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Last Review by peter_robb - posted: 11-06-2006 09:53 AM [ Post a Review

Views: 48170

It is described as an easy to read book with lots of information about each part of firewalling used in the book, and it lives up to these claims beautifully!

It is obviously written by knowledgeable users as they describe their preferred methods of configuration compared to less effective methods, which gives readers a much wider understanding of what's good practice and what's not so good. In the security area, good practices make for good security, so these skills can be used in a much wider area.

The first chapter is a detailed overview of TCP/IP networking, a must for anyone fiddling with firewalls. It's easy to follow, contains a lot of info and doesn't repeat itself.

The authors spend a lot of time discussing why certain choices are necessary, which goes beyond just describing the IPCop distro and actually educates the reader. Pitfalls are explained after discussing the basic procedures, which places them in a perfect context.

The chapter on customising IPCop goes into detail about popular proxies, filters and monitors available from the IPCop website modules section. The following are covered - monit, p3scan, ProxySMTP, HAVP, privoxy, frox, spamassassin, ClamAV, renattach, rules du jour and P3PMail.

The table of contents is available at and a sample chapter on designing a network to deploy IPCop in at

recommend this book to anyone choosing to use IPCop. It will save a lot of time installing and configuring the system. IPCop's own help files assume you know what you are doing and don't go near the easy to read detail this book contains. It is a complete discussion not only about IPCop itself but how to make it work effectively. 230 well written and very enjoyable pages. Enjoy!

Rating: 9
Product Details: "Configuring IPCop Firewalls" by peter_robb - posted: 11-06-2006 - Rating: ******** 8.00

Last Review by peter_robb - posted: 07-04-2005 06:07 PM [ Post a Review

Views: 39509

After the 11th Gentoo build I decided to think ahead. Let's start with a 2005.0 GRP build = stage3-pentium4 download + packages Most of the necessary packages are there, using my previous kernel & modules, so it's a Gnome WM and 1 hour later I've finished all the conf files and I'm migrating data off the old partition. Haven't done that with a distro before.. I agree a lot of the install could have been scripted, right up to entering the chroot, so it's the next task. Get it down to about 20 mins. I seriously wanted to avoid compiling gcc X and openoffice and I'm happy with the results so far. I'm using quickpkg to build binaries for the other boxes, and investigating iptables/patch-o-matic/kernel integration. I'm seriously disappointed with USE flags for MPlayer, preferring to build it manually. Got the dependencies ok, but the build keeps dropping set flags. The change from devfs to udev was excellent, usb devices are much happier. It's getting easier each time, which is how it should be..!

Rating: 9
Product Details: "2005.0" by mikeymorgan - posted: 03-29-2005 - Rating: ********* 9.05

Last Review by peter_robb - posted: 07-04-2005 05:36 PM [ Post a Review

Views: 34472

Covering the following in great detail.. - Filesystems - User Accounts - User Activity - TCP/IP Name Services - Directory Services - SQL Database Administration - Electronic Mail - Log Files - Security and Network Monitoring with 5 excellent Appendices - The 5 minute RCS tutorial - The 10 minute LDAP tutorial - The 8 minute XML tutorial - The 15 minute SQL tutorial - The 20 minute SNMP tutorial This book clarifies the uses and most common abuses of system services with an easy, quick and thoughtful style. It is obvious from the first pages that security is top of the list, and although second best can be enough at times, it often isn't even accurate. So complex tasks when well thought out and tested provide excellent information in return. The sources of the modules and discussions about alternatives are always present, as are examples of more complex scripting. Starting always with the simple approach, then moving on to more courageous ideas. Following the examples requires some perl knowledge so it's not a book for a perl newbie. It does however go into enough detail that an astute person could start here. It was especially useful before looking at the internal workings of Webmin, being able to view the processes before the techniques. I found the section on logfiles a little empty, but a good place to work from. And an overall bias towards discussing MS systems than*nix systems (which look frightfully simple afterwards). A very good read, lots of practice to tweak the output to my satisfaction and time to venture into some more perl modules! What's missing? Well it's a July 2000 print, so maybe time to refresh the current module capabilities.. and how the level of automation for administrators has changed. Not much missing..

Rating: 8
Product Details: "Perl for System Administration" by peter_robb - posted: 07-04-2005 - Rating: ******** 8.00

Last Review by peter_robb - posted: 07-04-2005 03:58 PM [ Post a Review

Views: 50919

If I had read this book before using Webmin, I would have been a lot faster and way less confused about the on-screen dialogues, avoiding having to use the help files and the shortened terminology. Trying to work out how BIND9 or Postfix works from the help screens has gotta be the long way. This book certainly makes it all the easier. At the beginning of each chapter is the info we often scour the net hoping to find. It was written at v1.100 and the release version at this time is v1.210, which is quite a jump but not so far to be a waste of time getting the book. But be prepared! There's a mountain of information in here that's particularly easy to read. Why? Coz it follows the operation of the Webmin interface. Even to the point of "Enter the new hostname in the Hostname field" to show one of the 5 steps to complete the task (p150). This may sound like holding hands a little too much, but in the context of the page it works well. Better to put it all, once, forever, than to leave people guessing. And that for me would summarise the whole book.. No guessing.. Very straight to the point. I bypassed the last 6 chapters, 45 pages, about writing webmin modules, the webmin API, themes etc. It's there if you can do Perl.. That can be for later! I felt something was missing tho'.. When I started using guis in RH6, I got frustrated by their lack of scope.. Not everything was included in the gui, so I got to learn commandline. Now with Webmin, it does so much, I want to know HOW! Which commandline function was used? Which perl module? There are some cute functions in Webmin. 1 form, one click and presto, problem solved.. But over a modem link with https, everything drags, and the commandline is real attractive, very effective. So in the interests of empowering people, brief descriptions of the commands would really make this an indispensible book.. Maybe after the LQ Wiki gets recognition, it can become the first choice for reference in the Webmin Help search function..! That would be a magic combination!

Rating: 8
Product Details: "Managing Liunx systems with Webmin" by thorn168 - posted: 03-20-2005 - Rating: ******** 8.00

Last Review by peter_robb - posted: 01-19-2005 03:36 PM [ Post a Review

Views: 17029

I must admit to having great pleasure waiting for this book to arrive and even more starting to play with gawk on just page 11.. It took a while to trust that the beginning examples needed to be practised before wading into the heart of the book. The syntax for gawk is so similar to regex yet has important differences that need to be learned before more complex scripting. Having waded in then gone back and actually RTFM, I am sure that Arnold's assertions about remaining simple in the beginning chapters are true. As a programme that was designed to find text patterns then operate on them, it has huge capabilities. The writing style to explain them is neither tedious nor complicated and always shows by example.. So a command line to prove it to yourself, and on to the next function. I managed to learn an incredible amount about regex pattern matching and compare it to shell scripting, find how the tools work together, pipes, redirections etc, and still remember the following day! As with any scripting, there will be several different ways of achieving the same goal and these are covered well in the chapters. For example, to explain and demonstrate the internetworking functions, there is a web server written from gawk/igawk.. The pieces of information I needed for my test script were spread across the book and were introduced that way to build on the previous examples.. Doing it one step at a time.. Got to understand the basic concepts first! This has to be a necessary book for anyone reading scripts, writing scripts or modifying scripts! 325+ pages of information over 14 chapters with examples, and almost no wasted space on any of the pages, equates to a very valuable resource!!

Rating: 9
Product Details: "Effective AWK Programming" by peter_robb - posted: 01-19-2005 - Rating: ********* 9.00


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