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kikinovak 10-20-2012 05:48 AM

Recommended book(s) about TCP/IP networking?

I'm looking for a single well-written book about TCP/IP networking, from basics to more advanced concepts. My own knowledge in that field can only be described as a huge patchwork starting from binary algebra (from programming Assembler on a Commodore VC-20 back in the early eighties) to using the usual suspects among *nix tools (ifconfig, ping, route, dig, nslookup, ping, nmap, ...) in my daily work.

Is there some single book that puts these all together in an competent, intelligent and well-written manner? Carla Schroder (an IT author I like a lot) recommends Craig Hunt's "TCP/IP networking". What are your suggestions, or eventually books to avoid?

Next monday I'll start teaching a class of sysadmins, and I can't help feeling like Jeff Beck or Jimi Hendrix at a musicologists congress. First thing I'll have to do is using a pick instead of my thumb, stop playing with my teeth and try not to set my axe on fire. :D



fgcl2k 10-20-2012 06:00 AM

W.Richard Steven's "TCP/IP Illustrated" is an excellent book.
Volume 1 describes the protocols and volume 2 the implementation, so it's not a single book and it's probably aimed more at the programmer than at the administrator but I wanted to mention it because it is a great book (like all Steven's works.)

darkstar61 10-20-2012 06:43 AM

? >

onebuck 10-20-2012 07:37 AM

Member Response

Free Linux Books does have Linux Network Administrators Guide by Olaf Kirch, Terry Dawson. The print copy is published by O'Reilly & Associates;

6. The Official Printed Version

In Autumn 1993, Andy Oram, who had been around the LDP mailing list from almost the very beginning, asked Olaf about publishing this book at O'Reilly & Associates. He was excited about this book, never having imagined that it would become this successful. He and Andy finally agreed that O'Reilly would produce an enhanced Official Printed Version of the Networking Guide, while Olaf retained the original copyright so that the source of the book could be freely distributed. This means that you can choose freely: you can get the various free forms of the document from your nearest Linux Documentation Project mirror site and print it out, or you can purchase the official printed version from O'Reilly.
Why, then, would you want to pay money for something you can get for free? Is Tim O'Reilly out of his mind for publishing something everyone can print and even sell themselves?[1] Is there any difference between these versions?
The answers are “it depends,” “no, definitely not,” and “yes and no.” O'Reilly & Associates does take a risk in publishing the Networking Guide, and it seems to have paid off for them (they've asked us to do it again). We believe this project serves as a fine example of how the free software world and companies can cooperate to produce something both can benefit from. In our view, the great service O'Reilly is providing to the Linux community (apart from the book becoming readily available in your local bookstore) is that it has helped Linux become recognized as something to be taken seriously: a viable and useful alternative to other commercial operating systems. It's a sad technical bookstore that doesn't have at least one shelf stacked with O'Reilly Linux books.

1. Purpose and Audience for This BookThis book was written to provide a single reference for network administration in a Linux environment. Beginners and experienced users alike should find the information they need to cover nearly all important administration activities required to manage a Linux network configuration. The possible range of topics to cover is nearly limitless, so of course it has been impossible to include everything there is to say on all subjects. We've tried to cover the most important and common ones. We've found that beginners to Linux networking, even those with no prior exposure to Unix-like operating systems, have found this book good enough to help them successfully get their Linux network configurations up and running and get them ready to learn more.
Good reference!

Berhanie 10-20-2012 08:00 AM

tanenbaum's computer networks covers tcp/ip in the more general context of networking. i think it's worth having as a reference, even if you don't cover the entire book, as much of the material might be of interest to many sysadmins, e.g. the chapter on network security.

TracyTiger 10-20-2012 07:31 PM


Originally Posted by kikinovak (Post 4810588)
I'm looking for a single well-written book about TCP/IP networking, from basics to more advanced concepts.

Although I've bought a few reference books over the years on the subject (Douglas Comer, W Richard Stevens), as fgcl2k mentioned, often they were more for programmers/implementers.

I learned the most about how TCP/IP worked by building and testing firewalls (later using the Linux Netfilter package) on the server and client side of various services. It was great watching how things worked in the real world by examining the packets. At the time I found the first then second edition of Robert L. Ziegler's book "Linux Firewalls" an excellent starting point.


Next monday I'll start teaching a class of sysadmins,
If you're going to be spending less time discussing how to develop a new communication service using TCP/IP and more time explaining the command and data ports of active FTP, then you may want to consider the recommendation of others here to look at sysadmin type "Networking" books rather than books on the TCP/IP protocol.

If you provided a syllabus or list of topics you were planning on covering in your course, LQ members may be able to narrow the set of recommended books.

Is the book for your students to purchase as part of the class, or to assist you when preparing presentations/demonstrations/labs/handouts? Or do you just want the name of a book you can give your students if ask for a reference/recommendation?

TracyTiger 11-13-2012 12:25 AM

I checked back with this thread only to find out it appeared I killed it with my last post a couple of weeks ago. :( Not my intention.


Originally Posted by kikinovak (Post 4810588)
Hi,I'm looking for a single well-written book about TCP/IP networking, from basics to more advanced concepts.

Did you find a good book yet? If so would you share with us which one you chose? I too am interested in a single networking book that meets your requirements.

markush 11-13-2012 01:08 AM

Problem with books about Network/TCP/IP is that the most modern concepts are not described. The more advanced concepts you mentioned are most often those which were invented after the book was written.

Well kikinovak, as far as I know you're from austria and can read german. I have "Technik der IP-Netze von Badach/Hoffmann, Hanser Verlag". Also a very good introduction are the two podcasts from "Chaos-Computer-Club" (here their archive), number cre197 is about ipv6 and number cre141 about ipv4, there are also other interesting podcasts about networking as you may see in the archive.


kikinovak 11-13-2012 03:42 AM

First of all, thanks for all the recommendations. Looks like there's no way around working like I did until now, that is: simply read all - or at least most - of it. Articles, single chapters of books, HOWTOS. Then try to make sense out of it and eventually write my own abstract.

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