Linux Server Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips and Tricks


A competent system administrator knows that a Linux server is a high performance system for routing large amounts of information through a network connection. Setting up and maintaining a Linux server requires understanding not only the hardware, but the ins and outs of the Linux operating system along with its supporting cast of utilities as well as layers of applications software. There's basic documentation online but there's a lot beyond the basics you have to know, and this only comes from people with ...

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Linux Server Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips and Tools

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A competent system administrator knows that a Linux server is a high performance system for routing large amounts of information through a network connection. Setting up and maintaining a Linux server requires understanding not only the hardware, but the ins and outs of the Linux operating system along with its supporting cast of utilities as well as layers of applications software. There's basic documentation online but there's a lot beyond the basics you have to know, and this only comes from people with hands-on, real-world experience. This kind of "know how" is what we sought to capture in Linux Server Hacks.Linux Server Hacks is a collection of 100 industrial-strength hacks, providing tips and tools that solve practical problems for Linux system administrators. Every hack can be read in just a few minutes but will save hours of searching for the right answer. Some of the hacks are subtle, many of them are non-obvious, and all of them demonstrate the power and flexibility of a Linux system. You'll find hacks devoted to tuning the Linux kernel to make your system run more efficiently, as well as using CVS or RCS to track the revision to system files. You'll learn alternative ways to do backups, how to use system monitoring tools to track system performance and a variety of secure networking solutions. Linux Server Hacks also helps you manage large-scale Web installations running Apache, MySQL, and other open source tools that are typically part of a Linux system.O'Reilly's new Hacks Series proudly reclaims the term "hacking" for the good guys. Hackers use their ingenuity to solve interesting problems. Rob Flickenger is an experienced system administrator, having managed the systems for O'Reilly Network for several years. (He's also into community wireless networking and he's written a book on that subject for O'Reilly.) Rob has also collected the best ideas and tools from a number of other highly skilled contributors.Written for users who already understand the basics, Linux Server Hacks is built upon the expertise of people who really know what they're doing.

This unique and valuable collection of tips, tools, and scripts provides direct, hands-on solutions that can be used by anyone running a network of Linux servers.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
O’Reilly’s Rob Flickenger has compiled 100 of the world’s best ideas for optimizing Linux servers and system administration -- and, boy, are they ever useful.

Want to improve performance and security by removing unnecessary services and drivers? Track down people (or software) that are hogging disk space? Manage your system resources on a per-process basis? Eliminate setuid/setgid executables that make you susceptible to the ptrace attack? Accelerate compiles? Use makefiles to automate administration? Flickenger covers all that, and much more, in just the first quarter of the book.

Blessed with loads of RAM? Here are hacks that make the most of it. Running IDE drives? Here are hdparm tricks that dramatically improve throughput -- sometimes by as much as 6x to 10x.

You'll find excellent ideas for backup and archiving, copying arbitrary portions of your filesystem using ssh and tar, using rsync to back up incremental filesystem changes, applying pax to make portable archives that can be restored on other Unix systems, backing up your boot sector -- even burning CDs without creating ISO files.

Linux Server Hacks offers nifty solutions for firewalling and IP tunneling; server monitoring (local, network, and Web); CVS and revision control; and scripting. A full quarter of the book covers high-performance delivery of information services -- from BIND to DNS caching, MySQL server tuning to mass web site “ultrahosting.” Chances are, this book will save your organization thousands of dollars. It’ll certainly save you an enormous amount of time and hassle. 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.

Library Journal
Linux continues its surge in popularity-especially in the server market, which appreciates the lower cost and higher stability of this open source option. Red Hat provides basic coverage of one widely used distribution, from setting up a Linux server to setting up intranet services (like DHCP). This guide will be especially useful to network administrators moving from a Windows NT/2000 environment to Red Hat Linux; Linux's differences from Windows are stressed, and a background in NT/2000 network administration is assumed. Quizzes, projects, tips, notes, and summaries make it a good self-study resource. Clear explanations and examples recommend it for all libraries. Server Hacks, the first entry in O'Reilly's new series, contains real-world tips, tools, and scripts for working Linux administrators, allowing them to tweak their servers to maximum effectiveness and resolve common situations with minimal fuss. Hacks are broken down into common tasks, such as server basics (speeding up compiles) or monitoring (What's holding that port open?). Each tip explains why and how it can help maintain server efficiency or solve common problems, with a welcome balance of humor and practicality. Highly recommended. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
From The Critics
Very easy to read. Flickenger has a "conversational" writing style I found easy to parse. If you hang out with Linux geeks very much, you'll recognize his way of communicating and easily assimilate what he has to say. His advice is sound, his skill level high (the same can be said for the other contributors as well). The book's layout and organization made it easy to find specifics and will ensure that it gets used as a reference later on.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780596004613
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/6/2003
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 242
  • Sales rank: 956,288
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Rob Flickenger has been a professional systems administrator for more than 10 years, and all around hacker for as long as he can remember. Rob enjoys spreading the good word of open networks, open standards, and ubiquitous wireless networking. His current professional project is Metrix Communication LLC, which provides wireless hardware and software that embodies the same open source principles he rants about in his books. Rob also works with the U.N. and various international organizations to bring these ideas to places where communications infrastructure is badly needed. He hopes that all of this effort is contributing toward the ultimate goal of infinite bandwidth everywhere for free. He is the author of Linux Server Hacks, Wireless Hacks, and Building Wireless Community Networks (which is in its second edition).

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Table of Contents

How to Become a Hacker


Chapter 1: Server Basics

Chapter 2: Revision Control

Chapter 3: Backups

Chapter 4: Networking

Chapter 5: Monitoring

Chapter 6: SSH

Chapter 7: Scripting

Chapter 8: Information Servers


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