July 11, 2002

"Absolute BSD," released by No Starch Press

Much to the chagrin of its many users and wannabe users, the BSD operating system (the Berkeley System Distribution, a free Unix) has been without a book to help in managing BSD for many years. As true rocket scientists, BSD experts just aren't the best teachers because they're too busy developing and improving the operating system. As author Michael Lucas writes in Unix Review, "Those who know BSD love it. Those unfamiliar with it wonder if it's a version of Linux, or if it runs on Windows NT." BSD has needed a great book to demystify it and make it accessible to millions.
ABSOLUTE BSD: The Ultimate Guide to FreeBSD (No Starch Press, 1886411743, 612 pp, $39.95 US/$61.95 Cdn, Aug 02), by Michael Lucas, promises to be that definitive and badly needed guide to BSD.

ABSOLUTE BSD "focuses on solving real-world problems systems administrators face every day," says Lucas, who is one of only 200 FreeBSD committers (developers who can change FreeBSD's source code). "Most other BSD books talk about how to implement BSD-based solutions, but don't go beyond that. Absolute BSD talks about how to manage and enhance systems that are already in place." (FreeBSD is the most popular of five major versions of BSD.)

BSD users will learn to:

  • Custom configure the FreeBSD kernel
  • Use advanced security features like packet filtering and virtual machines
  • Manage system-level software and work with add-on software; manage network services and filesystems
  • Use DNS, and set up email, Web, and FTP services for servers and clients
  • Back up their systems and recover from system crashes, debug problems, and prepare problem reports
  • Use performance-testing and troubleshooting tools to monitor their systems

BSD is a robust, reliable, and free Unix whose popularity is exploding. According to Lucas, "The adoption of BSD has accelerated with Apple's adoption of FreeBSD as the base of the new Mac OS X. Collaboration within the various branches of the BSD community is at an unparalleled height."

Available in bookstores everywhere or from No Starch Press directly (http://www.nostarch.com), ABSOLUTE BSD promises to be the complete and authoritative guide that millions of BSD users have been anxiously awaiting.

Michael Lucas is one of only about 200 FreeBSD committers, a FreeBSD columnist for the O'Reilly Network, and a contributor to Sys Admin Magazine. He has been a pet wrangler, a librarian, a security consultant, and now works as a network engineer and systems administrator.

Table of contents: http://www.nostarch.com/abs_bsd_toc.htm
Sample chapter: http://www.nostarch.com/AbsoluteBSD18.pdf

About No Starch Press
Since 1994, San Francisco based No Starch Press has been dedicated to producing readable, information-packed computer books. One of the few remaining independent computer book publishers, No Starch Press focuses on open source, web development, security, programming, and alternative operating systems.

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