Book cover
Cover image and cartoons by Lisa Haney five star reviewed

“I recommend this book for anyone administering UNIX or Linux systems.”

David  |  15 reviewers made a similar statement

“It's well written, easy to read and very informative.”

Gary L. Roach  |  12 reviewers made a similar statement

“Best Linux book I have purchased ever to date.”

Josh  |  15 reviewers made a similar statement

We are pleased to announce the completely updated fifth edition of UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook!  The book is published by Addison-Wesley Professional.

“This edition is for those whose systems live in the cloud or in virtualized data centers; those whose administrative work largely takes the form of automation and configuration source code; those who collaborate closely with developers, network engineers, compliance officers, and all the other worker bees who inhabit the modern hive.”

  from the Foreword by Paul Vixie, Internet Hall of Fame-recognized innovator and founder of ISC and Farsight Security

“As an author, editor, and publisher, I never paid much attention to the competition— except in a few cases. This is one of those cases. UNIX System Administration Handbook is one of the few books we ever measured ourselves against.”

  from the 4th Edition Foreword by Tim O'Reilly, founder of O'Reilly Media

About the book

UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook, Fifth Edition, is today’s definitive guide to installing, configuring, and maintaining any UNIX or Linux system, including systems that supply core Internet and cloud infrastructure.

Updated for new distributions and cloud environments, this comprehensive guide covers best practices for every facet of system administration, including storage management, network design and administration, security, web hosting, automation, configuration management, performance analysis, virtualization, DNS, security, and the management of IT service organizations. The authors—world-class, hands-on technologists—offer indispensable new coverage of cloud platforms, the DevOps philosophy, continuous deployment, containerization, monitoring, and many other essential topics.

Whatever your role in running systems and networks built on UNIX or Linux, this conversational, well-written guide will improve your efficiency and help solve your knottiest problems.

Errata for UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook, 4E

We usually have the opportunity to make corrections before each printing. Therefore, your book's complement of errors may vary depending on its printing. To determine your printing, look at the last line of the copyright page.

Found a problem not listed here? Please let us know.

Updated pages Issues
Page 33

Page 33

The backquoted command wc -l /etc/passwd seen in the page's last command line should actually be wc -l < /etc/passwd.

The issue is that wc -l prints out filenames as well as line counts when filenames are supplied on the command line. Here, only the line count is wanted.

Page 44

Page 44

Contrary to Table 2.2, bash has no string equivalents to the numeric -le and -ge operators. The >= and <= operators listed in Table 2.2 do not exist.

The > and < operators do exist. However, they must be backslash-escaped or double bracketed to prevent them from being interpreted as I/O redirection characters.

Page 45

Page 45

The loop variable in the example for loop is actually called script. The text refers to it as file.

Page 51

Pages 51 and 52

The regular expression shown on pages 51–52 for matching various spellings of Moammar Gadhafi's name is OK as originally printed. However, the accompanying text does not explain why the ([dtz][dhz]?)+ group (a component of the last name match) allows repetition.

The + is there to accommodate variants such as Quadhdhafi. Really, that fragment should be ([dtz][dhz]?){1,2} so that only one or two occurrences are permissible.

More generally, it's worth noting that this regex is permissive. Not every string that it matches is a legitimate spelling of Gadhafi's name. However, it should match all legitimate spellings.

Page 153

Page 153

The cross-reference in the last line of the first paragraph under The setuid and setgid bits points to the wrong place.

The referenced material is on page 105, not page 106.

Page 466

Page 466

The route commands at the bottom of the page are shell commands, not excerpts from a startup script as the surrounding text might imply.

The # character indicates root's shell prompt, not the comment character used in shell scripts.

Page 574

Page 574

DNS Punycode names begin with xn--, not xf-- as stated in the text.

Page 808

Page 808

In addition to having its own conventions, Debian's version of Exim configuration uses the m4 preprocessor.

We don't describe the Debian system in this book.

Page 817

Page 817

There are two errors on this page.

In the sentence "The sender's address is not checked because many user agents get confused by error returns," replace "sender's address" with "recipient's address."

The paragraph that starts "We next check the destination domain..." claims that DKIM verification is not performed during this step. That is incorrect; DKIM is in fact enabled.

Page 821

Page 821

It is not entirely accurate to say that "If a message receives a pass or decline from all the routers in the sequence, it is bounced as an unroutable address."

In fact, Exim may either bounce or reject such messages, depending on the context.

Page 827

Page 827

Contrary to the statement in the Debugging section, exim does fork when given the -d flag. However, it does not detach itself from the control terminal.

Page 852

Page 852

In the configuration file excerpt, the line that sets dkim_selector should do a lookup on $dkim_domain, not $sender_address_domain as shown.

No formal errata are available for this printing yet.
We will update this list after the next printing has been finalized.


Frequently Asked Questions about ULSAH4E

I'm teaching a course that uses UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook as a textbook. Are there slides, outlines, or other materials available for instructors?

Unfortunately, no. This is something we'd like to do, but the scope of the book makes it likely that different courses will choose to focus on different aspects of the material included in the book. If you have specific suggestions for supplementary materials that you would find helpful, please let us know.

I'm interested in translating your book into another language.

Translation and foreign sales rights are handled by Prentice Hall. Please contact us and we will put you in touch with the right people.

Is your book available as an eBook? What formats are available?

ULSAH5E is available as a printed book, a Kindle book, a Nook-compatible ePub book, a DRM-free PDF file, and as an online resource through Safari Books Online. Please see the links on the home page.

Hey! I found a mistake! You suck!

We usually have the opportunity to make corrections before each printing. Please send us a note describing the issue and we will make sure it is addressed. (And thanks for your help!)

There's a problem with my printed copy of the book.

A small number of books were sent into distribution with missing pages or with pages out of order. If you've ended up with one of these copies, please let us know and we will hook you up with a replacement.