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Python for Unix and Linux System Administration--New from O'Reilly: Efficient Problem Solving with Python

September 9, 2008

Python for Unix and Linux System Administration Sebastopol, CA—All languages are tools: simply a means to get work done. They have value insofar as they help you get your job done better. So state Noah Gift and Jeremy Jones in Python for Unix and Linux System Administration (O'Reilly, US $49.99), adding, "We believe that Python is a valuable tool, specifically because it enables you to get your work done efficiently."

So is Python better than Perl, Bash, Ruby, or any other language? "It's really difficult to put that sort of qualitative label on a programming language, since the tool is so closely tied to the thought process of the programmer who is using it," write Gift and Jones. "Programming is a subjective, deeply personal activity. We're not going to argue that Python is better, but we will explain the reasons that we believe Python can be an excellent choice. We'll also explain why it is a great fit for programming sysadmin tasks."

"The art of systems administration has gotten more complex as virtualization has taken a hold in the datacenter," explains Gift. "There is a need for a way to tame the Wild West of Virtualization and Linux, and Python is perhaps the perfect weapon. It is incredibly fast to code one-off solutions to automate a task, but often those one off solutions can—and do—turn into beautiful pieces of production code."

According to Gift, Python for Unix and Linux System Administration should bring comfort to IT managers, small business owners, software engineers, and yes, sysadmins. "They could really plan a strategy in which every component of the development strategy incorporated Linux and Python," he says. "It really is possible to just about anything with Python and Linux from building a website, to automating a datacenter, to building really powerful command line tools."

Each chapter in Python for Unix and Linux System Administration presents a particular administrative issue, such as concurrency or data backup, and presents Python solutions through hands-on examples. When finished with the book, readers will be able to develop their own set of command-line utilities with Python to tackle a wide range of problems.

The authors also built a free, downloadable Ubuntu virtual machine that includes the book's source code and runs examples with SNMO, IPython, SQLAlchemy, and many others. Discover how Python can help you:

  • Read text files and extract information
  • Run tasks concurrently using the threading and forking options
  • Get information from one process to another using network facilities
  • Create clickable GUIs to handle large and complex utilities
  • Monitor large clusters of machines by interacting with SNMP programmatically
  • Master the IPython Interactive Python shell to replace or augment Bash, Korn, or Z-Shell
  • Integrate Cloud Computing into your infrastructure, and learn to write a Google App Engine Application
  • Solve unique data backup challenges with customized scripts
  • Interact with MySQL, SQLite, Oracle, Postgres, Django ORM, and SQLAlchemy

With this book and the complementary virtual machine, you'll learn to package and deploy your Python applications and libraries, and write code that runs equally well on multiple Unix platforms.

For a review copy or more information please email kathrynb@oreilly.com. Please include your delivery address and contact information.

Noah Gift is the co-author of Python for Unix and Linux System Administration by O'Reilly. He is an author, speaker, consultant, and community leader, writing for publications such as IBM Developerworks, Red Hat Magazine, O'Reilly, and MacTech. He has a Master's degree in CIS from Cal State Los Angeles, B.S. in Nutritional Sciencefrom Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, is an Apple ACSA and LPI certified SysAdmin, as well as aAvid Certified Support Representative. He has worked at companies such as, Caltech,Disney Feature Animation, Sony Imageworks, and Turner Studios.

Jeremy Jones is a software engineer who works for The Weather Channel. His weapon of choice is Python.

Additional Resources:
For more information about the book, including table of contents, index, author bios, and cover graphic, see the catalog page for Python for Unix and Linux System Administration.

Python for Unix and Linux System Administration
Jeremy Jones , Noah Gift
ISBN: 9780596515829, 456 pages, Book Price: $49.99 USD, £35.50 GBP
PDF Price: $39.99 USD


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