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Absolute BSD: The Ultimate Guide to FreeBSD Paperback – Jul 11 2002

4.7 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 612 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press; 1 edition (July 11 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1886411743
  • ISBN-13: 978-1886411746
  • Product Dimensions: 18.7 x 3.6 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,290,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Michael Lucas is a columnist for the O'Reilly Network and a contributor to Sys Admin Magazine. He has been a pet wrangler, a librarian, a security consultant, and now works as a network engineer, and systems administrator.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a book for people who want to use FreeBSD as a server -- for mail, web services, DNS, etc. It's not a book for those who want to use FreeBSD as a desktop machine. FreeBSD makes a perfectly good desktop OS, but Absolute BSD includes very little information about setting up X or installing and using desktop applications. If you want to try out FreeBSD as an alternative to your Linux desktop, look elsewhere. But if you want to build a server, and learn an awful lot of incredibly useful bits about basic systems administration tasks (much of which is applicable to any other *nix system, including Linux), then I haven't found a better book for this purpose.
I bought this book because I liked Lucas's more recent book, Absolute OpenBSD, so much, and he covers FreeBSD at least as well, if not better. His writing style is humorous and very readable while still conveying a lot of technical information, and you not only learn what you need to type on the command line to accomplish a particular task, but also how a SysAdmin thinks.
Being more familiar with Linux, only somewhat familiar with BSD in general, I have gone from chapter to chapter and this book has guided me through installing FreeBSD both from CDs and over the network, upgrading it, and recompiling a more optimized kernel (which turns out to be a fairly painless process, if you follow the instructions in this book, for those of you who believe, as I did, that recompiling kernels is a big hassle, messing with the guts of your machine and likely to kill it if you make one stupid mistake). He explains every configuration file, how to set up (or turn off!
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Format: Paperback
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
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.
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Format: Paperback
I am comfortable with Linux and very much enjoy it, but I am by no means a pro. I was looking for an alternative that was sleeker, cleaner, and would run on an older system with a smaller hard drive. I found FreeBSD and really liked it, but there are some small differences between FreeBSD and Linux, and I thought a book would help.
I did some research and decided on "Absolute BSD" and was going to order it when I returned from my vacation. The day before I went on vacation, I stopped at a bookstore to get something to read on the plane. I picked up this book and was blown away. It was exactly what I was looking for! Not so simple that it went over basic Unix commands, and not too complex where I would have been lost.
If you are looking for a sleeker alternative to Linux, and especially if you're looking to run internet services - this is the book for you. In fact, I purchased the book at the bookstore at list price! Order this book at amazon before you look at it at a bookstore or you might find yourself out 12 extra bucks like me! (It was worth it!)
Mike Pinnella
email: /mushen620$NOSPAM-AT$\
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Format: Paperback
This book is too generalized. It barely covers much about FreeBSD, the OS and configurations. It covers some basic aspects, which may help someone that's never used a *nix variant--but other than that it covers a lot of basic stuff about Apache, Sendmail, etc.
Personally, if I buy a book about an OS, I want it to cover a lot about it. This had a total (what I can recall, at least it seemed) of about 20 commands, basic configuration and the rest was just fluff about Apache, Sendmail, etc.
I can't see this book being of much value. Condensed it would be a "decent' one chapter worth of knowledge. This book doesn't have a lot of knowledge or information to obtain.
I have been using Linux and *nix variants for about 8 years, doing web server tasks. I haven't been on a FreeBSD system for a while now and got this book to brush up, see the differences, etc.
The problem was, even though at this point logging into a FreeBSD server feels a little alien to me, even after all these years since I've used one much, I can refer to this book for anything and I already know it.
Don't mistake that for me knowing more about it than I thought--there's a lot I don't know and this book didn't touch any of it. This is way too basic and for the size of it, you'd think it would at least cover more for someone starting in it with more information. I didn't see either value in this book.
Again, this book could be condensed into one chapter and it would only be a so-so chapter. It didn't cover any of the commonly used commands, other than ps and top and netstat, etc., it didn't get into anything helpful. Very basic, and very general and too much fluff. I took it back the same day--because flipping through the entire book, there was only a few things I forgot about.
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