Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Review: Network Administration with FreeBSD 7

Packt Publishing contacted me a few months ago and offered to send me a copy of their new book, Network Administration with FreeBSD 7 by Babak Farrokhi. There is clearly a need for a modern book covering some of the newer networking features of FreeBSD, so I agreed to write a review.

The early chapters include some general FreeBSD system administration content, similar to what is provided in the FreeBSD Handbook. Chapters on disk layout, system configuration, tuning, package management, and jails precede the main networking chapters. The latter chapters include information on a number of networking technologies not well covered by the existing online documentation. For example, there are chapters or sections on GRE, OpenOSPFD, OpenBGPD, IPv6, TCP 1323, Delayed ACK, firewalls, network servers, and more.

The book is reasonably comprehensive, but there are some notable gaps. It would have been nice to see a section on SCTP or the improved wireless facilities in FreeBSD 7, for example. Also, there is a section on the Squid proxy, but the more modern Varnish project is not mentioned at all.

Unfortunately, the prose is a bit distracting as there are grammatical errors, typos, and missing articles on essentially every page. Overall this book serves as a practical guidebook for FreeBSD Network Administrators and it is a welcome contribution to the corpus of available FreeBSD books.

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