My book, Ubuntu Linux System Administration, provides the Ubuntu way of managing systems. Below is some background information, directly from the first chapter of the book.
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You can purchase the book from Amazon and Barnes and Nobles currently.
Here are the links:
Barnes and Noble Ebook
Why a book on Ubuntu? Isn't Linux, Linux? If you know UNIX or Linux, don't you know Ubuntu by default? While most system administrators can figure out most administrative tasks on any flavor of Linux or UNIX, often times we realize that we may have did things the "hard" way, a "poor" way, or simply the "wrong" way for the particular version of operating system. While Ubuntu's way is
not necessarily the best or worst way, by managing operating systems the way they are meant to be managed, we ensure that they are easier supported (either formally through a tech support contract, or informally through user forums), easier for others to manage when you move on, and easier to upgrade when it's time for an operating system upgrade.For system administrators this book will provide the Ubuntu way for common system administration tasks. For new administrators, you get to learn both the Ubuntu way and the "how" to do the tasks. This is the second book that I have written in what I'm calling 2-setting books. These are books that can be digested in two settings with a strong sense of accomplishment. The information should be as direct as tutorials on the Internet, but have the advantage for you of not having to search around and put together articles to accomplish something.
What's System Administration?
Until the mid 1990's, the management of systems was called system administration. Those managing such systems were called system administrators. Today, the term system administrator is not nearly as popular as system engineer (most states and professional engineering organizations no longer try to regulate the use of the engineer title), or even perhaps the type of system being managed, such as Red Had Linux Engineer. Regardless of what we call the profession, system administration is the management tasks necessary to build, configure, and run systems.
The system administration tasks that I will cover in this book are:
•Operating System Install
•User Management•System Patching
These tasks are covered using the command line interface (CLI) and the bourne again shell (BASH). By focusing on the CLI and BASH, your understanding of Ubuntu will be much better than if a windows interface was used.Ubuntu: What, Why, How?If you watch the Linux community and various distributions and philosophies, one common theme you'll see in the community is a competitive environment. It is an environment that lives on the idea that Linux (or a Linux distribution) is better than other operating systems (or distributions). Often these are good humored and can be argued with facts behind the particular argument; unfortunately, as often as not they are emotional combative arguments, especially towards users and companies outside the community. This approach, which I call the politician approach, tries to argue that Linux (or distribution X) is better than OS Y, because "Y" has weakness x, y, and z.
Ubuntu is Different
Ubuntu is different. Probably because of the roots of the name: a philosophy originating in South Africa that focuses on the relationships and allegiances people have to each other.
Archbishop Desmund Tutu stated in 1999, "A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed."
Ubuntu, in general, is not about proving itself better than other distributions or that Linux is better than other operating systems (Windows, Mac, Solaris, etc.), but rather about improving the Linux user's experience. This approach results in a very polished looking operating system. While the operating system does have it's quirks, the general feel of the operating system is one of polish and being finished. While some argue that this dumbs down Linux too much, I point out to system administrators--and anyone else that will listen--that there will always be work under the hood, and the more computers that are running Linux, the more work there will be.
If you prefer an analogy...if you are certified to work on Mercedes automobiles, then the more Mercedes produced, the more automobiles there are for you to work on.Also there is simply nothing wrong with a very powerful operating system looking good!In focusing on the Linux user's experience, Ubuntu's approach is often non-conventional, but if you listen with an open mind--or at least listen to the why--you'll know how it should be done in the Ubuntu way.
How is Ubuntu different? As you make it through this book, those differences may become obvious. But since versioning needs to be covered at this point, we can see how the Ubuntu version is different.With operating system releases we are quite used to seeing either version numbers or a name for a particular release. Examples include Firefox 3.1, Microsoft Word 2.0, or perhaps Red Hat 5.4.
Another common method is the year being used to identify the version, which was likely brought-about with the introduction of Windows 95 to represent the desired release year of 1995.In some cases, there is a version number with a common name or nick name for the release. Sometimes this name is a formal name for the release as well, but in other cases it is the internal name of the project which happens to slip into the public, usually via technical or business reporting.Ubuntu uses a version number in the form of a major and minor release, such as 10.10.However, this isn't a major and minor release number, but rather the first two digits are the last two digits of the year it was release (2010), and the last two digits are the month (October). While this convention may seem silly at first, it is both easy to understand, and you immediately have a feel for the age of the operating system. Ubuntu wants to support its enterprise customers as well, so they also identify particular releases for long term support (LTS), meaning that the particular version can be expected to receive patches for 5-years after the release.
Ubuntu also uses a nick name for the release, but outside the forums and some user documents, most everyone calls the version by it's release.The Ubuntu team releases a new version every six months--in April and October--so the minor release, will either be a 4 or 10.This upgrade schedule will seem aggressive to many administrators; however, there is no need to upgrade all of your Ubuntu servers on a six month schedule. If you are running the previous LTS release, then you can upgrade to the latest release directly. If you are several versions behind, then Ubuntu maintains those between releases, which allows you to incrementally upgrade until you're at the current release. In other words, you can most likely find the right balance of stability and cutting-edge for your shop.
Here is a link to the specifics on the patch and upgrade cycle with Ubuntu, if you are curious: https://help.ubuntu.com/10.04/about-ubuntu/C/upgrade.html.
On occasion, the Ubuntu team will need to release another version of the same version due to errors found in the distribution found after the release. In this case a 3rd digit is assigned. For example, the 10.4 is actually 10.4.1 at the time this book was published.Ubuntu has targeted distributions depending on the purpose of the operating system: desktop, netbook, and server. There are also 32-bit and 64-bit versions of each. Therefore, when deciding which version of Ubuntu you would like to use, you should determine it's purpose, whether you prefer the latest and greatest x.10, or the LTS (x.4) version, and whether you need 32-bit or 64-bit which is dependent on the hardware you're running.
You can purchase the book from Amazon and Barnes and Nobles currently. The print and iBook versions should be available by 2/16/11.
Here are the links:
Barnes and Noble Ebook