May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)

Contents Bulletin Scripting in shell and Perl Network troubleshooting History Humor

Best Red Hat Books for Preparation to Certification


Selected Computer Books

Red Hat Enterprise Linux Administration

Classic Computer Books


Reference Introductory Red Hat Certification Program
Best books about Unix Shells Best Old TCP/IP Books Best Books about Unix System Administration Best Books about Unix Tools LAMP Bookshelf Best Unix Security Books Unix programming OS Internals, Algorithms and Design Principles


Security IBM TCP/IP Redbooks Reviews


Classic Unix books Humor Etc


I believe Red Hat represents the dominant enterprise Linux distribution. Generally books about Red Hat were the most numerous and of the best quality among all other Linux distributions books.  Please note that many of the books about Red Hat are annual of by-annual reprints of the same book in "infinite" series catching to releases of the OS (this is especially typical for Fedora books). You can save money buying the book devoted to the previous version.  

While recently the number of Red Hat books diminished substantially as Ubuntu became the most sexy Linux distribution, books about Red Hat still dominate the Linux books landscape:

Most published about Red Hat books are of "pulp fiction" quality and do not cover system administration in sufficient depth. So they are useless for in-depth study required for passing the exam. 

Still there are a few reasonably good books that can really help (and you need all the help you can get, if you do not attend RHEL training couse(s)  as the exam is pretty challenging).  they are also most useful for those who administer RHEL servers in enterprise environment.

It is not necessary to use only RHEL6 related book to pass RHEL 6 exam. Some RHEL 5 books are still extremely useful (and much cheaper). After all differences between RHEL 5 and RHEL 6 are minor.

The cost of the exam justifies spending money on at least half-dozen books.  The key here is not the number of books as such but getting additional books as you run into difficulties trying to configure you own "lab network" based on a couple of "real" desktops (with one serving as a default router to other and a couple of virtual servers (RHEL limits the number of virtual clients, so you can use CentOS) to imitate the environment in which you will be put in the test.  Networking issues can be earned only on real hardware.  Spending too much time on resolving network problems during exam greatly diminishes your chances of success. You need clearly understand Linux routing (default and not default) and related topics to success. 

Please understand that the last "reasonable" version of RHEL which still resembles "classic" Unix was version 6. In version 7 they did one big Chinese-style Great Leap Forward toward Windows and introduced Systemd. Which changes a lot of things related to system administration besides startup (formally systemd is a replacement for initd, but in reality it is much more then that) including system logging. History will tell whether this was a good idea, but at present level of popularity it is difficult to dislodge Red Hat from being primary enterprise Linux distribution despite their transgressions. One thing is certain is that you should more use CentOS then RHEL from now on, whenever possible (and quality of Red Hat support became so dismal that the money paid on more expensive license are essentially wasted ;-) 

Recommended books

Addison-Wesley Professional.  This is good but not in depth book that covered the topics of the exam.

Useful supplementary reading

Red Hat used to have two major certifications certifications: Red Hat Certified Technician (RHCT) and Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE). RHCT is a subset of RHCE. it ignores such RHCE topics as network services and network security. It focuses instead on such routine systems administration topics as installation and configuration. If one taking the RHCE exam fails part of the test, but pass the part relevant to RHCT, and still be granted RHCT status. If your goal is to become an RHCE, it makes sense to first become an RHCT before undertaking the larger battery of exams.

Both exam are given on a live machine. Expect to fail the first attempt as you do not know the requirements and can't anticipate them. The second attempt with proper preparation is usually enough to pass the exam.

Here is more a complete description of those two certifications:

RHCT Exam topics generally correspond the course RH133 Red Hat Linux System Administration  (No Xen part). It stresses boot process, LVM and Software RAID, networking and troubleshooting topics.

Unit 1 - System Initialization

Unit 2 - Package Management

Unit 3 - Kernel Services

Unit 4 - System Services

Unit 5 - User Administration

Unit 6 - Filesystem Management

Unit 7 - Advanced Filesystem Management

Unit 8 - Network Configuration

Unit 9 - Installation

Unit 10 - Virtualization with Xen

Unit 11 - Troubleshooting

To determine your level of experience, take our pre-assessment questionnaires or read the descriptions below for the Standard and Rapid Tracks.

Exam Preparation

Here is one good recommendation  from Blog O’ Matty

... I picked up a copy of the Red Hat Certified Engineer Linux Study Guide and read it from cover-to-cover. Michael Jang did a great job with the book, and it shed some light on things I never use (e.g., Linux printing).

Once I finished reading Michael’s book I printed the RHCE objectives. For each objective I did the following:

  1. Researched which packages are needed to support each objective.
  2. Installed the software from a local yum repository I created.
  3. Read through the configuration files for each service and looked up each directive to see what it did.
  4. Configured the service and integrated it with my home network.
  5. Broke the service various ways and tried to figure out what I needed to do to fix it.
  6. Figured out how SELinux integrated with each service. Also did a lot of SELinux debugging!

If you have opportunity attending Red Hat courses are a great learning experience. It's too expensive unless you company paid for them.

Courses you should take: Level of Linux Expertise:
None Some Much Expert
Standard Track * Rapid Track **
RH033 Red Hat Linux Essentials yes
RH131 Red Hat System Administration
RH133 Red Hat Linux Administration (and RHCT Exam)
yes yes
RH253 Red Hat Linux Networking and Security Administration yes yes
RH300 Red Hat Rapid Track Course (and RHCE Exam) yes
RH302 RHCE Exam yes yes yes

The Standard Track consists of three courses -- RH033, RH133, RH253 -- and is aimed at persons who need more review of key concepts or who are new to both UNIX and Linux.

The Rapid Track consists of one course -- RH300 Red Hat Rapid Track Course (and RHCE Exam) -- and is aimed at persons who are experienced UNIX and Linux users, networking specialists, and system administrators and need specific Red Hat Enterprise Linux training to pass the RHCE Exam (which is included)

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Old News ;-)

[Jul 8, 2011] RHCSA-RHCE Red Hat Linux Certification Study Guide (Exams EX200 & EX300)

Paperback: 1072 pages
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 6 edition (July 8, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0071765654
ISBN-13: 978-0071765657

Ken Aldrich on December 19, 2011

Good for a newbie - despite what some reviewers say I'm a linux Newbie. I've never installed or configured it. I looked at the available books on the subject and chose this one. Even though this book is targeted towards those trying to achieve certifications, I find the practical approach to the book useful.
I like the book because he takes you through, step by step, how to set up machines and perform tasks. There are special margin notes on what things you might focus on if you're taking the exam, and what things you might focus on if you're trying to learn this for a job.

I read some of the negative reviews before purchasing. After having read through the first two chapters and completing the labs, I have these several things to say:
1) If you were confused about what resources you needed to allocate to the VMs, then you did not pay close enough attention. There is no confusion about how many GBs you should allocate to the Host VM you're setting up and the VMs inside. I did view the errata documents the author posted on the publisher's website. I did not find any of the information there "critical" to understanding the book. I'd have gotten by just fine without having to review that PDF document that illustrates the relationships of the VMs. I'd have gotten by without having to review the textual corrections.

2) I have had no confusion about which IPs to assign to which machines. Although, I will admit, due to the effects of an intermittently faulty old switch I was using for my testlab, I did have some confusion on one point. Just know this about the KVM virtual machines and networking. When you set up the virtual network of 192.168.221.x inside the VM host, it is an entirely separate virtualized network. You do not need to have an external router handling gateway, DNS, DHCP, etc for the 192.168.221.x network. For example, the NIC on my physical machine (the KVM host) had an IP of which allowed me to have it on my own home network. However, for VMs inside, it would access my KVM host at because it was also the gateway for the virtual network. I didn't need to have multiple NICs on my physical machine. It was all handled virtually. It all just works like you'd want it to work. To some, this may be obvious. However, I was questioning it because it wasn't working due to squirrely hardware.

3) When reading through the chapters you will encounter Exercises. At first I was under the impression that I should be following along and performing these exercises in my test environment. I since learned that you should hold off until you reach the end of the chapter to do the labs. I recommend reading through the exercises and absorbing the material, but you will get plenty of chance to perform those tasks when you do the labs. What is important is the labs will give you some more specific instructions that you do not encounter during the Exercises. These specific instructions are important for setting up the machines in a way that will be important in later chapters. When you do the labs, you'll basically page back in the book and follow along the exercises, performing those operations on your machines.

4) Some of the reviews expressed frustration over how much the author "skips around". I can sort of see where that is coming from. Take this quote from Chapter 2 in the book, " can also connect the local system to the installation source created in Chapter 1, Lab 2 using the techniques described in Chapter 7." For some, that can be a source of logical frustration. What happened is that while you were doing something in Chapter 1 of the book, the author referenced techniques in Chapter 7... something you haven't even read yet. Not only that, now we're in Chapter 2 and he's referencing something in Chapter 1 that referenced something in Chapter 7. Believe it or not, this is not an uncommon occurrence in the book. I think this frustrates some readers. I am here to say that you don't have to let it bother you, just ignore it. So far, not ONCE have I had to go forward to a later chapter to understand the content. Actually, the author is being very helpful here. The "forward reference" to a chapter later in the book, so far for me, has always been an Optional reference that provides more detail about a subject. You don't need to know that "more detail" to accomplish the current task. Those "forward references" are likely more useful for more advanced users that want to delve deeper into a topic the first time it is broached. Newbies, like me, can just ignore for now. So while it can seem to read like the author is skipping all over the darn place... you don't have to. I'm just reading and going forward in line. The content builds on itself in a very logical and helpful way. The only "skipping" I do is when I get to the labs after I've read the chapter, is I skip back to the relevant exercises in the chapter so I can see his examples and follow along. I like it because it exposes me to the material twice. The first time I'm just reading through the exercises and it exposes me to the content in a context with the rest of the material. Then I go back and actually DO IT on my test machines to help solidify what I've learned.

I hope this helps some people that read some of the reviews and are reticent to choose this book. I'm a total newbie and in less than a day I've learned to install the server from CD with many packages, update it, set up FTP and HTTP servers, share out the install files for Red Hat, set up Virtual Machine host, create some machines inside of there by using the install files I shared out from the server.... all this while using an automated Kickstart answer file. This is a very hands on approach that lets you DO this stuff at very minimal cost. I bought a cheap Athlon X2, 64-bit computer with 8 gigs of RAM and a 500 Gig hard drive.

I'm able to practice networking machines together, testing access to resources through the firewall (from multiple virtual test subnets), etc, etc all on that one investment of $300 of hardware.

This book was the right choice for me.

[Feb 21, 2011] Fedora Unleashed, 2008 Edition Andrew Hudson (Author), Paul Hudson (Author)

Published Feb 14, 2008

Paperback: 960 pages
Publisher: Sams; 8 edition (February 14, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0672329778
ISBN-13: 978-0672329777

Nikolai N Bezroukov

This is an excellent book. Highly recommended, February 21, 2011

To write a good intro book for the huge and complex distribution like Fedora is a very difficult task. The spectrum of users is too wide and selection of the topics is even wider. That means that some category of users always be dissatisfied. Authors managed to solve this dilemma in their own unique way and created a really excellent book that contain wealth of information for beginners, but some interesting tips for seasoned system admin as well.

One of the important advantages of the book is that the authors use MC (Midnight commander) as a tool for performing some tasks (including important task of undeletion of files on Ext3/Ext4 filesystems). This selection instantly made treatment of those topics superior to the same treatment in Sobey's books. The other positive feature of the book is that they introduce and explain how to use sudo -- a rare feature for an intro book. Using screen is also explained in the book. Such important topics as bootup, backup of your filesystems and adding default router are also covered well.

The authors pay due attention to scripting and provide many useful rudimentary scripts for performing various tasks. Generally Parts III, IV and V are very strong and alone are worth the price of the book. So you can view parts I and II as a bonus.

As for shortcomings I would remove information about using C/C++ and Mono from the book and increased the coverage of bash. Inclusion of too many languages unnecessarily complicated the book.

Generally this is a good book on a very difficult to cover topic. Highly recommended.

[Feb 20, 2011] Practical Guide to Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, A (5th Edition)

Like most Sobel's books this one is a good into book. But no more then that. Content does not change much so to save money you can buy earlier book. See my earlier review for A Practical Guide to Red Hat Linux 8

Paperback: 1224 pages Publisher: Prentice Hall; 5 edition (February 21, 2010) Language: English ISBN-10: 0137060882 ISBN-13: 978-0137060887

[Sep 20, 2006] Fedora 5 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 Bible (Bible) Books by Christopher Negus

[Sep 20, 2006] Fedora Linux A Complete Guide to Red Hat's Community Distro Books Chris Tyler By Chris Tyler

In this book, you'll learn how to:

[Sep 20, 2006] Linux Network Administrator's Guide Books Terry Dawson,Gregor N Purdy,Tony Bautts

Automating UNIX and Linux Administration (The Expert's Voice) by Kirk Bauer

Average tech book for the Linux crowd - not Unix crowd, May 17, 2004
If what you want is a bok that's a cross platform as the title suggests, this might not be a book worth buying. Examples in this book make horrible assumptions, along the lines of removing all native commands and replacing them with GNU commands. In a Linux only environment, this may not be a problem. In many other environments where enterprise level support isn't a concern, this may also be acceptable. But the place where automation is needed the most is the larget enterprise production environments. While ideas and basic tennets outlined in this book are what you ultimately need, the scope of the examples have problems scaling beyond 20-100 systems, let alone 5,000+. As for the basic tennets, you can cheat and be reminded what they are: common configurations, keep good documentation as to the differences, and manage systems, in a secure manner, in a common fashion that relies on the common configuration and documented differences.

The errors and ommissions in this book should be easily caught by any technical senior administrator of the OSes in question. For me, that's Solaris and Linux.

For a Linux only environment, it is a solid book. The writing style is drier than most of the manuals I read from various Unix/Linux vendors, and truly is the first tech publication since I supported PBX systems to put me to sleep.

As for the "subjective" analysis of various tools to assist in automation, I was highly disappointed. On various occasions, only 2 or 3 tools were discussed in an attempt to make the assesments fair. In each case, I came up with twice as many tools that I use on a regular basis, that were also F/OSS (as was usually the criteria the author used to talk about a product) that perform similar, if not identical, tasks much better. And those tools aren't that new: most predate the tools he refers to. Plus, most Linux distributions come with them installed and configured by default!

Since all I got out of the book were the above tennets that I already have known for the past 10+ years, I was VERY disappointed. Just make sure you know who you're letting borrow your copy, and what is expected that they'll take away, otherwise you'll end up with junior admins scripting their way into destroying your enterprise.

Building Secure Servers with Linux by Michael D. Bauer

**** Good book... This a useful book. Not typical fluff that is usually sold as security books.

Linux System Administration (Linux Library) by Vicki Stanfield, Vicki Stanfield, Roderick Smith, Roderick W. Smith

A reader from Milano, MI Italy
3 out of 5 stars A honest book for Linux primers, April 15, 2002

This is a honest book for a Linux primer. It is simple and clear, but with some strange holes (p.e. nothing on ext2 fs attributes, or FTP).
There are also several errors (typos or similar) in the examples and figures that I would like to be removed in a next edition.

A reader from Montgomery, AL United States

4 out of 5 stars Solid Book, December 20, 2001

Great book to get you started with Linux Admin. Covers many issues a sys admin is expected to know. However it doesn't cover ftp. It just mentions it.

It has a pretty good chapter on Sendmail.

To get your server up and running I would recommend Kabir's RedHat book.

Stanfield's book will help you mantain the server.

Don't miss the all new Linux Administration Handbook ISBN 0-13-008466-2.

A reader from silver spring, MD United States

5 out of 5 stars True Linux System Administration, June 22, 2001

One of my Unix lab professors once said that Unix was so vast that one lifetime is not enough to really get to master all aspects of it. After reading several Unix/Linux books, this operating system still remained somewhat of a mystery.

Thanks to the authors of this book, I can really say that I'm well on my way to a decent level of proficiency. No question, this book is of the highest quality. The material is presented and explained in such a way, you get a sense that the authors truly possess a profound understanding of the SA and Linux fields. The book tries to be distribution neutral by covering Redhat linux (vesion 6 to 7) and dishing out to other distributions (especially Debian) when things are done differently.

Unlike other books that are recipe oriented or adaptations of technical documents, this is a true SA book because it helps you gain control of your Linux system.

john_patrick_hoke (see more about me) from Floral Park, NY United States

4 out of 5 stars Brings the beginners to the next level..., September 30, 2002

This book is perfect for the person who has been tinkering with Linux long enought to have started outgrowing the GUI based tools that the distros are spoon feeding users with.

This book takes a reader who is ready to leave webmin or other "wizard" approaches behind and wants to take the bull (er... config files) by the horns and REALLY control their machines.

The vendor/distro neutral coverage is fair and even handed, giving time to both Redhat based distros as well as Debian.

If you are itching to stop having to point and click all over the place to change a line in a config file, and are ready to learn the faster, quicker, less error prone way... here you go!

Become an SA :)

Alex Valentine (see more about me) from State College, PA United States
5 out of 5 stars Well Written and Current, June 20, 2002

Linux System Administration does a great job of covering a vast amount of Linux topics with just the right amount of detail for most users. This book appeals to a wide variety of readers, it is written in way that doesn't scare off newbies, but manages to have enough meat for experienced Linux users. The great thing about this book is it spends a fair amount of time explaining how to do things on a variety of distros.

Parts of the book that stand out in my mind are the chapters dealing with kernel recompilation, scripting and security. The kernel recompilation chapter is by far the best material I've seen on the subject to date, it almost makes kernel recompilation sound too easy. The security chapter is good starting point for sysadmins that are new to Linux. The book also provides a nice little introduction to scripting, although if your going to be a Linux sysadmin, the Orielly books on bash and perl are a must.

There were very few things that I didn't like about this book. One thing that stands out in my mind is the author's insistence on using paper journal books for logging system changes. With the proper backup procedures in place, a web based system log is a much more efficient way of keeping tracking of changes. Overall, the book is must read for anyone new to Linux and is also a good pickup for seasoned Linux users. I've been recommending this book over Running Linux as of late, since the Oreilly offering is showing its age.

[Mar 25, 2002] Linux Administration Handbook Evi Nemeth, Garth Snyder, Trent R. Hein, Adam Boggs

*** Weak overhyped book... Evi Nemeth is now retired and I doubt that she understands problems of Linux administration in depth. She ended her career on classical Unixes. Looks like overrated and overpriced general sysadmin book. Might be useful from the point of view of general philosophy of administration. This is not a Red Hat specific book so many things are different in RHEL.

5 out of 5 stars for admins, not your mom, December 4, 2002
Reviewer: Kip Perkins (see more about me) from Old Hickory, TN United States

I picked up this book because I have used the 2nd and 3rd editions of UNIX Administration Handbook for years. This book is easy to read and provides some entertainment with the authors' insight into Linux administration. As with it's brother the UAH, this book follows the same format but IS updated to reflect the Linux specifics. I picked it up also because it covers RH 7.2 and the UAH only covered 6.2. This book is a must for people who admin linux servers for large corporations, small businesses, or simply are running their own mail/dns/web server from their DSL connection at home.
If you are looking for a book that gets you setup on KDE or GNOME, this is not the book. If you want to learn and use the power of a networked Linux server, this is for you.
I have worked with UNIX for 6 years, Linux for 5 and recommend this book to anyone who will admin it.

Linux System Administration A User's Guide by Marcel Gagn

Vince Scimeca from Connecticut

5 out of 5 stars Top notch linux book for all!!, November 4, 2002

Marcel Gagne's Linux System Administration A User's Guide is by far the best book on linux I have read. I have gone through a number of different books regarding linux, but this one I find myself refering back to over and over again. There is something in here for seasoned linux administrators and linux newbies alike. If you are looking for a one stop shop linux book this is it!! In the past I would have to refer to a number of different books to find what I needed, but this book has it all. Easy to read and understand. Top notch job - highly recommended!

Vince Scimeca
Senior IT Manager

Robert Gamble (see more about me) from Falmouth, MA United States

5 out of 5 stars Great for the 'non-idiot' or 'non-dummy'., August 12, 2002

Simply put, this book is probably one of the best choices for a new user to Linux who has computer experience, and possibly previous UNIX experience. I'm not sure how it would be as a beginner's book because I wasn't a beginner, but I think it would work well as a second book certainly. Even for a beginner, most of the important parts of Linux are focused on. The emphasis is on the basic areas that are important for the average user, or a small business system's administrator. Topics include the file systems, how to do backups, how to set-up hardware (including my personal bugaboo - printers), how to manage users, some good security information, how to use the various GUIs, how to automate tasks, how to get started with programming, etc. Areas like Apache, sendmail and nameservers are covered enough to get started with them, which is probably enough for the average user. One of the strengths is that the book points out ways to use the command prompt and then at least two other (usually) ways to do the same thing with the two most popular windowing systems Gnome and KDE.

Another strength is that the book expects you to try things. A topic is introduced, some basic ways to do things are shown and then usually at least one or two more advanced topics, followed by encouragement to explore. There is no CD included, but numerous http links are given throughout.

This book is the one I open first when I have a question that needs answering and should be in most Linux bookshelves. It's easy to read, with some humor sprinkled throughout. The author assumes you're intelligent, which is greatly appreciated. Most of all, the book teaches ways for the home user or small business user to get the most out of their investment.

5 out of 5 stars Extremely Readable, November 20, 2001

Reviewer: Brad Sanders from Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

Mr. Gagne exhibits a very easy reading style when explaining a subject as complex as Linux. The writing style is not too "techie" as to assume you possess extensive knowledge of the subject while at the same time doesn't treat you as if you're an idiot and know nothing - it stikes a very nice balance that makes for good reading. He actually makes what many would consider a dull subject interesting by injecting humor and variety.

Mr. Gagne includes only pertinent information that is both practical and useful. He doesn't dwell on the theoretical or any side issues.

In summary, I believe he achieves the goal of the book - to provide sufficient information to the reader in order for them to become an effective administrator of a Linux system.

5 out of 5 stars Comprehensive, clear, and witty, November 5, 2001
Reviewer: Robert J. Sawyer (see more about me) from Mississauga, ON Canada Gagne, author of the popular "Cooking with Linux" columns in LINUX JOURNAL, has brought his trademark wit and whimsy to the topic of Linux system administration. Authoritative, clearly written, well-organized, comprehensively indexed -- this is an indispensible reference volume, flawlessly executed. Bravo!

The UNIX CD Bookshelf version 2.1

You've asked for it; now it's here: the second edition of The UNIX CD Bookshelf, containing a powerhouse of updated books from O'Reilly, plus the software from UNIX Power Tools--all on a convenient CD-ROM. A bonus print copy of UNIX in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition, is also included. The CD-ROM supplies UNIX in a Nutshell, System V Edition;UNIX Power Tools, 2nd Edition (with software); Learning the UNIX Operating System, 4th Edition; Learning the vi Editor, 6th Edition; sed & awk, 2nd Edition; and Learning the Korn Shell. Never has it been easier to learn, or look up, what you need to know online. Formatted in HTML, The UNIX CD Bookshelf can be read by any web browser. The books are fully searchable and cross-referenced. In addition to individual indexes for each book, there's a master index for the entire library is provided. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


**** A Practical Guide to Red Hat Linux 8

This is a "very introductory" book. But a real newbie.

  by Mark G. Sobell

See Softpanorama review of the book

***+ A Practical Guide to Linux -- no e-text used to be available
Mark G. Sobell / Paperback / Published 1997
Paperback (June 1997) Our Price: $39.95
Addison-Wesley Pub Co; ISBN: 0201895498 Sales Rank: 3,792
Avg. Customer Review: ****+
Number of Reviews: 16
This particular book is overpriced and outdated. See his newer book above. Here is the Table of Contents.
Probably a good book for beginners to intermediate users. Not very interesting for experienced users. The author attempts to remain distribution independent, unlike most books on Linux. The best part of this book is the glossary which list a lot of Linux commands and gives explanations, this is better than the man pages. It's interesting to note that Linus Torvalds wrote the foreword and has this to say about the book/author (although you should not believe this guy ;-):
"I am indebted to Mark for helping me to learn UNIX, and now for helping to make Linux accessible to more people. I strongly recommend [this book] to anyone who is interested in learning and using Linux"
--Linus Torvalds
Here is one of the readers reviews from from Seattle, USA , April 14, 1999 *****
The perfect combination!

This book toes a very difficult line between being a textbook with tutorials and a reference guide, and it succeeds admirably. For the intermediate computer user who is new to Linux, the book provides excellent instructions, with relevant questions at the end of each section. For the seasoned Linux user, it provides a good reference. If you have Linux up and running but are looking for a well laid out format by which you can proceed, this is the book for you. It is not a compilation of man pages, nor is it an installation guide. It is a well structured means to aquire skills.


[Jan 7, 2003] Red Hat® Linux® Administration A Beginner's Guide  by Michael Turner, Steve Shah

5 out of 5 stars Solid read, February 20, 2003
  Reviewer: John Read from Oceanside, CA United States

New users to Linux (Power Users or Windows Admins) will find this book a solid read. I'm not sure how it would be as a beginner's book with no previous experience. I suppose even a beginner could use it, since it covers all the important parts of administration, Linux or whatever. It contains lots of skill building exercises and projects, as well as reusable blueprints. It emphasizes basic areas small business system's administrators would use It covers topics like file systems, backups, printers, user management, security (SSH), various GUIs, task automation, etc. It covers stuff like Apache, sendmail and nameservers, talking to Windows with Samba, exceptionally well.

[Jan 29, 2001] Linux Administration A Beginner's Guide  by Steve Shah

***+  Average.

5 out of 5 stars is just what it says, June 11, 2000
  Reviewer: A reader from Minneapolis, MN

If you are familiar with Linux or Unix and want to start into some network services, this book is a solid introduction. As the title says, this book is for beginner's, but the author doesn't assume that means weenie. He has done a nice job of selecting basic tasks, and for each one lays out the commands, file locations, and basic configurations for the files.

Other books either relied on GUI utilities, or used twice as many pages going into too much detail on some sections and not enough on others.

This book is just what it says, a beginner's guide to help you get started with Linux servers and/or integrating Linux into an existing NT network

5 out of 5 stars Great for MCSEs!, April 8, 2002
  Reviewer: Joseph Webb (see more about me) from Brentwood, TN United States

Steve Shah clearly presents Linux concepts and common administrative tasks in a straight forward manner. For those of us more accustomed to the MS Windows world, he frequently compares the way Linux works to Windows 2000. A must have for MCSEs living in a heterogeneous network environment!

Linux Network Servers : 24 Seven (24Seven)  by Craig Hunt

****  Good.

Craig Hunt / Paperback / Published 1999
Our Price: $27.99 ~ You Save: $7.00 (20%)
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
Pt. I. Planning and Installation
Ch. 1. Getting Started
Ch. 2. Basic Installation
Ch. 3. The Boot Process
Pt. II. Internet Server Operations
Ch. 4. The Network Interface
Ch. 5. Login Services
Ch. 6. Linux Name Services
Ch. 7. Configuring a Mail Server
Ch. 8. The Apache Web Server
Ch. 9. Network Gateway Services
Pt. III. Departmental Server Operations
Ch. 10. Desktop Configuration Servers
Ch. 11. File Sharing
Ch. 12. Printer Services
Ch. 13. More Mail Services
Pt. IV. Security and Troubleshooting
Ch. 14. Security
Ch. 15. Troubleshooting
App. A. X Windows Configuration
App. B. BIND Reference
App. C. The m4 Macros for sendmail

Running Linux

**+ Not bad, but slightly outdated and contains nothing special to justify the price. For half price should be OK. It is definitely far below the level of Sobell's book. Matt Welsh made his name in Linux Documentation Project... He then withdraw from the project to write commercial books.


[Dec 29, 2005] Understanding Linux Network Internals by Christian Benvenuti

One of the few "in depth" books on the topic.

Paperback: 1072 pages
Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (December 29, 2005)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0596002556
ISBN-13: 978-0596002558

Harvey Sugar: 5.0 out of 5 stars The best Linux networking software book to start with, October 14, 2006

I have read a number of books on the TCP/IP protocols and their implementations; both the original Berkeley (BSD) Unix TCP/IP stack and the Linux TCP/IP stack. I must say that this is the best of all of them.

This book makes the subject very approachable for the newcomer to network protocol software but the explanations are detailed enough to satisfy an old dog like me. Benvenuti's writing style is clear and very readable. He liberally provides diagrams to illustrate the concepts he is discussing.

My only fault with the book is that the transport layer protocols (UDP and TCP) are not covered. Benvenuti provides a list of important areas of the networking software that are not covered in the book but gives other references for most of these. I hope that he is working on a volume 2 to cover these areas.

I would sum up by saying that if you want to learn about the Linux networking software or network protocol software in general, start with this book. This book will give you the background to understand other, less well written books that cover the remaining networking software topics.

Linux Network Administrator's Guide

*****  This is a great book. Outdated but still great.
Olaf Kirch, et al / Paperback / Published 2000
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Linux Networking Cookbook by  Carla Schroder

*** Average, pretty superficial cookbook, but some topics like routing (chapter 6 and Troubleshooting 19) might be useful


Red Hat Linux Network Management Tools by Steve Maxwell.

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*** Advanced Linux Networking by Roderick W. Smith

Looks too generic for me.

Linux Networking Clearly Explained (Clearly Explained)

Bryan Pfaffenberger / Paperback / Published 2000
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Linux Networking Unleashed

Matthew Marsh, Elliot Turner / Paperback / Published 2000
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**** Sams Teach Yourself Samba in 24 Hours 

Gerald Carter, et al / Paperback / Published 1999
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Covers Samba 2.0. See ERCB review Samba

Linux Networking Unleashed

Matthew Marsh, Elliot Turner / Paperback / Published 2000
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Linux System Administration Unleashed

Thomas Schenk, Ivan, II Moore / Paperback / Published 2000
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Maximum Rpm

Ed Bailey / Paperback / Published 1997 /$31.99

Internet Servers

*** + Linux Web Server Toolkit

Nicholas D. Wells, Nicholas Wells / Paperback / Published Feb. 1998

Caldera based (CD includes Caldera Lite). The author definitely know staff he is writing about. Book can be considered as  a 1997 book and is already slightly outdated especially software.  Contains much information is on strategic level and will not help you to install and run the system. Some imporant isuue are not covered in details (connection to ISP).  IDG site

   Table of Contents

  Sample Chapter


Linux Socket Programming by Example

Warren Gay / Paperback / Published 2000
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ABUSE: IPs or network segments from which we detect a stream of probes might be blocked for no less then 90 days. Multiple types of probes increase this period.  


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