The introductions explains the scope of the book and who it is for:
<i>*Welcome to Absolute BSD! This book is a one-stop shop for new UNIX administrators who want to build, configure and manage dedicated FreeBSD servers.*</I>
Now, if that applies to you, then you can get no better book. If you want X11 stuff, look elsewhere. Wanna play games??? Keep looking.
I have been a network admin on other platforms for years and moved to BSD. I needed to set up a few secure and reliable web/mail/dns servers. This book was the perfect book for my needs. But what truly makes the book unique and great is the author.
Too many people write Unix books that talk about commands but never actually talk about getting work done with the computer. To me, most Unix writers are more interested in showing off acquired knowledge than actually relaying that knowledge in a useful way.
Learning Unix from a book had always been pain until I found this book.
If you will allow me an analogy... If you look up "hammer" in most Unix books they tell you the vector force required to use the hammer. They tell you exact measurements of a hammer. They tell you the molecular composition of the head of the hammer. Then they tell you to subscribe to email@example.com.
Michael Lucas actually says that it is used to drive in a nail! (imagine that)
No, this book does not cover every FreeBSD command and what it does. Nor was it meant to. The book is about providing solutions and not just a bunch or words.
If you are a Unix rookie and want to become a decent admin fast, this is the right book. It is so easy to read, I read it for fun. (It is really funny)
For you ultra newbies, learn a pinch of Unix first, not much but a pinch.
FreeBSD is bar none, the most dependable server OS out there. Using it and this book is a killer combination.