- Recent Posts: Michael Warren Lucas
- Absolute BSD : The Ultimate Guide to Free BSD by Michael Lucas (2002, Paperback)
- Download Absolute Bsd The Ultimate Guide To Freebsd
- CFT: Review: Absolute OpenBSD
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Recent Posts: Michael Warren Lucas
Upcoming SlideShare. Like this presentation? Why not share! Your mileage may vary; what I found useful, you may not, and vice versa. The sections I don't discuss here will no doubt be useful to many of you: Automatically checking software versions chapter 10 A guide to dig chapter 12 The basics of ssh chapter 13 System performance chapter 18 I particularly liked the section on jails chapter 8 which can be used to create systems within systems.
If you are in a jail, it looks like you have a whole computer to yourself, but you are actually "just another user". It's a good way to secure users in their own little universes. This was my first introduction to jails, and I'm tempted to start experimenting with them just to learn more.
I was quite impressed to see details of handling system dumps, panics, and debugging. These are the types of things we shouldn't have to do under normal circumstances, but when it hits the fan, it good to know this stuff. Even if you don't know it by heart, at least you'll know it's in the book, and you can consult it easily in your time of need. I found the examples very useful. I've long said that we need more practical examples in our documentation. Another useful feature is the way the text refers to the examples. This is done with labels embedded in the examples, which allows easy reference from within the text.
I wish all books did this. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to figure out which part of the multi-page example an author is referring to. With the labels, there is no chance of that happening.
Absolute BSD : The Ultimate Guide to Free BSD by Michael Lucas (2002, Paperback)
The book also discusses IP Filter , my packet filter of choice. The basics of packet filtering are covered, and there is a section on rule groups. Rule groups are, in my humble opinion, one of the strongest features of IP Filter. If you don't know about this product, I encourage you to ask around and learn more.
It is heavy duty software with a wide community base on a number of platforms. There is more information here than you will ever need in real life, but it's there if you need it.
Download Absolute Bsd The Ultimate Guide To Freebsd
Chapter 10 is recommended for everyone. Below is the table of contents for the book which you can use as a reference while reading the review. A walkthrough of the install process using Sysinstall including disk partitions and labelling , selecting which components to install, adding users, and configuring network interfaces is given. There were two typos on page 14 where the author refers the reader to chapter thirteen for information on soft-updates; it should be chapter sixteen.
The chapter does provide the necessary information and steps to guide the reader through a basic install while not trying to explain every single option on each screen. The second chapter is something that some people wish it would be required reading for everyone learning FreeBSD or any operating system or application : how to find and get help, along with what an e-mail sent to the proper FreeBSD mailing list should include. Also included in the chapter is how to use and find information in the man pages and a list of online resources that the reader can use to locate possible answers.
Backup, backup, backup!
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A topic that any systems administrator should know quite well, but it's something that is usually pushed off to the side. Chapter three covers how to backup and restore data using tar , dump and restore ; how to control tape drives and which tape devices do what; plus a look a RCS revision control system , single-user mode, and a brief mention of the "Fixit" disk. For those who are looking for information on how to use tape autoloaders and libraries, as well as backup software that is not included in the base system like Amanda , will have to look elsewhere.
There are two things that jumped out at me: the "-v verbose " tar flag was mentioned twice once on page 42 and again on page 45 and the footnote at the bottom of page 45 is referred to on page Chapter four goes over out to optimize a FreeBSD system by using sysctl to modify some kernel settings while the system is running; work with the loader and kernel modules; making and building a custom kernel configuration to get rid of the excess that comes with the GENERIC kernel and some hints on how to use certain kernel options to boost performance.
CFT: Review: Absolute OpenBSD
The chapter includes some additional descriptions to commonly used kernel options, but misses a kernel option that can cause grief for those using certain types of machines: MAXMEM. In order for the kernel to see the rest of the memory, one must set MAXMEM to the amount of memory, in kilobytes, installed. Although the problem is listed in the FreeBSD FAQ, but it still should be included in the book as some readers may have to work on hardware that behaves the way I just mentioned. I know as I and a couple of others ran into the same issue with a certain Compaq ProLiant server. The author explains the OSI model in four logical layers Application, Logical Protocol, Physical Protocol and Physical Layer , unlike some other books that take up pages after pages explaining the OSI which is incorrectly referred to on page 90 as "ISO" model and its seven well known layers.
The last part of the chapter covers how to configure a network connection using ifconfig and route ; setting up IP address aliases; and using netstat to check out what ports the system is listening on, what connections are open and a couple of useful stats. This can be a cause of some troubles and frustration for the reader as it may cause the system to not work as it is supposed to. Upgrading FreeBSD, the title and focus of chapter six, can either be a breeze or cause people to have recurring nightmares.
One step that wasn't mentioned in the make world process was to build and install the updated sysinstall tool as mentioned in the handbook. Including how to setup a local CVSup mirror was a really nice touch to the chapter since this can easily reduce the amount of bandwidth used for those who manage several FreeBSD servers that are being kept up to date.
Chapter seven covers some of the basic ways to secure a system: how to change the permissions and ownership on a file, setting and unsetting flags on files, using securelevels, and using sockstat to check which sockets are open and which ones shouldn't be open.
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When discussing how to use chmod to change the permissions of a file or directory, the examples used uses octal numbers to set the proper permissions and doesn't cover the symbol method which uses u, g and o to signify whom and r, w and x to signify the permissions. It's more of a matter of choice and what one is used to using, so I won't be dinging any points there.
To help those who are new to IPFilter, the author does a really good job of breaking down each example that he provides with a walkthrough of each keyword. He also explains any new concepts or exceptions to the rules.
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One of the aspects of UNIX and UNIX-like operating systems that frightens some newcomers is the fact that almost all of the configuration is done by hacking away at text files; some have the most archaic syntax and structure I won't name any names, but you know who you are. Not every file is explained in detail in this chapter as they have already been covered or will be covered in later chapters.
One set of files that are not covered are the Sendmail.