May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
(slightly skeptical) Educational society promoting "Back to basics" movement against IT overcomplexity and  bastardization of classic Unix

Linux Network Administration

News See Also Open Introductory Troubleshooting TCP/IP IDS
DNS SMTP IBM Redbooks     Humor Etc

Those books typically cover classic protocols such as FTP, SSH, NFS, DNS, NIS, etc. The base for comparison of this type of books is Olaf Kirch book which is freely available:

Linux Network Administrator's Guide, 2nd Edition

By Olaf Kirch & Terry Dawson
2nd Edition June 2000
1-56592-400-2, Order Number: 4002
506 pages, $34.95

Note: IDS (mainly Snort-related) books are covered in a separate page.


Old News ;-)

Note: {Safari} means that the book is available in O'Reilly Safari electronic book collection.

[Feb 20, 2011] LINUX Network Administrators Guide- 508 pages

Beware, this is just a reprint of O'Reilly open ebook

[Feb 7, 2008] {Safari} Practice of System and Network Administration, The (2nd Edition) Books Thomas A. Limoncelli,Christina J. Hogan,Strata R. Chalup

This is a policy/procedures handbook with a wrong title. The authors try to exploit IT management goldmine. The topic is complex and advice should be taken with the grain of salt... The most interesting parts of the books are connected with non-technical aspects of system administration. For example books provides some advice of negotiations (32.2.1. Learn to Negotiate) and time management (see also the other . Please note that this is a non-technical book and some reviews reflect this fact.
Here is how author define who should read the book:

Who Should Read This Book

This book is written for system administrators at all levels. It gives junior SAs insight into the bigger picture of how sites work, their roles in the organizations, and how their careers can progress. Intermediate SAs will learn how to approach more complex problems and how to improve their sites and make their jobs easier and their customers happier. Whatever level you are at, this book will help you to understand what is behind your day-to-day work, to learn the things that you can do now to save time in the future, to decide policy, to be architects and designers, to plan far into the future, to negotiate with vendors, and to interface with management. These are the things that concern senior SAs. None of them are listed in an OS's manual. Even senior SAs and systems architects can learn from our experiences and those of our colleagues, just as we have learned from each other in writing this book. We also cover several management topics for SA trying to understand their managers, for SAs who aspire to move into management, and for SAs finding themselves doing more and more management without the benefit of the title.

Throughout the book, we use examples to illustrate our points. The examples are mostly from medium or large sites, where scale adds its own problems. Typically, the examples are generic rather than specific to a particular OS; where they are OS-specific, it is usually UNIX or Windows.

One of the strongest motivations we had for writing this book is the understanding that the problems SAs face are the same across all OSs. A new OS that is significantly different from what we are used to can seem like a black box, a nuisance, or even a threat. However, despite the unfamiliar interface, as we get used to the new technology, we eventually realize that we face the same set of problems in deploying, scaling, and maintaining the new OS. Recognizing that fact, knowing what problems need solving, and understanding how to approach the solutions by building on experience with other OSs lets us master the new challenges more easily.

We want this book to change your life. We want you to become so successful that if you see us on the street, you'll give us a great big hug.

Topics include: Excellent book for Sysadmin career development, November 13, 2001 By Quentin Fennessy (Austin, TX USA) - See all my reviews

I am very impressed by this book. I've been a Unix sysadmin for more than 10 years and this is the best book I have read for explaining and demonstrating basic and advanced principles of system administration. And it goes beyond administration of any particular OS or system type. You could apply this to your work architecting, supporting, implementing or administering any computer or network service.

I have many technical books. I do not read them all cover to cover. But I will completely devour this one.

I work on a team of 18 (already excellent!) Unix sysadmins. I would love to have every team member read this book -- our team would be better for it. you may especially enjoy the section on sysadmin salary negotiations.

Purely theoretical., March 31, 2002 Oleg Rakhmanchik "oleg106" (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
This book is full of theories and advice, but it fails to mention any means of implementation.

A non technical book on system administration, February 9, 2002 By A Customer

I'm surprised by the reviews of this item. They almost seem to have been written by the authors' friends. Also I don't see why they refer negatively to Mark Burgess's great book Principles of Network and System Administration, which is a different kettle of fish -- more scientific and less touchy feely. I like both books, but I prefer Burgess's more direct approach -- this book seemed to meander around all over.


**** Linux Network Administrator's Guide, 2nd Edition

By Olaf Kirch & Terry Dawson
2nd Edition June 2000
1-56592-400-2, Order Number: 4002
506 pages, $34.95

***** [May 16, 2002 ]The Networking CD Bookshelf, Second Edition

This single CD holds the full HTML text of six popular O'Reilly titles

**** [May 20, 1999] The Networking Cd Bookshelf : 6 Bestselling Books on Cd-Rom

Paul Albitz, Cricket Liu / Software / Published 1999
Amazon Price: $71.96 ~ You Save: $7.99 (10%)

Not that much updated in comparison with 1996 edition. The package includes a CD-ROM with the complete text and graphics of these books, formatted in HTML, readable with any web browser, and fully searchable and cross-referenced:

As a bonus, a hardcopy version of DNS and BIND, 3rd Edition is also included.


**** Linux Network Servers 24*Seven

by Craig Hunt (he authored a popular O'Reilly book TCP/IP Network Administration)
Amazon Price: $27.99

Paperback - 627 pages (August 1999)
Sybex; ISBN: 0782125069 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.72 x 8.99 x 7.58 Sales Rank: 5,573
Avg. Customer Review:
Number of Reviews: 16

Thierry A de Villeneuve Yes! I've found it January 26, 2000 from San Diego
Yes, this time I've found *the* good book on Linux. I'm a sysadmin. I know how to get the most of a Linux box. But I was always seeking for *the* book that will bring it all under my eyes. Check this: sendmail's rulesets explained in clear language. Conversion from BIND 4 to 8. Apache admin tricks. Netstat -a explained in clear. Configuring a POP/IMAP server. Lilo in detail. It'll help everybody: the newbie and the close-to-know-it-all. And it's not one of these fake RH6.1 updated books where only the cover tells about RH6.1 and the content never talks about what's to be known.

Great concise book.

***+ Linux Network Administrator's Guide (2nd Edition) e-text is available from Linux Documentation Project

by Olaf Kirch, Terry Dawson
Our Price: $27.96
Paperback - 474 pages 2nd edition (July 2000)
O'Reilly & Associates; ISBN: 1565924002 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.01 x 9.22 x 7.05 Sales Rank: 9,169
Avg. Customer Rating:
Number of Reviews: 4
A really good introduction to Linux Networking, December 14, 2000
Reviewer: A reader from Seattle, WA.
My one major regret was not reading this sooner. :) I found that this book provides a really nice easy to understand introduction to the different networking aspects on Linux. I had read O'Reilly's TCP/IP Networking first (by Craig Hunt), and it had a great deal of detail. If I had read this first, I think I would have understand that book more so. Nevertheless, both are essential if you want do networking on Linux. My only reason for giving this book 4 stars was the excessive amount of information regarding News servers. I think a chapter or two would have sufficed, and then include some final thoughts and some trouble-shooting. Still, I learned quite a lot, (even on the News server chapters) and I think you will too.

***+ TCP/IP Network Administration, 3rd Edition - there is e-text in The Networking CD Bookshelf, Second Edition

by Craig Hunt

Not bad, but far from being perfect. Much depends on your previous experience. The author does not possess the gift of explaining complex things so that they look simpler. This book can be recommended for Unix administrators only. Does not make much sense for others. General level is close to introductory. Not recommended for serious network administration.

Amazon contains a lot of "lemmings" reviews in this particular case. Read them with the grain of salt. See also info on the second edition (below).

***+ TCP/IP : Network Administration, Second Edition e-text is available on O'Reilly Networking CD

Hunt, Craig
Paperback - 630 pages 2nd edition (January 1998)
O'Reilly & Associates; ISBN: 1565923227 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.20 x 9.16 x 7.03 Sales Rank: 2,911
Avg. Customer Review:
Number of Reviews: 15
Pretty decent, but not that great and should not be used as an introductory book. It's more like a reference book.

Preface ..... xi Chapter 1 - Overview of TCP/IP ..... 1 Chapter 2 - Delivering the Data ..... 23 Chapter 3 - Network Services ..... 48 Chapter 4 - Getting Started ..... 80 Chapter 5 - Basic Configuration ..... 105 Chapter 6 - Configuring the Interface ..... 123 Chapter 7 - Configuring Routing ..... 164 Chapter 8 - Configuring DNS Name Service ..... 202 Chapter 9 - Configuring Network Servers ..... 226 Chapter 10 - sendmail ..... 271 Chapter 11 - troubleshooting TCP/IP ..... 319 Chapter 12 - Network Security ..... 362 Chapter 13 - Internet Information Resources ..... 405 Appendix A - PPP Tools Appendix B - A gated Reference Appendix C - A named Reference Appendix D - A dhcpd Reference Appendix E - A sendmail Reference Appendix F - Selected TCP/IP Headers

**** Sams Teach Yourself Tcp/Ip Network Administration in 21 Days

Brian Komar, Brian Komer / Paperback / Published 1998
Amazon Price: $23.99 ~ You Save: $6.00 (20%)
This book has errata at

Networking UNIX

by Salim Douba
Amazon Price: $35.00
Paperback - 496 pages (August 1, 1995)
Sams Publishing; ISBN: 0672305844 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.29 x 9.12 x 7.45 Sales Rank: 83,553
Avg. Customer Review:
Number of Reviews: 4
Excellent reference for beginners to intermediate users March 19, 1998

Reviewer: A reader from Hamilton, NJ

This is an excellent reference for beginners through intermediate level, the information is presented in a logical progression in clear, concise language. A BIG plus is that all pertinant RFCs are referenced, so the reader can go directly to the source for in depth explanations on a particular topic. All the fundamentals are covered (Ethernet, TCP/IP, NIS, NFS). I bought this book several years ago when I first began exploring the UNIX network environment, and I still refer to it often as an intermediate level user. If you are a beginner and are curious about the workings of the UNIX networking environment, then you'll love this book!

???? Principles of Network and System Administration

by Mark S. Burgess

Paperback - 428 pages 1 edition (July 17, 2000)
John Wiley & Sons; ISBN: 0471823031 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.92 x 9.15 x 7.41 Sales Rank: 366,806
Avg. Customer Rating:
Number of Reviews: 1

Peter Salus, Login - June 2000, November 29, 2000
Reviewer: A reader from Uk
From Peter Salus review, Login

June 2000 Another winner! I keep Nemeth et al. and AEleen Frisch at hand for referencing the systems admin tasks we all need to do. Burgess' fine book is something ``completely different.'' It is a well-articulated introduction to a corpus of guiding principles for systems administrators. And as we live in a world of heterogeneity, Burgess ``covers'' Unix, Unix-like, DOS, Windows, Mac, Amiga, and NT systems.

Burgess says that he wants to express a sound and logical way to approach networked systems. While I can find nits (that's a reviewers job, isn't it?), I consider this an important book. More and more talk of certification can only lead to a body of knowledge and a set of tenets that are 'required.'

I think that Burgess will become part of the required reading for future (and current) systems administrators.


**** Cisco Router Configuration & Troubleshooting (The Landmark Series)
by Mark Tripod.
Amazon Price:$27.99
Textbook Binding - 271 pages (January 1999)
New Riders Publishing; ISBN: 0735700249 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.65 x 9.01 x 7.03 Sales Rank: 29,537
Avg. Customer Review:
Number of Reviews: 6
Great examples. Well worth the price!

April 22, 1999
Reviewer: [email protected] from Las Vegas, NV

With the price of Cisco books, it's amazing I was able to find one this complete for less than $30!

I am a CCNA who is still fairly new to Cisco products, but not routing. I now work with Cisco products every day and I also have a home lab for the CCNP/CCIE - so this book is worth it's weight in GOLD to me.

The thing that impressed me the most is that it goes beyond simple Cisco 800/1600/2500 series router configuration examples and uses many of the high end router IOS commands - so no matter what you are configuring, whether it's a 2501 or a 7000; ISDN, FDDI, Ehternet, or Token Ring; SNMP,TFTP; RIP, BGP, or OSPF; or any of the other major Cisco "must know" items then you need this book.

As a CCNP/CCIE candidate AND a Network Administrator I really have an appreciation for the "Case Study" in the book. It *really* shows you what to expect in the real world environment of WANs. BTW, it makes a great CCIE Lab Scenario too!

Overall, I feel my money was very well spent. It has already paid for itself. It will be on my desk for a long, long time.

**+ Troubleshooting TCP/IP

by Mark A. Miller. Paperback (July 1999)
Amazon Price:$39.99
Paperback - 785 pages Third Edition edition (July 1999)
IDG Books Worldwide; ISBN: 0764570129 ; Dimensions (in inches): 2.01 x 8.96 x 6.98 Sales Rank: 148,274
Avg. Customer Review:
Number of Reviews: 2

In reality this book is about protocol traces. Half of first 500 pages is rehash of general concepts. Appendixes that consume almost 200 pages (from p .519) are completely useless. CD contain RFC and is not organized well. No other methods of troubleshooting are discussed. I do not see any significant changes since the second edition.

For example the author approach to troubleshooting internet connection in Ch.4 is not realistic and too complex. Book is poorly organized.

could be much better January 4, 1999

Reviewer: [email protected] from Houston, TX

The author may be an expert but he's not a good writer. There's too much talk and too many "facts" you have to memorize. When it finally comes to interpreting sample network analysis reports, it's not nearly detailed enough. I thought the opposite before I bought the book. Secondly, as common to all books published by a cheap publisher, there're too many errors. Third, the CD contains RFQs, which you can get from the Internet. No programs. I wish I could get the sniffer program he used in the book. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

practical knowledge on reading packet traces

November 14, 1998

Reviewer: A reader from San Jose, CA Everyone seems to have lots of great reference books on network design and protocol specifications.

If you actually have to fix a network problem (or even harder, explain to a vendor that they need to fix a problem), your best bet is to show them a packet trace and say "there is the problem, and it's your fault!"

The only way to do this is to learn to read packet traces. Theory is not always useful in practice.

This book complements all any network library, and is a easy read for reasonably experienced network professionals. The structure of the book is simple. Each chapter provides a brief review of a concept, then several example problems. Each problem comes with a problem description, a packet trace, and a solution.

The ability to define a problem in this way is both cool and great for the resume.

High-Speed Networks : Tcp/Ip and Atm Design Principles (Stallings, William. William Stallings Books on Computer and Data Communications Technology.)
William Stallings / Hardcover / Published 1997
  • Amazon price: $60.00
Ip Switching : Protocols and Architecture (McGraw-Hill Series on Computer Communications) ~ Usually ships in 24 hours
Christopher Y. Metz / Paperback / Published 1998
  • Amazon price: $55.00



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