Absolute FreeBSD: The Complete Guide to FreeBSD


FreeBSD—the powerful, flexible, and free Unix-like operating system—is the preferred server for many enterprises. But it can be even trickier to use than either Unix or Linux, and harder still to master.

Absolute FreeBSD, 2nd Edition is your complete guide to FreeBSD, written by FreeBSD committer Michael W. Lucas. Lucas considers this completely revised and rewritten second edition of his landmark work to be his best work ever; a true product of his love for FreeBSD and the ...

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Absolute FreeBSD 2nd Edition: The Complete Guide to FreeBSD

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FreeBSD—the powerful, flexible, and free Unix-like operating system—is the preferred server for many enterprises. But it can be even trickier to use than either Unix or Linux, and harder still to master.

Absolute FreeBSD, 2nd Edition is your complete guide to FreeBSD, written by FreeBSD committer Michael W. Lucas. Lucas considers this completely revised and rewritten second edition of his landmark work to be his best work ever; a true product of his love for FreeBSD and the support of the FreeBSD community. Absolute FreeBSD, 2nd Edition covers installation, networking, security, network services, system performance, kernel tweaking, filesystems, SMP, upgrading, crash debugging, and much more, including coverage of how to:

  • Use advanced security features like packet filtering, virtual machines, and host-based intrusion detection
  • Build custom live FreeBSD CDs and bootable flash
  • Manage network services and filesystems
  • Use DNS and set up email, IMAP, web, and FTP services for both servers and clients
  • Monitor your system with performance-testing and troubleshooting tools
  • Run diskless systems
  • Manage schedulers, remap shared libraries, and optimize your system for your hardware and your workload
  • Build custom network appliances with embedded FreeBSD
  • Implement redundant disks, even without special hardware
  • Integrate FreeBSD-specific SNMP into your network management system.

Whether you're just getting started with FreeBSD or you've been using it for years, you'll find this book to be the definitive guide to FreeBSD that you've been waiting for.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593271510
  • Publisher: No Starch Press San Francisco, CA
  • Publication date: 11/1/2007
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 736
  • Sales rank: 803,222
  • Product dimensions: 7.08 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael W. Lucas is a network/security engineer with extensive experience working with high-availability systems. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Absolute BSD, Absolute OpenBSD, Cisco Routers for the Desperate, and PGP & GPG, all from No Starch Press.

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Table of Contents

What Is FreeBSD?;
FreeBSD Development;
Other BSDs;
Other Unixes;
FreeBSD's Strengths;
Who Should Use FreeBSD?;
Who Should Run Another BSD?;
Who Should Run a Proprietary Operating System?;
How to Read This Book;
What Must You Know?;
For the New System Administrator;
Notes on the Second Edition;
Contents of This Book;
1.1 Why Not Just Email for Help?;
1.2 Man Pages;
1.3 FreeBSD.org;
1.4 Other Websites;
1.5 Using FreeBSD Problem-Solving Resources;
1.6 Emailing for Help;
2.1 FreeBSD Hardware;
2.2 Preinstall Decisions;
2.3 The FreeBSD FTP Site;
2.4 The Install Process;
2.5 Preparing Boot Floppies;
2.6 Preparing Boot CDs;
2.7 FTP Media Setup;
2.8 Actually Installing FreeBSD;
2.9 Restart!;
3.1 Power-On and the Loader;
3.2 Single-User Mode;
3.3 The Loader Prompt;
3.4 Default Files;
3.5 Loader Configuration;
3.6 Serial Consoles;
3.7 Startup Messages;
3.8 Multi-User Startup;
4.1 System Backups;
4.2 Backup Tapes;
4.3 Backup Programs;
4.4 tar;
4.5 dump;
4.6 Restoring from a dump;
4.7 Multiple Backups on One Tape;
4.8 Revision Control;
4.9 Recording What Happened;
4.10 The Fixit Disk;
Chapter 5: KERNEL GAMES;
5.1 What Is the Kernel?;
5.2 sysctl;
5.3 Kernel Modules;
5.4 Build Your Own Kernel;
5.5 Trimming a Kernel;
5.6 Building a Kernel;
5.7 Inclusions, Exclusions, and Expanding the Kernel;
5.8 Sharing Kernels;
5.9 Testing Kernels Remotely;
5.10 Kernel Stuff You Should Know About;
Chapter 6: THE NETWORK;
6.1 Network Layers;
6.2 The Network in Practice;
6.3 Getting Bits and Hexes;
6.4 Remedial TCP/IP;
6.5 Understanding Ethernet;
6.6 Configuring Your Ethernet Connection;
6.7 Network Activity;
6.8 Optimizing Network Performance;
6.9 Network Adapter Teaming;
7.1 Who Is the Enemy?;
7.2 FreeBSD Security Announcements;
7.3 User Security;
7.4 Shells and /etc/shells;
7.5 root, Groups, and Management;
7.6 Tweaking User Security;
7.7 File Flags;
7.8 Securelevels;
7.9 Network Targets;
7.10 Putting It All Together;
8.1 Disk Drives 101;
8.2 Device Nodes;
8.3 The Filesystem Table: /etc/fstab;
8.4 What's Mounted Now?;
8.5 Mounting and Unmounting Disks;
8.6 How Full Is a Partition?;
8.7 The Fast File System;
8.8 Using Foreign Filesystems;
8.9 Removable Media Filesystems;
8.10 Other FreeBSD Filesystems;
8.11 Wiring Down Devices;
8.12 Adding New Hard Disks;
8.13 Network Filesystems;
8.14 FreeBSD and CIFS;
8.15 Serving CIFS Shares;
8.16 devfs;
Chapter 9: Advanced Security Features;
9.1 Unprivileged Users;
9.2 Network Traffic Control;
9.3 Default Accept vs. Default Deny;
9.4 TCP Wrappers;
9.5 Packet Filtering;
9.6 Public Key Encryption;
9.7 Jails;
9.8 Preparing for Intrusions with mtree(1);
9.9 Monitoring System Security;
9.10 If You're Hacked;
Chapter 10: EXPLORING /ETC;
10.1 /etc Across Unix Species;
10.2 /etc/adduser.conf;
10.3 /etc/amd.map;
10.4 /etc/bluetooth, /etc/bluetooth.device.conf, and /etc/defaults/bluetooth.device.conf;
10.5 /etc/crontab;
10.6 /etc/csh.*;
10.7 /etc/devd.conf;
10.8 /etc/devfs.conf, /etc/devfs.rules, and /etc/defaults/devfs.rules;
10.9 /etc/dhclient.conf;
10.10 /etc/disktab;
10.11 /etc/freebsd-update.conf;
10.12 /etc/fstab;
10.13 /etc/ftp.*;
10.14 /etc/group;
10.15 /etc/hosts;
10.16 /etc/hosts.allow;
10.17 /etc/hosts.equiv;
10.18 /etc/hosts.lpd;
10.19 /etc/inetd.conf;
10.20 /etc/localtime;
10.21 /etc/locate.rc;
10.22 /etc/login.*;
10.23 /etc/mail/mailer.conf;
10.24 /etc/make.conf;
10.25 /etc/master.passwd;
10.26 /etc/motd;
10.27 /etc/mtree;
10.28 /etc/namedb;
10.29 /etc/netstart;
10.30 /etc/network.subr;
10.31 /etc/newsyslog.conf;
10.32 /etc/nscd.conf;
10.33 /etc/nsmb.conf;
10.34 /etc/nsswitch.conf;
10.35 /etc/opie*;
10.36 /etc/pam.d/*;
10.37 /etc/pccard_ether;
10.38 /etc/periodic.conf and /etc/defaults/periodic.conf;
10.39 /etc/pf.conf;
10.40 /etc/pf.os;
10.41 /etc/phones;
10.42 /etc/portsnap.conf;
10.43 /etc/ppp;
10.44 /etc/printcap;
10.45 /etc/profile;
10.46 /etc/protocols;
10.47 /etc/rc*;
10.48 /etc/remote;
10.49 /etc/rpc;
10.50 /etc/security/;
10.51 /etc/services;
10.52 /etc/shells;
10.53 /etc/snmpd.config;
10.54 /etc/src.conf;
10.55 /etc/sysctl.conf;
10.56 /etc/syslog.conf;
10.57 /etc/termcap;
10.58 /etc/ttys;
11.1 Making Software;
11.2 Source Code and Software;
11.3 The Ports and Packages System;
11.4 Finding Software;
11.5 Using Packages;
11.6 Using Ports;
11.7 Ports and Package Security;
12.1 Using Multiple Processors: SMP;
12.2 Schedulers;
12.3 Startup and Shutdown Scripts;
12.4 Managing Shared Libraries;
12.5 Threads, Threads, and More Threads;
12.6 Userland Threading Libraries;
12.7 Remapping Shared Libraries;
12.8 Running Software from the Wrong OS;
12.9 Using Linux Mode;
12.10 Running Software from the Wrong Architecture;
13.1 FreeBSD Versions;
13.2 Upgrade Methods;
13.3 Binary Updates;
13.4 Upgrading via sysinstall;
13.5 Upgrading via Source;
13.6 Building FreeBSD from Source;
13.7 Shrinking FreeBSD;
13.8 Updating with csup and make;
13.9 Cross-Building FreeBSD;
13.10 Building a Local CVSup Server;
13.11 Upgrading the Ports Collection;
13.12 Updating Installed Ports;
14.1 How DNS Works;
14.2 Basic DNS Tools;
14.3 Configuring the Resolver;
14.4 Local DNS Overrides with /etc/hosts;
14.5 Building a Nameserver;
14.6 Configuring BIND with named.conf;
14.7 Managing named;
14.8 Checking DNS;
14.9 Nameserver Security;
14.10 More on BIND;
Chapter 15: Small System Services;
15.1 SSH;
15.2 Network Time;
15.3 Name Service Switching and Caching;
15.4 inetd;
15.5 DHCP;
15.6 Printing and Print Servers;
15.7 TFTP;
15.8 Scheduling Tasks;
16.1 Email Overview;
16.2 Sendmail;
16.3 Configuring Sendmail;
16.4 Virtual Domains;
16.5 Changing sendmail.cf;
16.6 Greylisting;
16.7 Sendmail Authentication with SASL;
16.8 IMAP and POP3;
17.1 How a Web Server Works;
17.2 The Apache Web Server;
17.3 Apache Modules;
17.4 Directories and Permissions;
17.5 Including Other Configuration Files;
17.6 Virtual Hosting;
17.7 HTTPS Websites;
17.8 Controlling Apache;
17.9 File Transfer;
17.10 Chrooting sftp(1) and scp(1);
18.1 GEOM Essentials;
18.2 Disk Drives 102;
18.3 Slicing Disks;
18.4 Building Filesystems;
18.5 RAID;
18.6 Generic GEOM Commands;
18.7 Striping Disks;
18.8 Mirroring Disks;
18.9 RAID-3;
18.10 RAID-10;
18.11 Journaling Filesystems with gjournal(8);
18.12 Filesystem Encryption;
18.13 Disk Device Network Exports;
18.14 Mirroring Disks Across the Network;
19.1 Computer Resources;
19.2 Checking the Network;
19.3 General Bottleneck Analysis with vmstat(8);
19.4 Disk I/O;
19.5 CPU, Memory, and I/O with top(1);
19.6 Following Processes;
19.7 Paging and Swapping;
19.8 Performance Tuning;
19.9 Status Mail;
19.10 Logging with syslogd;
19.11 Log File Management;
19.12 FreeBSD and SNMP;
20.1 /etc/ttys;
20.2 Diskless FreeBSD;
20.3 Diskless Farm Configuration;
20.4 The /conf/default Directory;
20.5 Diskless Packages and Files;
20.6 NanoBSD: Building Your Own Appliances;
20.7 Live Media with FreeSBIE;
21.1 What Causes Panics?;
21.2 Recognizing Panics;
21.3 Responding to a Panic;
21.4 When Panic Strikes: Manual Crash Dumps;
21.5 Using the Dump;
21.6 Submitting Problem Reports;

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Nice and updated. Much better than I expected

    I am a big fan of open source software. I've been a GNU/Linux user for years but I must admit I had never played with BSD before. I bought this book because I wanted to set up a network server at home and I thought it was the perfect occasion to try FreeBSD. I expected one of those thick and boring reference books but, hey! I am very glad I chose "Absolute FreeBSD" because it is the perfect example of how write a clear, informative, nice and accurate technical book. The book is not for the absolute beginner but, in general, it's very easy to read. It should be self-explanatory to anyone with a little experience in networking, UNIX-like systems or, in general, computer science.

    The author is a FreeBSD developer himself, so he talks about the inner workings of the FreeBSD community, providing an interesting point of view of the operating system, not only as a regular user but also as one of its "insiders".

    The book covers everything a BSD system administrator should know. It covers basic things like how to install the system, how to make backups and recover from data loss, how to configure the network, disk management, etc. It also includes detailed explanations and sysadmin tricks of the usual network services: DNS, SSH, DHCP, FTP, printing server, web Server, mail Server... The author also gets into more advanced topics like, kernel tunning, security, performance analysis and tunning or RAID management. I was particularly interested in using hard disk encryption. I thought getting it was going to be a pain in the neck but the book explains how to do it with 6 simple commands. Nice!

    In general the book is well structured. Concepts are explained clearly and with a lot of examples. Some chapters cover so many concepts that my brain couldn't keep up with so much information and I had to take a break for a nice beer ;-) The book is worth it's price: 37 dollars for 700 pages.

    Only one advice: Although it has a graphical interface, FreeBSD is normally configured trough the good old command-line. Don't expect this book to tell you how to configure your web server double-clicking on an icon, FreeBSD is not Ubuntu or Win2003. The book may not be suitable for Happy Windows Users, used too the click-next click-next click-next way. This book is for computer geeks, system administrators, people that enjoy using different operating systems, people that need to have a robust system to use as a network server, people that like to tune every detail of their machines, or people that need to learn freeBSD and have no time to google every single configuration detail. For any of those people, I highly recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2007

    A reviewer

    Are you a new Unix administrator? If you are, then this book is for you. Author Michael W. Lucas, has done an outstanding job of writing a book that will enable you to use FreeBSD to provide network services. Lucas, begins with a discussion of the information resources the FreeBSD Project and its devotees provide for users. Then, the author gives you an overview of installing FreeBSD and others advice on an optimal install. Next, he shows you how the FreeBSD boot process makes your system start, stop, and reboot in different configurations. The author also discusses how to back up your data on both a system-wide and a file-by-file level, and how to make your changes so that they can be easily undone. He continues by describing how to configure the FreeBSD kernel. Then, the author discusses the network and how it works in FreeBSD. Next, he shows you how to make your computer resist attackers and intruders. The author continues by covering some of the details of working with hard drives in FreeBSD, support for other filesystems, and a few network filesystems. Then, he discusses some of the more interesting security features found in FreeBSD. Next, the author describes the many configuration files in FreeBSD and how they operate. He continues by describing the ports and packages system that FreeBSD uses to manage add-on software. Then, the author discusses some of the finer points of running software on FreeBSD systems. Next, he shows you how to use FreeBSD¿s upgrade process. The author continues by describing DNS and shows you how to install and troubleshoot it. Then, he discusses some of the small programs you¿ll need to manage in order to use FreeBSD properly. Next, the author describes how to set up an email system on FreeBSD to reliably deliver mail and repel spam and viruses. He continues by showing you how to setup and secure Web and FTP Services. Then, the author goes over some of the fancy techniques FreeBSD supports for mirroring disks, exporting disk devices across the network, and generally having a good old time protecting and manipulating your data. Next, he covers some of FreeBSD¿s performance-testing and trouble-shooting tools and shows you how to interpret the results. The author continues by showing you some of the more interesting tricks you can do with FreeBSD, such as running systems without disks and with tiny disks, as well as, some live failover and redundancy setups. Finally, the author wraps up by showing you how to deal with those rare occasions when a FreeBSD system fails, how to debug problems, and how to create a useful problem report. This most excellent book shows you how to manage, patch, and maintain your FreeBSD systems and have a basic understanding of networking, system security, and software management. In other words, after reading this book, you will be armed with a strong working knowledge of how FreeBSD can be used as a powerful desktop or development machine.

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