Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: No Starch Press; 1 edition (April 1, 2008)
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #1,754,244 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #36 in Books > Computers & Technology > Operating Systems > BSD #577 in Books > Computers & Technology > Operating Systems > Unix #780 in Books > Computers & Technology > Networking & Cloud Computing > Data in the Enterprise > Client-Server Systems
I've been using FreeBSD in production environments since early 2000. I've also written articles on FreeBSD administration for magazines like Sys Admin. One of my favorite aspects of FreeBSD is its ports tree, which currently offers over 15,000 applications. Although the ports tree greatly simplifies installing software on FreeBSD, there's more to most programs than just installation. Bryan Hong's "Building an Internet Server With FreeBSD 6" (BAISWF6) helps readers take those few crucial steps past the ports tree, into the world of functional, deployed services. If you need a quick guide for a variety of popular open source software on FreeBSD, BAISWF6 is for you.This book impressed me. Mr. Hong published it himself through Lulu Press. The production quality is much higher than "Building Firewalls with OpenBSD and PF," another self-published BSD book that I liked. Aside from a few issues with grammar, I found the book to be remarkable considering one person was responsible for writing, editing, proofing, and publishing the text.BAISWF6 does a good job sharing the information one needs to go from the end of the port installation process to the point where a service is actually doing work. The book packs a lot of information into a well-organized format.I have a few minor comments. First, I didn't quite understand what I was supposed to do with an OpenLDAP Server. The common server configurations on page xx don't include OpenLDAP, so I only have a vague notion that it's used for directory services.Second, I found some of the technical advice might have benefited from outside review. For example, it's best to avoid running an OpenSSH server that can fall back to protocol version 1 (as demonstrated by the SSH-1.99 server string on p. 102).
I've bought this book about a year ago, together with "Absolute FreeBSD - 2nd Edition" (by M. W. Lucas), because I was curious to give a try to FreeBSD as an Open Source OS alternative to Linux and the purchase of the two seemed like a good combination: the latter actually seemed to be far more complete and detailed, but nevertheless "Building a Server with FreeBSD" still looked like a useful and quick HOWTO for software installation.After a few months, I can say I'm definitely glad of what I did, because the two did in fact allow me to set up (fairly quickly, in my spare time) a stable FreeBSD Host; but let's talk about this book specifically, from now on.First off, I think that the main benefit of this book lies in its structure; it allows the reader to easily identify what services he'll need and from there to track down the software packages (ports) he'll have to install and related dependencies; step by step instructions are then given very precisely, always allowing the reader to accomplish his goal. There are actually a couple of suggestions that (as someone else already pointed out) might not be best practices (IE have an OpenSSH server that can fall back to protocol version 1 or use Stratum 1 NTP servers), but I think that the whole point of this book is showing the user precisely where to put his hands on, in order to install a certain piece of software, rather than giving verbose explanations on system internals or best practices. As a reader, you're almost never told why you're doing something or what lies behind your commands, but if you have some sysadmin experience and/or read some other documentation (I highly suggest "Absolute FreeBSD - 2nd Edition" here), it's never really hard to understand what's going on.
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