Cover image for Essential system administration
Essential system administration
Frisch, AEleen.
Personal Author:
Second edition.
Publication Information:
Sebastopol, CA : O'Reilly & Associates, [1995]

Physical Description:
xxvii, 758 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Covers the fundamental and essential tasks of UNIX system administration.
Title Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QA76.76.O63 F775 1995 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Essential System Administration takes an in-depth look at the fundamentals of Unix system administration in a real-world, heterogeneous environment. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced administrator, you'll quickly be able to apply its principles and advice to your everyday problems.The book approaches Unix system administration from the perspective of your job -- the routine tasks and troubleshooting that make up your day. Whether you're dealing with frustrated users, convincing an uncomprehending management that you need new hardware, rebuilding the kernel, or simply adding new users, you'll find help in this book. You'll also learn about back up and restore and how to set up printers, secure your system, and perform many other system administration tasks. But the book is not for full-time system administrators alone. Linux users and others who administer their own systems will benefit from its practical, hands-on approach.This second edition has been updated for all major Unix platforms, including SunOS 4.1, Solaris 2.4, AIX 4.1, Linux 1.1, Digital Unix, OSF/1, SCO Unix Version 3, HP/UX Versions 9 and 10, and IRIX Version 6. The entire book has been thoroughly reviewed and tested on all of the platforms covered. In addition, networking, electronic mail, security, and kernel configuration topics have been expanded substantially.Topics covered include:

Starting up and shutting down your system Adding new users Managing processes System security Organizing and planning file systems Planning and performing backups Setting up pointers TCP/IP networking Setting up email Adding terminals and disk drives Setting up and using the accounting system

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
1 Introduction to System Administrationp. 1
The System Administrator's Jobp. 1
Becoming Superuserp. 5
Communicating with Usersp. 12
Menu Interfaces for System Administrationp. 15
2 The UNIX Wayp. 23
Filesp. 24
Processesp. 43
Devicesp. 50
The UNIX Filesystem Layoutp. 60
3 Essential Administrative Toolsp. 67
Getting Helpp. 67
Piping into grep and awkp. 69
Finding Filesp. 72
Repeating Commandsp. 76
Creating Several Directory Levels at Oncep. 78
Duplicating an Entire Directory Treep. 78
Comparing Directoriesp. 80
Deleting Pesky Filesp. 81
Starting at the Endp. 82
4 Startup and Shutdownp. 83
The UNIX Boot Processp. 84
The UNIX Initialization Process and Startup Scriptsp. 95
Shutting Down a UNIX Systemp. 127
When the System Crashesp. 134
When the System Won't Bootp. 136
5 User Accountsp. 143
Adding New Usersp. 144
UNIX Groupsp. 191
Standard UNIX Users and Groupsp. 194
6 Securityp. 199
Prelude: What's Wrong with This Picture?p. 201
Thinking About Securityp. 201
User Authentication Revisitedp. 210
Protecting Files and the Filesystemp. 225
Detecting Problemsp. 243
7 Managing System Resourcesp. 273
Thinking About System Performancep. 273
Monitoring CPU Activityp. 278
Managing CPU Usage and Controlling Processesp. 286
Managing Memoryp. 303
Disk I/O Performance Issuesp. 324
The Freely-Available monitor Utilityp. 327
Managing Disk Space Usagep. 328
Controlling Disk Usage with Disk Quotasp. 335
8 Automating Tasks with Scripts and Suchp. 341
Creating Effective Shell Scriptsp. 342
Perl: An Alternate Administrative Languagep. 360
Expect: Automating Interactive Programsp. 370
When Only C Will Dop. 378
Periodic Program Execution: The cron Facilityp. 381
Adding Local man Pagesp. 389
9 Filesystems and Disksp. 393
Mounting and Dismounting Filesystemsp. 394
Using fsck to Validate a Filesystemp. 405
From Disks to Filesystemsp. 409
Adding Disksp. 414
Striped Disksp. 439
Floppy Disksp. 442
CD-ROM Devicesp. 448
Media-Handling Daemons (IRIX and Solaris)p. 451
Logical Volume Managersp. 453
10 Backup and Restorep. 467
Planning for Disasters and Everyday Needsp. 467
Backup Mediap. 474
Backing Up Files and Filesystemsp. 478
Restoring Files from Backupsp. 484
Making Table of Contents Filesp. 487
Backing Up and Restoring the System Filesystemsp. 489
Other Backup Facilitiesp. 495
Related Tape Utilitiesp. 501
Tape Special Filesp. 503
11 Terminals and Modemsp. 511
Terminal-Related Special Filesp. 511
Specifying Terminal Characteristicsp. 514
Adding a New Devicep. 520
Terminal Handling Under Solarisp. 537
Troubleshooting Terminal Problemsp. 542
Configuring a Dialin/Dialout Modemp. 543
Controlling Access to Serial Linesp. 545
12 Printers and the Spooling Subsystemp. 549
The BSD Spooling Facilityp. 550
System V Printingp. 556
The AIX Queueing Facilityp. 570
Troubleshooting Printersp. 579
Remote Printingp. 580
13 TCP/IP Network Managementp. 585
Understanding TCP/IP Networkingp. 585
Adding a New Hostp. 598
NFS and NISp. 607
Monitoring the Networkp. 617
Network Securityp. 620
14 Electronic Mailp. 635
About Electronic Mailp. 635
Configuring the Mail Systemp. 636
System-Wide Mail Configuration Filesp. 641
Setting Up Mail Aliases and Distribution Listsp. 642
15 Configuring and Building Kernelsp. 645
SCO UNIXp. 645
Linuxp. 648
Digital UNIX and SunOSp. 655
IRIXp. 656
HP-UX 9p. 657
HP-UX 10p. 658
Booting an Alternate HP-UX Kernelp. 658
Solarisp. 658
AIX System Parametersp. 659
16 Accountingp. 663
Standard Accounting Filesp. 664
BSD Accountingp. 665
System V Accountingp. 673
Afterword Don't Forget to Have Funp. 681
A Bourne Shell Programmingp. 683
Basic Syntaxp. 683
The if Statementp. 688
Other Control Structuresp. 692
Getting Input: The read Commandp. 695
Other Useful Commandsp. 695
Shell Functionsp. 696
B Selecting and Installing Linux Systemsp. 699
Buying Hardware to Run Linuxp. 699
Linux Distributionsp. 700
Installation Overviewp. 702
Bibliographyp. 707
Booksp. 707
Shell Tools, Programming, and UNIX Internalsp. 707
Securityp. 708
Networkingp. 709
Performance and System Tuningp. 709
Terminal Lines, Data Communications, and Xp. 709
Linuxp. 710
General and Miscellaneous Topicsp. 710
Periodicalsp. 710
Freely-Available Softwarep. 711
Indexp. 713