ed is a powerful line text editor for the Linux and Unix-like systems. It was one of the first standard Unix text editor developed in 1969 by Ken Thompson. Much older and legacy Unix like system only shipped with ed for the rescue purpose. There was no vi. So learning ed might be a good idea. A low-level understanding of ed editor helps when one uses a high-level application such as vi or vim. The “Ed Mastery” book teaches you how to use the ed and forgotten art of Unix where the line-oriented paradigm is the only option. The author describe book as, “If you don’t know ed, you’re not a real sysadmin. Forty years after ed’s introduction, author Michael W Lucas has finally unlocked the mysteries of ed for everyone. With Ed Mastery, you too can become a proper Unix sysadmin.”
OpenSSH needs no introduction. OpenSSH is a free and open source suite of security-related software based on the SSH protocol. OpenSSH provides secure network communication and tunneling capabilities. OpenSSH gives peace of mind when communicating with Linux or Unix-like server over the Internet on the insecure network.
SSH is essential for both sysadmins and developers. The book “SSH Mastery” (2nd ed) talks about OpenSSH server, clients, encryption, public/private keys, VPNs and other security-related network-level utilities based on the Secure Shell SSH protocol.
The vim editor is a free and open source text editor. It is a clone of vi text editor. Vim is extremely popular among the Linux, macOS and Unix-like system users. Vim has many commands. It comes with a pretty extensive built-in manual too. One might get lost in the built-in manual. Let us see if “Mastering Vim Quickly From WTF to OMG in no time” can help a new or experienced vim user to increase productivity.
The httpd server is a web server with FastCGI and TLS support. The relayd is a free and open source load-balancer and web-proxy server. One can use httpd and relayd to run a static website, blog, a PHP base application and so on using OpenBSD, FreeBSD, TrueOS, and HardenedBSD operating system. The book “Relayd and Httpd Mastery” talks about web server, distribute traffic between backends, running dynamic web sites, php based web apps, securing and optimizing web server, LibreSSL based modern cryptography library, TLS/SSL support and load-balancing your web traffic across multiple servers.
Linux, FreeBSD, and Unix-like systems are multi-user and need some way of authenticating individual users. Back in the old days, this was done in different ways. You need to change each Unix application to use different authentication scheme. Also, authentication schemes differed between a variant of Unix systems. Porting was a nightmare. For example to use Windows Server (Active Directory) or LDAP for authentication you need to make changes to an application. Each application had its way of authenticating users. So Open Group lead to the development of PAM for the Unix-like system. Today Linux, FreeBSD, MacOS X and many other Unix-like systems are configured to use a centralized authentication mechanism called Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAM). The book “PAM Mastery” deals with the black magic of PAM.
It’s always a good idea to keep backups of all of your data in multiple places. Every Linux or Unix sysadmin must master the art of backups if you want to keep your data forever. Most sysadmin recommend and follows the 3-2-1 rule:
- At least three copies of data.
- In two different formats.
- With one of those copies off-site.
Tarsnap is one of such off-site backup sites. It’s a secure online backup system for UNIX-like system. This service encrypts and stores data in Amazon S3. To use Tarsnap perfectly and feel secure about your backups, you need the “Tarsnap Mastery” book by Michael W. Lucas. It is no secret that I’m a big fan of his book series. Let’s see what the book is all about.
I usually use GIMP (the “GNU Image Manipulation Program”) for editing photos, changing colors, resizing photos, applying significant effects and more. It is a free software alternative to Adobe Photoshop. It is also quite popular with graphics artists and webmasters who wants to edit digital images. GIMP is not just a Linux specific program. It works on all leading operating systems, i.e., Mac OS X, MS-Windows and Unix variants. However, like many other powerful open source software, GIMP can be difficult to master. There are many options and plugins. So if, you are looking to learn or master the GIMP program, give The Book of GIMP a try.
Personally, I consider programming as a fundamental right. The programming will teach children problem solving and reasoning skills. So, if you have gifted kid or nephew who is about to turn 10 or 11, gift him Python for kids book. The book introduces kids to the basic concepts of Python programming. The kids require no previous programming experience. However, must understand basic math concepts.