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Linux Server Hacks, Volume Two:

January 17, 2006

Sebastopol, CA--The original "Linux Server Hacks" gave Linux administrators one hundred clever tips and tools to enhance their use of Linux on the server. Three years later, those hacks are as valid and handy as ever. Realizing that a second edition of the book would add only incremental value to the first, while acknowledging the insatiable appetite of Linux admins for ever more hacks, authors Bill von Hagen and Brian K. Jones put together one hundred new hacks in the form of Linux Server Hacks, Volume Two (O'Reilly, US $29.95), demonstrating once again that there is no end to the clever things you can do with Linux.

In Jones's opinion, the book is more timeless than a lot of other tech books that are destined to be useless within a year of their publication. "The techniques found within will be useful for years to come. Some of these hacks are things that have been around for years, and would be useful to millions, if only they were well documented and well marketed," he says.

"I feel that getting to know the guts of how the services work, and how the services interact with each other and the system is important," Jones continues. "In five years, everything will have a GUI pasted onto it, and there will be as many bad Linux admins who can't live without a GUI as there are MCSEs who are the same way today. The way to differentiate yourself from the throngs of paper tigers is to actually know how the services work, how to use them in interesting ways, how to think in terms of holistic solutions instead of individual services, and how to talk about these solutions in intelligent ways that can be easily understood." Topics covered in Linux Server Hacks, Volume Two include:

  • Control the Linux authentication process when using local account files, LDAP, Kerberos, and even Windows Active Directory
  • Use VNC, LTSP, and FreeNX to remotely run a GUI Linux desktop to ease administration or provide a stable, secure desktop environment to end users
  • Create a budget NAS box and learn other techniques for managing storage using disk quotas, cloning, snapshots, RAID, and volume management
  • Monitor your network for intruders, manage logfiles, and remotely query servers and network devices for information
  • Troubleshoot hard disk and filesystem failures to recover lost data
  • According to Jones, "The book is suitable for anyone who wants to understand more about how Linux works, how services running under Linux work, how it can be integrated into an existing environment, and how to do any of the specific tasks outlined in the book. For some of the hacks, experience in administration is required and assumed. For others, any and all levels of experience are welcome. I think we've tried to make even the most advanced material as unintimidating as possible."

    Linux Server Hacks, Volume Two will not only help system administrators become more productive, but will teach them how to hack their jobs using soft skills, better time management, and Linux advocacy within their organizations.

    As Jones and von Hagen explain, "As we worked on this book, thinking about cool server and sys admin hacks mutated into thinking about general tips and tricks that we found useful to simplify our lives as system administrators. We also noticed that there weren't really any books available along the lines of 'Things We Wish Previous System Administrators Would Have Told Us.' We decided to 'hack the Hacks series' a bit and incorporate some general sys admin information, tips, and tricks as another of this book's primary themes. This means that we provide a bit more background material than you ordinarily see in Hacks series books."

    If you enjoyed and appreciated Linux Server Hacks, then keep on hacking with Volume Two.

    Additional Resources:

    Linux Server Hacks, Volume Two
    Bill von Hagen and Brian K. Jones
    ISBN: 0-596-10082-5, 456 pages, $29.95 US
    1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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