The Virtual Bookcase Reviews of 'UNIX System Administration Handbook':
Reviewer amazon.com wrote:
The third edition of Unix System Administration Handbook stands as a fantastic Unix book, perhaps one that's destined for legend. It's arguably the best
general Unix book around. Don't delay in getting it, and don't spend too much time flinching at the price; it's worth it. If you work with Unix--in any of its
flavors--you'll use this book, and frequently.
How, then, to begin the song of praises for the book? Let's start with its comprehensiveness. The authors--a whole passel of them, but miraculously
consistent in style--deal with every subject that's central to the Unix universe. Their diligence extends even to detailed coverage of subjects (like the
Domain Name System (DNS)) that many authorial squads omit. System administrators need to understand it all--it's good to see everything covered in one
book. Of course, you still will need more focused texts for really complicated situations, but the coverage here will carry you a long way.
Although you probably will want to read this book cover to cover eventually, you might first look at the index, which typically will guide you to a couple of
sections. First, an overview of the subject that interests you will explain what the service or feature is meant to do, what it isn't meant to do, and how (in fairly
general terms) it does its job. You'll find four sections--one each on the relevant configuration facts of the four emphasized Unix variants. These sections
aren't presented as explicit sequences of steps (which invariably leave the reader asking, "But, what if... " anyway), but as narratives that are interspersed
with commands and configuration file listings. The approach works well, and it's made even better by the syntax summaries and conceptual diagrams that
pop up now and then.
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