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Linux Networking Cookbook

With Easy-to-Use Recipes for Every AdministratorLinux_cookbook

Author: Carla Schroder

A do-it yourself reference book for network troubleshooting. This book can be indispensable for anyone having an immediate need to build a replacement network server for those emergencies that arise when the network goes down. Using the information in this book the reader can create parts of or a fully functional network with all the bells and whistles.

One feature that I like is the author has included responses to commands as they are executed. Some books or magazine articles list multiple command lines without showing what is to be expected making it difficult to troubleshoot errors. When Debian or Fedora Linux specific commands are given, there are sub-chapters for each distribution. Be forewarned, if typing commands into a terminal is not for you then you are not a network person and you should look elsewhere. Using a recipe metaphore for sub-chapters, software and hardware (no eggs, milk or flour used) are mixed together to make a functional application or server. Applications are built one step at a time with explanations for each command.

The book’s introduction presents an overview of a general network’s components followed by chapters developing applications such as Firewalls, E-mail, VOIP, DNS, VPN, Wireless Access Points, SSH and Samba servers. How about your own phone system? Well, the chapter on VOIP gives a complete installation and operation for a phone system competing with AT&T. Network security is addressed in detail and anyone worried about their computer should look here to lock down their computer(s). I can’t say for sure, but it appears Ms Schroder has addressed the major network applications required in a system. Interfacing with other operating systems such as Windows and Macs for the home or business network are also addressed.

Chapter introductions discuss the hardware and software pros and cons, definitions and special instructions for that application. The chapters are divided into sub-chapters each having four sections that make up parts of the final application. The first section starts with defining the “Problem” that will be addressed. Then the “Solution” to that problem which can be one or many commands used to install and test the program. Special hardware requirements and programs are also listed here. The section named “Discussion”, the meat of the chapter has the commands broken down allowing you to zero in on the information needed. Troubleshooting instructions are provided throughout to test the hardware or applications as they are being developed. The final section “See Also” rounds out the chapter listing other sources for further study. Reference information is provided with Linux “man” commands and URL’s to websites for additional details and software repositories not covered in the chapter.

Starting out with a single-board computer a gateway is developed while later chapters develop applications on standard PCs. Three computers are required to complete some of the network applications. One laptop computer with three network cards is developed into a network troubleshooting tool that can be used for your present or future problems. Many programs used to troubleshoot a network or test a hardware component are covered in the final chapter allowing you to select the application needed for the job at hand.

In the chapter on mixed Linux/Windows LANS there are instructions to migrate a Windows NT4 Primary Domain Controller (PDC) to a Samba server, the pros and cons why a Windows 2000/2003 server running Active Directory cannot be replaced by a Samba server and how to then join a Windows server. Instructions are given to build and use Samba as a PDC and how to setup Windows 95/98/ME/NT4/XP computers to the Samba server. Vista is not covered in this book Copyrighted in 2008 and I did not find a book update on the O’Reilly site covering Vista.

My impression: This book is well written and covers the subject matter clearly. I believe a person wanting to learn Linux networks with some Windows networking thrown in can build and maintain a network based on this book.

Product Information:

Linux Networking Cookbook
With Easy-to-Use Recipes for Every Administrator
Carla Schroder, Author
O’Reilly Media, Inc.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
List Price: O’Reilly Media: $44.99
(UG Price $31.49)


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