Maybe you’re already running FreeBSD. Maybe you’re experimenting with it, attracted by its reputation for rock-solid reliability and immense power (not to mention its price -- or lack thereof). Maybe your boss just told you: Go get Apache running on FreeBSD. You’re looking for a great FreeBSD book. We’ve got one.
Roderick Smith begins with some desperately needed context: what FreeBSD is, where it came from, how it’s similar to Linux and Unix, and what it’s suited for. Next, Smith walks through installation, which may involve unfamiliar steps (for example, using FIPS to shrink an existing partition).
After a quick look at basic text-mode commands and the GNOME graphical interface, Smith moves into system administration. You’ll check out your system’s configuration files, master important “information and manipulation” commands, and take control over startup, partitions, files, and accounts. Smith also illuminates the FreeBSD printing model, and shows how to set up GhostScript to print PostScript files on non-PostScript printers.
There are detailed chapters on installing software, configuring kernels, and managing X Window, plus an entire section on network and firewall configuration. Smith systematically walks through setting up FreeBSD file, mail, web, login, DHCP, DNS, time, and font servers. He also reviews FreeBSD software, from web browsers to OpenOffice.org. Smith doesn’t hesitate to mention problems -- for example, limitations imposed by FreeBSD’s relatively primitive font handling.
There’s extensive coverage of system maintenance -- automated and otherwise -- and a full chapter on security. The CD-ROM contains a working FreeBSD system -- as much as will fit on one disk. Bill Camarda
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks for Dummies, Second Edition.