System Administration, by Aeleen Frisch
to the web site
that bear the OReilly publishers
name and trademark cover images almost never
fail to live up to the standard of quality this
publisher repeatedly strives to reach. The third
edition of Aeleen Frischs Essential System
Administration fills its spot perfectly as yet
another esteemed OReilly title.
to the world of system administration, I approached
this book not as a comparison to the previous
editions, which I had been told were excellent
in their own right and well-matched to those
sys admins trying to take their duties to another
level. Instead, I dove into the chapters as a
reader entirely new both to this title and to
the subject matter. What I found surprised me.
books that truly expand the readers knowledge of a topic
are tome-like in their size and voice. And Frischs book,
at first glance, appears to live up to the promise of being
extremely enlightening, as it weighs in at a whopping 1,095
pages. Fortunately for those of us who fall into a state of
somnambulism with large amounts of heavy material, Frischs
take on the topic is both light and refreshing without sacrificing
good structure and fantastic lessons. Humor repeatedly balances
what would otherwise come across as dry and heavy.
begins the book with her take on system administration as
a job, a culture and a way of approaching problem solving
tasks. Normally I would skip such a topic as I'm more interested
in the meat of the book what will help me do my job
better. Yet at some point in the skimming of this chapter,
I fell into full-on reading and came away with a sense of
motivation for the tasks that I would find ahead of me. This
introduction certainly set the tone for the remainder of the
book. After years in the industry, Frisch understands like
few can how a sys admin job requires more than just problem
solving skills and knowledge of the system architecture.
Frisch never dwells too long on the human side of the job.
As soon as shes addressed such issues, she dives into
the lessons that readers need in order to understand the systems
they must maintain. After a brief and surprisingly detailed
discussion of the UNIX approach to directories and files,
the race is on. Frisch leaves nothing out as she covers the
perils and triumphs of networking issues, security, system
automation, healthy system maintenance, and the not-so-basics
of daily administration tasks, from scripting useful tools
to backups and restores. In addition, she covers these topics
for AIX 5.1, FreeBSD 4.6, HP-UX 11, Red Hat 7.3, SuSE 8, Solaris
8 & 9 and Tru64 5.1.
own systems cover Linux, Solaris and HP-UX, so detailed information
on exactly how to execute certain functions in each of these
environments came in handy more than I would have expected.
After all, what good UNIX fiend doesn't know about man pages?
Sure, they're helpful, but if you have Frischs staggering
wealth of knowledge under your arm, even man pages quiver
in fear of your potential.
with most OReilly books, definitely reserve a place
of honor on your bookshelf for Essential System Administration.
Whether you're a system administrator only for your personal
system or for a small army of corporate systems, this book
will not fail in its task to enlighten you and broaden the
scope of your UNIX understanding.
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