by Urban, Michael
Because it's very popular among Internet service providers (ISPs), FreeBSD is likely the Unix flavor you work with when you Telnet into the server that hosts a Web site. For that reason, it's worth having FreeBSD Unleashed around if you frequently need to log in to various hosted environments but don't do your day-to-day work on a FreeBSD computer. If you're running FreeBSD on your own machine--and more than a few Linux critics say you should be--you'll get even more out of this book, particularly if you prefer to have your reference materials on paper. It's a good idea to have them that way when you're having problems getting FreeBSD to connect to the Internet, after all.
This book explains, succinctly, how to do basic utilitarian stuff like moving files and creating users, and advanced utilitarian stuff like "building the world" from raw source. Further, the authors explain Unix concepts (like the shell and its relationship to the kernel) clearly and in ample detail. Michael Urban and Brian Tiemann also go beyond FreeBSD itself, explaining such concepts as wide area networks (WANs) and basic, environment-neutral Perl programming. Whether these inclusions are valuable extras or extraneous padding depends upon your perspective, but there's no doubt that the authors maintain a high quality standard throughout their documentation of FreeBSD and its allied technologies. --David Wall
Topics covered: Using and enjoying the FreeBSD flavor of Unix, with emphasis on versions 4.4 and 5.0. Instructions and explanations--all rather detailed--appear on installing the operating system, configuring groups and users, setting up daemons (including those for network services like mail), and connecting to other computers (as well as the Internet). Installable copies of FreeBSD 4.4 and 5.0 ship with this book.
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