“With the right knowledge, Linux can be clear and simple to understand. This
book presents the core fundamentals of Linux in a manner that is very logical
and easy to follow.”
—Greg Kurtzer, CTO, Infiscale, Inc.
“Wale continues to do a great job explaining complex information in a straightfor-
ward manner. All newcomers should start their Linux library with this book.”
—Ron Hudson, Senior Field Support Engineer, Intervoice, Inc.
“Wale Soyinka did a stellar job in the fourth edition and he was up for the chal-
lenge of making the fifth edition his own. It is with great pleasure I present the
fifth edition of Linux Administration: A Beginners Guide by Wale Soyinka. This
book barely resembles the 500-odd pages written nine years ago in the first edi-
tion, and it is without hesitation that I say his new words are for the better.”
—From the Foreword by Steve Shah, original author of
Linux Administration: A Beginner’s Guide
network. Any experience with bigger networks or advanced Windows technologies,
such as Active Directory, will allow you to get more from the book but is not required.
We make this assumption because we did not want to write a guide for dummies.
There are already enough books on the market that tell you what to click without tell-
ing you why; this book is not meant to be among those ranks. Furthermore, we did not
want to waste time writing about information that we believe is common knowledge for
power users of Windows. Other people have already done an excellent job of conveying
that information, and there is no reason to repeat that work here.
In addition to your Windows background, we assume that you’re interested in hav-
ing more information about the topics here than the material we have written alone. After
all, we’ve only spent 30 to 35 pages on topics that have entire books devoted to them!
For this reason, we have scattered references to other books throughout the chapters. We
urge you to take advantage of these recommendations. No matter how advanced you
are, there is always something new to learn.
We feel that seasoned Linux system administrators can also benefit from this book
because it can serve as a quick how-to cookbook on various topics that may not be the
seasoned reader’s strong points. We understand that system administrators generally
have aspects of system administration that they like or loath. For example, backups is not
one of the author’s favorite aspects of system administration, and this is reflected in the
half a page we’ve dedicated to backups—just kidding, we’ve actually dedicated an entire
chapter to backups.
WHAT’S IN THIS BOOK?
Linux Administration: A Beginner’s Guide, is broken into five parts.
Part I: Installing Linux as a Server
Part I includes three chapters (Chapter 1, “Technical Summary of Linux Distributions”;
Chapter 2, “Installing Linux in a Server Configuration”; and Chapter 3, “Managing Soft-
ware”) that give you a firm handle on what Linux is, how it compares to Windows in
several key areas, and how to install server-grade Fedora and Ubuntu Linux distribu-
tions. We end Part I with a chapter on how to install and manage software installed from
prepackaged binaries and source code. Ideally, this should be enough information to
get you started and help you draw parallels to how Linux works based on your existing
knowledge of Windows.
Part II: Single-Host Administration
Part II covers the material necessary to manage a stand-alone system (a system not requir-
ing or providing any services to other systems on the network). While this may seem
useless at first, it is the foundation on which many other concepts are built, and these
concepts are essential to understand, even after a system is connected to a network.