP3/POP3s/IMAP/IMAPs)
- Webalizer for web site statistics
However, setting up a software firewall is not covered via command line. The book covers GUI tool called Firestarter. You will have a firewall up and running in minutes with this tool. But, most production server and load balanced servers are without a GUI to save resources (see comments below for more information).
I think next version of book should include instruction about setting up a firewall using APF or similar scripts/packages.
Chapter 3. The Domain Name System
Now your server is up and running. It is a time to put server in production environment by setting up a DNS system. This chapter covers the basis of DNS and other topics such as:
BIND installation and configuration.
Configuring an authoritative dns server.
Chapter 4. An Initial Internet-Ready Environment
This chapter talks about ISPConfig – an open source hosting control panel for Linux. You will learn how to install and configure ISPConfig to manage your Internet services, such as
Email and autoresponders, spam filters, Disk quotas and more.
Chapter 6. Administering Apache
You will learn howto setup and tweak Apache and other features, such as support for dynamic web sites and reporting statistics, and give you some troubleshooting tips. You will also learn about SSL/TLS Encryption, suEXEC Support, Benchmarking a web server, installing & administering Drupal CMS etc.
Chapter 7. Load-Balanced Clusters
A cluster provides speed, reliability, and scalability for a reasonable price. Large internet companies such as Yahoo, Google built their cluster and businesses on thousands of commodity servers in redundant cluster configurations. This chapter show you howto setup load balancing and high availability (HA) using IP Virtual Server (IPVS), a transport-level (TCP) load-balancer and other components.
Chapter 8. Local Network Services
Now you have Internet server up and running. It is a time to learn skills to manage a host behind the firewall or gateway of a company, an organization, or even a home network.
Chapter 9. Virtualization in the Modern Enterprise
Virtualization is the creation of a virtual version of computer hardware, running operating system, network and other things.
Virtualization is nothing but logical partition of hardware to run different operating system (Windows, FreeBSD, Linux) at the same time.
This chapter shows you how to install and configure XEN and VMware software under Linux.
Chapter 10. Scripting
Shell script allows automation and save your fingers from typing same command again and again. It also reduces errors. You will learn useful elements for bash scripts and scripting language tips.
Chapter 11. Backing Up Data
Computers fail’s disks break – thats the nature of the beast. In this chapter, you will learn about several tools for backing up data that can be useful in different circumstances.
Sure you will find most of the information mentioned in this book throughout mailing lists, forums, blogs, and discussion groups but not in one handy guide. Overall, a great book that touches all Linux administrative aspects not covered in many books and classes. This book is highly recommended to all Linux administrators:
- + Gain new skills
- + Enhance knowledge
- + Practical advice with lost of working examples
- – Linux Firewalls (APF) command line and introduction to Perl for sys admin missing
- Book title: Linux System Administration (Paperback)
- Author: Tom Adelstein and Bill Lubanovic
- Publisher: O’Reilly Media, Inc.
- Pub Date: March 1, 2007
- ISBN 10: 0-596-00952-6 and ISBN 13: 9780596009526
- Pages: 296
- Level of experience needed: Intermediate Linux / UNIX sys admin
- Who will find useful: Linux sys admin / IDC Tech support staff
- Additional goodies included (such as CDROM) : No
- Purchase online @ Amazon
Updated for accuracy.