Even before I picked up Unix, I worked on networks. While networking has gotten simpler, it’s almost all TCP/IP now instead of Arcnet, Token-Ring and a half dozen dusty wiring and protocol schemes. The services that use networking have gotten ever more powerful and more complicated. That’s why a book like Carla Schroder’s Linux Networking Cookbook is so valuable.
In her book, Schroder delivers exactly what she promises: recipes for creating tasty and useful Linux and TCP/IP networking setups. Want to know how to build a VOIP (voice over IP) server with Asterisk? How to create a single sign-on for hybrid Linux/Windows LANs? Or, how to create a real VPN with OpenVPN a Linux-based PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol) server? It’s in there.
The book uses Red Hat-based Linux, Fedora specifically, and Debian for its examples. Nevertheless, a savvy Linux administrator shouldn’t have any trouble cooking up recipes here on their favorite Linux distribution. I certainly had no trouble doing so while slaving over my hot open-SUSE servers.
All in all, Schroder presents users with 17 recipes for some of the most common Linux networking jobs. The book also comes with a final chapter on troubleshooting network protocols and services using Linux tools.
Anyone can say they can help you deliver the goods, but the proof is in how the recipes actually turn out. So, I decided to use two of her chapters on networking problems I know backwards and forwards. These were routing with RIP (Routing Information Protocol) and OSPF (Open Shortest Path First), and using Samba on a mixed Linux/Windows network. I also chose to see if she could teach an old dog new tricks by using her instructions on how to install and use MRTG (Multirouter Traffic Graph) for network monitoring.
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