Jun 06 2008
“Network Administration with FreeBSD 7″ (paperback, 280 pages) by Babak Farrokhi (farrokhi@) is an excellent walk-through style book that guides the reader to how to perform, both common and uncommon, administration tasks with FreeBSD, ranging from basic system configuration to firewall and network services configurations.
This book is divided into three sections, system configuration, network configuration and network services and together they cover a lot of ground.
Chapter 1 through 4 deals with basic system configuration ranging from partition layout, swap configuration, quotas, software RAID (GEOM framwork) to maintaining and keeping a system updated and secure, not only the FreeBSD system itself but also third party applications.
Chapter 5 discussion and gives examples of how FreeBSD Jails can be used as semi-virtualization technique to provide better security and isolation to network services.
Chapter 6 gives a few tips and tricks on tuning system performance, both I/O and network performance.
Chapter 7 starts the networking section of the book with basic network configuration. It deals with basic IP-configuration but also with other exotic protocols such as AppleTalk. It also deals with VLAN (not to get mixed up with WLAN) and hardware assisted TCP/IP checksum calculation.
Chapter 8 continues with how IP-tunnels can be configured using either GRE or IPSec. Excellent discussion on when to use which protocol.
Chapter 9 describes PPP (including PPPoE), both how to setup a client and a server.
Chapter 10 deals with routing and provides example configurations for both static routing, OSPF and BGP using OpenOSPF and OpenBGP.
Chapter 11 shows you how to use and configure IPv6. It also provides a small crash course in IPv6 for readers that are not very familiar with the concepts of IPv6.
Chapter 12 discusses firewall configuration and NAT configuration using both IPFW and PF. There is also a small section on traffic shaping with dummynet but unfortunately nothing (substantial) on ALTQ.
Chapter 13 and 14 deals with the configuration of various network services ranging from inetd, SSH, NTP, FTP, DHCP, NFS to BIND, Sendmail, Postfix and Apache.
All chapters provide several examples and configuration files as well as heads up warnings and general tips.
It should be stressed that the book is very practical oriented and focuses on how to get services working by providing examples and configuration file excerpts, the reader is assumed to already be somewhat familiar with the topics. Theory is kept to a minimum and for slightly more advanced topics such as OSPF or BGP it’s recommended to get a book just about that particular topic (If you already don’t know the theory behind it) because the information given in the book is simply not enough to grasp the whole idea behind these topics/protocols.
Who is this book for? I would say that the target reader is somebody who is already somewhat familiar with FreeBSD and wants to improve their skills in the administration and networking area through a practical approach. The book would also be very useful for administrators of other UNIX-style operating systems such as Linux that wants to move to FreeBSD. If this description matches you I believe you will find the book quite useful.