- Kirk Bauer
- ISBN: 1-59059-212-3
- 574 pages
- Published 2003
This is a highly ambitious book. Automating all UNIX and Linux systems in one easy way is a complex and demanding challenge.
To make the book more manageable the book assumes that you are running a modern GNU as userspace found on modern Linux systems. If you are running a proprietary UNIX it is assumed you are able to install a mainly GNU user space onto a commercial UNIX environment upgrading them to a common "Linux" standard. The author predominantly concentrates on common open-source tools: Bash, Perl, SSH etc and significantly much of the book revolves around GNU cfengine. He also favours Red Hat Linux/RPM though there is some discussion of Debian/deb.
If you are not working with mostly GNU user space systems or if you are using commercial tools or something highly distro specific then this book is probably is not for you.
If you have a mostly GNU user space then this may be the book for you, especially if you want to use cfengine. If you are happy hacking Bash, Perl or Awk on a RPM based system then this could be the ideal book for you!
The book is reasonably well written, each section is well laid out and the explanations are good. You get a good selection of topics too, I thought it covered the ground quite well.
I did not think the quality of the Perl code was particularly modern or standard. I also did not like the code style in the book, it was a bit repetitive and some of the longer sections were not really suited to being printed out in book form.
My final feeling about this book is that if you fit the target audience, then this could be a very good book for you. If you are reasonably close then the general sections will be interesting but you would find some of the detail irrelevant. I think that most people will not find this book useful as it is too specific and being so specific is a double-edged-sword.