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"BSD Hacks": Productive, Time-Saving, and Fun Hacks for BSD Users

June 3, 2004

Sebastopol, CA--In the world of Unix operating systems, the various BSDs come with a long heritage of high-quality software and well-designed solutions, making them a favorite OS of a wide range of users. From budget-minded users who adopted BSD early on to developers of some of today's largest Internet sites, the popularity of BSD systems continues to grow. If you use the BSD operating system, you know that the secret of its success is not just in its price tag: practical, reliable, extraordinarily stable and flexible, BSD also offers plenty of fertile ground for creative, time-saving tweaks and tricks, and yes, even the chance to have some fun.

"Fun?" you ask. Perhaps "fun" wasn't covered in the manual that taught you to install BSD and administer it effectively. But BSD Hacks (O'Reilly, US $24.95), by Dru Lavigne and a contributing team of trainers, developers, hobbyists, and administrators, offers a unique set of practical tips, tricks, tools--and even fun--for administrators and power users of BSD systems.

BSD Hacks takes a creative approach to saving time and getting more accomplished with fewer resources. BSD users learn to take advantage of the tools and concepts that make the world's top Unix users more productive, with each hack offering the chance to peek inside the mind of another Unix fan. And it makes no difference whether you're a new BSD user or a power hacker wanting to increase your arsenal of tools. As Lavigne notes, there's an unspoken commonality between the novice Unix user and the seasoned guru. "It doesn't matter whether you've just survived your first successful installation or you've just executed a complex script that will save you time and money, the feeling is the same," she says. "It's the excitement of venturing into unknown territory and discovering something new and wonderful. It's that sense of accomplishment that comes with figuring something out for yourself, with finding your own solution to the problem at hand."

The book begins with hacks to customize the user environment. Readers will learn how to be more productive in the command line, implement timesaving tips for setting user-defaults, automate long commands, and save long sessions for later review. Other hacks in the book show how to:

  • Customize and install software exactly as you want it on one or dozens of machines
  • Be a good network neighbor, even to other operating systems
  • Make the most of the copious documentation or find (and document) answers when there's no documentation
  • Allocate bandwidth by time, department, or use
  • Secure your system with good passwords, intelligent firewall rules, proper logging, and a little foresight
  • Plan for and recover from disaster, including catastrophic Internet loss and hardware failures
  • Automate your backups, safely and securely
  • If you want more than your average BSD user--you want to explore and experiment, unearth shortcuts, create useful tools, and come up with fun things to try on your own--BSD Hacks is a must-have. Written for anyone using FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, Darwin (under or alongside Mac OS X), or any other BSD flavor, this book will turn regular users into power users and system administrators into super system administrators.

    Additional Resources:

    BSD Hacks
    Dru Lavigne
    ISBN 0-596-00679-9, 427 pages, $24.95 US, $36.95 CA
    1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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