The Best of FreeBSD Basics

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Simple still simple, hide complex  things within  sleek  procedure is great  icon smile The Best of FreeBSD Basics

Thats main reason why I use FreeBSD, as review in Amazon :

For over seven years, computer networking and security instructor and consultant, Dru Lavigne, meticulously documented her learning experiences with FreeBSD administration and open source software usage in a series of over 110 articles. Many readers praised and recommended the author’s informative tutorials. The Best of FreeBSD Basics book contains most of these articles – many updated from FreeBSD 4 and 5 to reflect the usage on FreeBSD 6 and 7. The Best of FreeBSD Basics provides practical advice for completing common tasks on FreeBSD and is a great way to get to know FreeBSD – and Unix in general. Darwin, DragonFly, Linux, Mac OS X, NetBSD, and OpenBSD fans will also find a lot of the book invaluable and useful. Covering a huge range of FreeBSD and open source topics, The Best of FreeBSD Basics includes step-by-step directions, things to watch out for, and hints for success. A sampling of the book’s topics include installing an X11 server and setting up an desktop environment, comparing common tasks with Linux, playing audio and video files, user administration, system startup, finding and using documentation, managing backups, networking basics, IPsec, setting up several servers, filtering spam, improving security, enabling firewalls, and a lot more.

 Richard Review give this book on my wishlist icon smile The Best of FreeBSD Basics

In mid-2004 I reviewed Dru Lavigne’s book BSD Hacks, which I really enjoyed. 3 1/2 years later I am pleased to say that Dru’s latest book, The Best of FreeBSD Basics (TBOFB), is another excellent resource for FreeBSD users. I really wish this book had been available in 2000 when I started using FreeBSD! If you are a beginner to intermediate FreeBSD user, you will find this book invaluable. If you are an advanced user, you may find a helpful tip or two as well.

[amazonify]159327145X:right[/amazonify]Along with Michael Lucas, Dru Lavigne is one of the best FreeBSD authors around. She is very clear and methodically explains material with examples. The format of the book also makes it easy to find relevant material. I will admit to not reading every word, but it’s not necessary with TBOFB. For example, I did not spend much time reading about Tcpdump basics. Because all of the commands are bolded, however, I was able to quickly locate syntax of interest to me. If I didn’t recognize something I started reading the discussion in depth.

I’d like to highlight some of my favorite parts of the book. If you are a Linux administrator, you will find the "FreeBSD for Linux admins" section in Ch 1 to be helpful. I hadn’t heard of bzcat (p 134) or showing control character mappings with stty -e (p 120). I didn’t know I could specify a ports tree INDEX file via URL when invoking pkg_version (p 169). I was glad to learn about Porteasy (p 335). I think beginning Unix users will find the material on manipulating the shell to be helpful too. Items like these are not earth-shattering, but they make the administrator’s life a little easier.

I have some recommendations for a second edition of TBOFB, which if addressed would result in a five star review. First, the layout of the pages makes some of the text difficult to read. The text is just too wide on the page. Readers have to peer into the binding of the book to see the end of text on the left side of the book. Second, the index could be more complete. I couldn’t find some tools I read about in the index. Third, it would be helpful to know what OS was used to demonstrate the examples. For example, Michael Lucas’ book Absolute FreeBSD, 2nd Ed, was written using 7-CURRENT. The back of TBOFB states that "many" of the articles were "updated from FreeBSD 4 and 5 to reflect the usage on FreeBSD 6 and 7." Some of the material is essentially timeless (e.g., shell usage) but other elements tend to be tied closely to FreeBSD version. IPSec configuration is one example; some of the syntax on p 356 is not used in FreeBSD 7.x, and new instructions have been added.

[amazonify]1593271514:right[/amazonify] Initially I was skeptical about reading TBOFB. After all, hadn’t I read most or all of Dru’s articles published at O’Reilly during the last several years? After reading TBOFB, I’m thankful for the review copy and I recommend all beginner and intermediate FreeBSD users read the book. TBOFB is a great complement to Lucas’ Absolute FreeBSD, 2nd Ed, and I expect the forthcoming Building a Server with FreeBSD 7 by Bryan Hong to fit nicely in this collection.

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