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Book Review: Beginning Ubuntu LTS Server Administration

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Ubuntu Server Edition, built on Debian GNU/Linux, has established itself as one of the most popular and well documented GNU/Linux server distributions. The Long Term Support (LTS) version of Ubuntu Server is provided with security updates for five years from the release date. This long term commitment ensures a stable base for deployment. Beginning Ubuntu LTS Server Administration From Novice to Professional aims to teach all you need to know to begin administering Ubuntu Server. The book covers installing, configuring and the systems administration tasks for Ubuntu Server Edition.

From the outset, I began to have my doubts that this would be an ideal reference work for someone new to GNU/Linux system administration. Confusing sentences like, “An Apache web server at home does have some other requirements – as a corporate database server, for example.”, seem to permeate the book. The phrase, “the most important”, occurs so often that it became a game to see when it would come up next.

Covering basic installation, the author suggests no less than three different types of filesystems for a general server: ext2, ext3 and XFS. XFS is a high performance filesystem for handling large files and smooth data transfers, not an ideal choice for a file and print server. Perhaps a section on which filesystem types are best for specific server roles would be more informative for someone new to GNU/Linux filesystems.

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