Wednesday 11 March 2009

Absolute FreeBSD 2nd edition

In a vain attempt to learn more about FreeBSD I bought Absolute FreeBSD 2nd edition. I am already up to the 5th Chapter and finding it a good read. It reads well as the author has a very conversational tone, while giving you more than enough information on the topic at hand. He drops in jokes and honest truths, as if you were talking to him in a bar. I imagine that it would be a bit lacking if you were a hard core Unix admin, but then I guess you wouldn't be reading the book. Chapters read so far: Chapter 1 - Getting More Help A very solid discussion into how to find information on the FreeBSD system in front of you. My favorite part is the section that describes how to write an email to the BSD user groups when you need support. I wish I could get anyone that sends me a support request to read this section before they do. If only so they can understand why they get so many polite emails back asking for more detail than "its broken". Chapter 2 - Installing BSD I skimmed this chapter as I already have FreeBSD installed, but will most likely go back and read it when I need to reinstall (due to human error) Chapter 3 - Start Me Up! The Boot Process This chapter was enlightening, I now have more insight into what the messages at boot time mean, and more importantly I found out that I could change the loader logo to a colour beastie. By adding the following to /boot/loader.conf:
Its this sort of useless fact that I love, and while maybe not as important as some other configuration options, I now know that there is a loader.conf and what it does. Chapter 4 - Read this before you break something else! (Backup and Recovery) I was ready to skip this chapter, when my eyes fell upon the section on Revision Control for config files. This is something I have been wondering how to do this properly for a while now, so I stopped skimming and read on. Once again this section was straight forward and explains both the whys and the hows. No more thinking "I should really have this under version control" for me :)

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