Book Review - Linux Quick Fix Notebook by Peter Harrison
If you're a Linux administrator who is constantly looking for that practical example or write-up on how to do a specific task, Peter Harrison's Linux Quick Fix Notebook (Prentice Hall) is probably what you're looking for...
Part 1 - The Linux File Server Project: Why Host Your Own Site?; Introduction To Networking; Linux Networking; Simple Network Troubleshooting; Troubleshooting Linux With syslog; Installing RPM Software; The Linux Boot Process; Configuring The DHCP Server; Linux Users And sudo; Windows, Linux, And Samba; Sharing Resources With Samba; Samba Security And Troubleshooting; Linux Wireless Networking
Part 2 - The Linux Web Site Project: Linux Firewalls Using iptables; Linux FTP Server Setup; Telnet, TFTP, And xinetd; Secure Remote Logins And File Copying; Configuring DNS; Dynamic DNS; The Apache Web Server; Configuring Linux Mail Servers; Monitoring Server Performance; Advanced MRTG For Linux; The NTP Server
Part 3 - Advanced Topics: Network-Based Linux Installation; Linux Software RAID; Expanding Disk Capacity; Managing Disk Usage With Quotas; Remote Disk Access With NFS; Centralized Logins Using NIS; Centralized Logins Using LDAP And RADIUS; Controlling Web Access With Squid; Modifying The Linux Kernel To Improve Performance; Basic MySQL Configuration; Configuring Linux VPNs
Appendices: Miscellaneous Linux Topics; Codes, Scripts, And Configurations; Fedora Version Differences; syslog Configuration And Cisco Devices; Index
Harrison does a great job in hitting the target audience. He is writing to "proficient beginners, students, and IT professionals" who understand the theory but need a little nudge on the command formatting. As a result, there's less emphasis on explaining a lot of "why" material so that he can devote more time and space to the "how to" material. I must say he definitely nails that mark. He also spends a lot of time on troubleshooting issues (Samba, network connectivity, etc) because that's where the average reader is going to be floundering if they don't know the answer. By having a concise volume that covers the major areas of concern, you should be able to either quickly fix the problem or rule out a number of potential issues. Practicality rules in this book...
He also avoids the "which version of Linux are you on" issue by concentrating on the command line interface. The material you'll learn here is applicable to all versions of Linux, because he doesn't work with any graphical interfaces which may or may not have an equivalent in all Linux distributions. So while there might be easier ways to do some of the tasks listed here, you won't be locked out from any of them due to picking the "wrong" distribution.
A very good practical book for Linux admins, and one that should get lots of wear and tear...