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More on LinuxToday Review of Linux Network Administrators Guide

Sep 30, 2000, 18:11 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Paul Dunne)

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"The book is 24 chapters straight-through; but it seems to me that, like Gaul, the whole thing falls into three parts. In the first, the basics of TCP/IP networking are dealt with, taking us from an introduction to the protocols through to configuring networking hardware and getting the network acutally up and running. In the second, we turn to basic low-level features of our working network. In the third, we consider network services, what the network actually exists to do from day to day. I like this structure, though I suppose it's an obvious one. We follow a path from a newbie install through to a working network providing services. Because of the length of the book, I haven't done a blow-by-blow account of each chapter. Instead, here's the TOC, split up as I think it should be, and with remarks on points that particularly held my notice."

"Earlier in this series, and before "NAG II" was available, I reviewed TCP/IP Network Administration by Craig Hunt, another O'Reilly offering. Hunt assumes a lot; NAG goes through everything step by step. NAG is great on actually getting TCP/IP up and running on your machine -- perhaps this is overkill when today's distributions do so much for you, but it is nice to have nevertheless. The first eight chapters of NAG, pp.1-124, are all about this. Hunt, on the other hand, has a tendency to say, or rather imply, RTFM! Hunt is easier to read straight through. NAG is more a work of reference. ... NAG is very up-to-date: BIND 8, nsswitch.conf, all three varieties of Linux firewall admin., for example. Hunt, dating from 1996 for the second edition, is already sadly out-of-date in these areas. ... In conclusion, the 2nd edition of Linux Network Administrator's Guide is indeed so much improved on the first edition that it now makes a well-nigh indispensable companion to Hunt. In fact, the relationship is now reversed; if there is *one* must-get book, it's now NAG rather than Hunt. But I still recommend both."

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