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BSD Books Media Operating Systems Book Reviews

The FreeBSD Corporate Networker's Guide 42

The Complete FreeBSD, The Design and Implementation of 4.4BSD, and The FreeBSD Handbook are among the most notable books available for BSD, but recently it was my pleasure to review a new book about FreeBSD, The FreeBSD Corporate Networker's Guide by Ted Mittelstaedt.

TheFreeBSD Corporate Networker's Guide
author Ted Mittelstaedt
pages 401
publisher Addison Wesley
rating 6.5
reviewer AilleCat
ISBN 0201704811
summary A practical, security-conscious guide to connecting BSD machines with existing networks; has a bit of a Microsoft chip on its shoulder.

It seems that the main purpose of the book is to describe how FreeBSD can be integrated into current network structures that include Microsoft clients and servers -- a very useful idea. The author describes step by step how this can be done, and in which particular situations.

Mittelstaedt places an emphasis on using SSH instead of telnet between machines, security layout, using BSD for firewalling, print serving, and even file serving using Samba. Overall, this book makes a very good tutorial for all of the above. He spends a good deal of the first quarter of the book helping new users through the installation process in order to get a functional FreeBSD machine.

When the book originally came into my hands, it was on the last proof. Some of the things I pointed out couldn't be changed before the print date. Although some people might disagree with me, there were several things which I thought would either date the book and/or were unnecessary.

The first issue was the misnaming of PHP in the book. Ted called it the "Perl Hypertext Preprocessor," but PHP originally stood for "Personal Home Pages." It has since been renamed "PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor," in a "GNU's Not UNIX" fashion. The author conceded that neither Perl nor PHP advocates would be very happy with this, and agreed to include it in the book's errata on its Web site. As of this review, the change to the errata still hasn't been made.

The second issue is that the book may become quickly outdated. Because the book is so specific about technical issues such as installation, etc., it may become dated before the next revision. This means it will likely have little use to those who may want to install FreeBSD 5.0 next year.

The last issue, and probably the one of biggest contention, is the last part of the book: more specifically, the last five or so pages. The author does a good job throughout the book describing how one could implement FreeBSD in a corporate environment, coexisting rather peacefully with Microsoft software, only to go on what I call a five-page, well thought-out rant on Microsoft's bad consumer policies and the horrible quality of its software.

While we may all agree, I don't particularly think this is the way to win people over to the Good Side of the Source. Personally, I believe in the "you catch more flies with honey than vinegar" approach, and I feel that those last five pages tear down everything the author had worked for in the first 380. I believe this leads to rabid OS advocates who end up doing more harm than good. For more thoughts on this, Wes Peters makes a good case for temperate advocacy in the January 2001 issue of Daemon News.

Still, the book is good overall, and I would recommend it to those needing a quick primer on how to get FreeBSD working in an existing environment, with the caveats I've mentioned.

You can purchase this book at Fatbrain.

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TheFreeBSD Complete Networker's Guide

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  • This isn't a troll, I promise!

    After running Linux for over six years, I decided to install FreeBSD on my second hard disk to play with it. I've got plenty of Linux and general Unix experience, but there are still some fairly OS-specific issues that are nice to have documentation for, if only to get pointers. Like, "how do I use VESA modes in console" or "how do I optimize my UDMA drive performance".

    Normally, for this sort of information in Linux, I'd look on Google and find a raft of links to mailing list archives, HOWTOs, message board posts, etc. But try this with FreeBSD and the noise level becomes unbearable. Even if you specify that an answer must contain the term "FreeBSD", the odds are that most or all of the replies you get will be linux-centric.

    I did wind up finding what I was looking for, but it took awhile. I imagine that for a total newbie this would be a lot more frustrating.

    Anyway, the point of this is that Documentation is Good, and that books like this can only help FreeBSD in the face of the overwhelming mindshare that Linux enjoys.
  • no, he's dumb..

  • As others have said, this review doesn't give any feel for the book or its value to readers.

    The first thing that impressed me with this book is the included CD with FreeBSD 4.2. The FreeBSD site lists a release date of 22-Nov-2000, so I was very impressed to receive this version in a book purchased in January 2001.

    The author advises how to use FreeBSD as a replacement to Windows servers in a number of areas, including:

    Internet connection sharing
    Web serving
    E-mail server

    Working as a consultant for small companies without a full-time MIS person, I've found these needs to be the most common as well.

    The author does an excellent job not only of explaining how to get the FreeBSD server running, but also tells how to configure the clients. Instructions for setting up networking on DOS, Win 3.1, Win95/98/Me and NT are given. I got the sense that the author was out there working in the same types of places his readers are.

    The author also gives good advice on installing FreeBSD. He suggests just doing a standard install initially, because you're not going to know exactly which components you'll need. A more fine-tuned install can be done later. He also recommends compiling the kernel on the server. Even if you don't need a custom kernel (and, he says, most don't), it's a good test of your hardware. A PC that can't correctly compile the standard kernel isn't reliable enough to be used as a server.

    As for the author's section on FreeBSD Advocacy, it will hardly shock or offend anyone who's skimmed through comments of a Slashdot article about Microsoft. He simply says that he believes FreeBSD is technically superior to other OSes. And although other OSes have their place, he'd recommend using FreeBSD in many cases. I don't have any problem with an author taking some space to make the case for using certain software on technical or philosophical grounds, especially when the chapter is titled "FreeBSD Advocacy".

    This book comes up very strong in an area where other books fail: practical advice. Sure, each chapter's subject has entire books devoted to it, but the average person isn't going to need them early on. With this book, the reader can, for example, get to the point where the documentation included with Samba makes more sense.

    I'd definitely recommend the book for those who are serving companies where the $800 NT server license, plus the cost of Client Access Licenses, is not small change. And if FreeBSD turns out to be more manageable and reliable as well, that's gravy.

  • You should check out http://www.freebsd.org/ports

    There you can search the ports tree and find the latest versions. If you make sure to search -CURRENT you will always find the latest versions of things like Apache and mod_php.
  • The review tells how the book ends. Why didn't you warn us about the spoiler?

  • This book isn't designed for someone who already has umpteen years experience with UNIX as is but as a way for MS people to get into UNIX (FreeBSD specifically). Tim M. even made a point that this was his target audience for this book. He talked about his experiences coming off as a UNIX bigot. NT/W2K admin's who don't care that you have a degree from Berkeley making $200,000 a year working for Sun.
  • Why would you expect a distribution released 3 months before these application updates were released to contain them? You wouldn't blame RedHat if they still had Apache 1.3.14, would you?

    BSD just works when you do it the BSD way (which is explained in the above notes, how to cvsup). The ports 'just work' because alot of work went into making sure it does work, while supplying patches to help with any inconsistencies.

    I don't think most of the excellent package management software for free OS'es is significantly different as far as the end result goes. They all work when you use them as designed.
  • >Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, FreeBSD went out of business and was taken over by BSDI who sell another troubled OS.Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, FreeBSD went out of business and was taken over by BSDI

    hmmmmmmm... if i remember correctly, it _wasnt_ that FreeBSD went out of busness, it was a MERGER between FreeBSD and BSDI. Get your facts right, dickhead.

    Why are you making off-topic posts?
    This artile was about a book released dealing with some aspects of FreeBSD, not that "*BSD is dying".

    You need to learn to be less of a wanker. Stick to your Linux, weenie.
  • Addison-Wesley [] has the TOC and publishing info

    The author's website [freebsd-co...-guide.com] has errata, more info and a link [freebsd-co...-guide.com] to known online reviews including an informative review [bsdtoday.com] at BSD Today [bsdtoday.com]
  • While I'm using Slackware at present, I've used both FreeBSD and Linux. The FreeBSD community seems to be making a concerted effort to market into newbie territory. This wasn't always the case. FreeBSD's learning curve isn't much steeper than that of Linux, but it arguably starts higher up on the mountain. E.g., everything you need to know about VESA modes may be in syscons(4). but that presupposes that you know enough to look there in the first place.
  • Wins out again over best intentions I guess. I may get it however.

    "Only amateurs attack machines; professionals target people."
  • Dude, I have to say that is some of the worst grammar I've ever read.
  • Well, based on the review above, yes. I don't specifically want to attack the reviewer, but his point about being too technically specific is unwarranted. After all, what good is a technical book that isn't technically specific? From Tim M's point of view, it's job security, as well: if the first edition is a good seller, then the second edition (targeted for FreeBSD 5.x) will be a sure thing. Case in point: I have Solaris and Microsoft books that are targeted at different OS versions, and I found them to be quite handy - especially from the perspective that a diff on two versions of the same book (i.e. Solaris 2.6 Advanced System Administration vs Solaris 7 A.S.A.) can quickly bring you up to speed on the new and/or altered functionality of the new system. Any technical book that is general enough to please this reviewer is sure to include the word Dummies or Idiot in the title.

    Furthermore, if the author is so disappointed that a change he suggested to someone else's book wasn't included at press time and hasn't appeared in the errata, maybe he should write his own book. Based on the quality of the review (not the quality of the publication, mind you), I would be inclined to ignore anything the reviewer said.

    Maybe /. and community should put together a set of guidelines, almost like a checklist, for reviewing new material: the anyone-can-submit-a-review model sucks.

  • Yes, this is what I had to do. I didn't like it though....Although I did manage to get it working by using the ports version, they only have old stuff (Apache 1.3.14, modPHP 4.0.3pl1).

    As the other reply pointer out -- if you want to stay updated on the ports collection, you should use CVSup [freebsd.org] or the like. Both Apache 1.3.17 and mod_php 4.0.4pl1 have been in the ports collection since February 12 and February 5 respectfully. You just have to have some patience. When a new port is released (and in particular if the port is sort of big and/or complex) it takes a bit of time for the port maintainer to ensure that the port compiles and runs on all supported versions of the OS (remember that they should work on both the 3.x, 4.x, and 5.x branches). There might also be times when a FreeBSD porter does not include a new version into the port collection for a reason (i.e., it contain bugs). Usually you can send a mail to the port maintainer listed in the Makefile and ask him/her if they have any plans to upgrade a particular port.

    I've only been using FreeBSD for 2 days, but I get the impression that the BSD crowd is unfriendly and snotty compared to the Linux crowd - although I haven't talked to any other BSD users, I have read on the net that the BSD crowd can be snotty/rude.

    Er, well, what can I say? You seem to have managed to give an answer your own problems in the second part of the sentence. Quite an amazing feat ;-).

  • Of course, if you do fancy to use Google you could always use the Google BSD section [google.com].
  • Slashdot was down and I couldn't report it anywhere- even on slashdot!

    I wonder if mirosoft.com will cover the outage. Slashdot certainly isn't yet.

    Another site that experiences periodic outages [ridiculopathy.com]

  • It has since been renamed "PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor," in a "GNU's Not UNIX" fashion.

    OK, so this kind of recursive name was cute and clever (maybe) when the FSF first did it. By the millionth or so time, though, it's gotten pretty stale.

  • O'Reilly not providing a FreeBSD book -- you ask, "Shouldn't they"? I think the major reason they haven't is they deem the usage volume of FreeBSD much less then would be necessary for a title regarding it to be a financial success.

    If you look here, [netcraft.com] I don't think that usage volume is a problem for *BSD. There's *TONS* of *BSD boxen out there, so I'm not really sure why O'Reilly wouldn't do a book on it.

    Much of the current FreeBSD printed documentation is of poor quality.

    I'll have to agree with that, but (IMHO) The FreeBSD Handbook has definitely improved from the first version.

  • seems that u don't know what is debian.
    sorry,u have no cure.
    apt-get install *
  • Stupid. Comment on the subject.
  • Sorry, but no. There is no documentation anywhere to tell you that you need to read the ata(4) man page to find out about the disk driver or the syscons(4) man page to find out about video modes.

    Try 'apropos'. In both cases (disk driver, video mode) I was pointed to the correct man page on the first try.

    But how do people find out they need to use apropos? I suppose that's where we look to the crucial Third Pillar of FreeBSD documentation: Slashdot.

  • Thanks for the EXTREMELY old post. I remember reading this exact same crap when they did the Theo interview. Hello, *BSD is NOT dying. Linux MAY be growing, but I am happy with what I have now. Even if for some stupid reason it was no longer developed, everything I need works. Linux has just begun to focus on the desktop while *BSD still focuses on the server. Quit gettin your hopes up about *BSD dying. All u are tryin to do is start a flame war.

  • And if you think I want a device spewing lead fumes into my house, with my pregnant wife, 4 year old daughter and lovable mixed breed dog, well, you've got another thing coming.

    I'll just shut down and reboot.
  • O'Reilly not providing a FreeBSD book -- you ask, "Shouldn't they"? I think the major reason they haven't is they deem the usage volume of FreeBSD much less then would be necessary for a title regarding it to be a financial success. Which is a shame, as they do produce quality documentation. Much of the current FreeBSD printed documentation is of poor quality.

  • Now it's time to switch to a better alternative. Windows XP or MacOS X. Linuxes days are numbered. The great fall is upon us... All hail *BSD, and Vi and KDE.


  • by Anonymous Coward

    FreeBSD severely lacks formal documentation,

    All the formal documentation you need comes with FreeBSD. It has complete, comprehensive documentation. If that isnt enough, there are any number of UNIX books out there which apply quite nicely to FreeBSD since it _is_ a UNIX, unlike a certain OS which is popular on slashdot.
  • Sorry, but no. There is no documentation anywhere to tell you that you need to read the ata(4) man page to find out about the disk driver or the syscons(4) man page to find out about video modes. Yes, once you do find that out, the man pages are nice enough. But there is woefully little meta-information out there, and that is my point.

    What I was trying to say in my original post, and I must have been unclear because you've missed it completely, is that more FreeBSD books is a good thing because the Web resources are sorely lacking. There are dozens upon dozens of excellent Linux texts, and there is the very nice and informative Linux Documentation Project, but there are about three FreeBSD-specific books and no real equivalent to the LDP.

    Yes, I know that BSD is Unix and you don't "need" FreeBSD-specific books, but things like disk drivers and video drivers, which are _very_ specific to an operating system, should be documented somewhere. Having to search through every man page or rummage through the "excellent, logically laid out" source tree to find what boils down to basic configuration information is idiotic.

    At any rate, it hardly matters any more. The little exposure I've had to the FreeBSD culture as a whole, on the web and on IRC, has pretty well turned me off on the entire idea. I used to think that too many Linux users had this 31337 attitude, but really the FreeBSD "advocates" have impressed me with just how much farther this sort of thing can be taken. Have fun with your (excellent) OS.
  • First of all, I'm sorry that you think that showing someone HOW to help himself in contrast to actually helping someone with the task at hand is elitism. I for one, beg to differ. I do not consider this elitism, quite the conrary actually - I'm pretty sure it leaves the one asking for help better off in the long term and not dependent on the more experienced users. Many of the people I tutored really appreciated this 'method' in retrospect, although I must admit refusing outright to tell someone the correct flags to tar for untaring a tarball for example and insisting he reads the man page might be annoying. But if someone doesn't help himself, he shouldn't expect any more help from the others. It is he that must put the effort, not the ones he seeks guidance from. Ancient greek philosopher Socrates pioneered this teaching method (of showing people how to find truth instead of just telling them the truth) and he was anything but elitist - he was so humble he accepted the unfair death penalty imposed on him and refused to let his students assist him in escaping.

    Obviously, there are morons and nutcases in all walks of life and I cannot possibly imagine what kind of characters you might have bumped in to, however basing your OS choices on the 'culture' of an OS rather than pure technical merits is probably not a good idea. I use the right tool for the right job, even if that means that I end up using tools that where created by complete bastards (I could name a few :)

    As for the obviousness argument, the fact that it is explicitly stated that ad0 is connected to ata0 should be sufficient hint that that'd be a nice place to look. I mean look at this:

    atapci0: <Intel PIIX4 ATA33 controller> port 0xf000-0xf00f at device 7.1 on pci0
    ata0: at 0x1f0 irq 14 on atapci0
    ata1: at 0x170 irq 15 on atapci0
    ad0: 42934MB <WDC WD450AA> [87233/16/63] at ata0-master UDMA33

    It's not gibberish either, it's the actual name of the interface, they didn't pick three random letters to name the device. As for the system console, oh well:

    sc0: <System console> at flags 0x100 on isa0
    sc0: VGA <16 virtual consoles, flags=0x300>

    (man sc brings up the syscons manpage mind you)

    Really, it is not that hard to get a hang of this, it's not rocket science.

    Anyway a unix system is not for your average just-got-my-first-box kind of person, you'd at least expect from someone to have a basic grasp of the functioning of his computer and be willing to learn. The rewards of such an effort will be immense. If he's not willing to invest time, all the books in the world cannot help him, and perhaps he should choose something like MacOS X or Windows that although less rewarding might be more suitable due to the less steep initial learning curve.
  • Yes, this is what I had to do. I didn't like it though....Although I did manage to get it working by using the ports version, they only have old stuff (Apache 1.3.14, modPHP 4.0.3pl1)...I downloaded all the latest stuff, Apache 1.3.17, the latest modssl and modphp4 4.0.4pl1, etc. It built fine under FreeBSD, but the resulting module did NOTHING. It worked and Apache installed the module perfectly, but it just didn't work - so BSD doesn't "just work".

    I've been using FreeBSD about 2 months longer than you (after 7 years of Linux), and it took me awhile to figure this out (hint: subscribe to the freebsd-questions mailing list for awhile and search the archives when you need to). The ports tree is kept very much up to date - the trick is updating your copy. I did an update the other day and I have Apache 1.3.17, mod_php4 4.0.4pl1, and Apache+modssl 2.8.0 all in my ports tree. I'd bet that building and installing from the latest ports will make it work - these guys work very hard to make sure their ports aren't broken.

    Here are a couple of the extremely useful things I've learned about updating ports:

    • First, install cvsup-bin (go to /usr/ports/net/cvsup-bin and type make install
    • Next, create a cvsup file to update the ports tree. Mine looks like this:
      *default host=cvsup13.FreeBSD.org

      *default base=/usr
      *default prefix=/usr
      *default release=cvs tag=RELENG_4
      *default delete use-rel-suffix
      *default compress

      ports-all tag=.
    • I keep this file saved as /usr/ports/cvsup-ports but you can put it wherever.
    • Then type cvsup -g /usr/ports/cvsup-ports. Viola, your entire ports tree will be updated to point to the latest sources.
    • Now here's the tricky part. You can get a very nice list of what packages need to/can be upgraded by typing pkg_version -c. It's even in the form of a shell script that you could execute to upgrade everything. However, it does not fully take into account dependencies, so you must sort them out yourself (I imagine this will be upgraded in FreeBSD 5.0). For this task, pkg_info -r and pkg_info -R are your friends. Last time I upgraded my ports, I went through systematically, starting with the ones that didn't depend on anything else being upgraded, and going from there in order of dependencies. For example, right now I still have apache-1.3.14_1 installed. I check its dependencies (and also what depends on it). Looks good, nothing depends on it and it doesn't depend on anything else, so I can go ahead and follow the relevant lines from pkg_version:

      # apache
      # needs updating (index has 1.3.17)
      cd /usr/ports/www/apache13
      make && pkg_delete -f apache-1.3.14_1
      make install
      I also like to add a "make clean" at the end so my ports tree doesn't get all cluttered up with sources (and also clear out /usr/ports/distfiles when I'm done.
    Hopefully that will help get you started! Unfortunately the system isn't totally automated yet, but from what I've read some people just have cron jobs that cvsup every night and rebuild anything that was updated. Personally, I'd rather check myself first, but that's just me.
  • Does O'Reilly have a FreeBSD book? If they don't, shouldn't they? (Just checked the web site, no book is exclusively FreeBSD)

    FreeBSD in a Nutshell?
    FreeBSD: The Definitive Guide?
    Running FreeBSD?

    Where are these titles. I bet more people would monkey around with it if these titles existed.

    O'Reilly Rules!


  • You should have used man(1) and apropos(1). Sure, they don't work on Linux, but they *do* work on FreeBSD.
  • > There is no documentation anywhere to tell you
    > that you need to read the ata(4) man page to
    > find out about the disk driver

    First, the handbook will clearly indicate that ata is the driver for ATA devices (duh!). Second, it shows so on the boot messages, which can be reviewed with dmesg(1) if needed. You want to know about udma on your drives, right?

    /d/home/dcs$ apropos udma drive
    (enourmous list of various drivers, among which:)
    ata(4), acd(4), ad(4), afd(4), ast(4) - Generic ATA/ATAPI disk controller driver

    The list is rather big, but if you failed to avail yourself of both handbook and boot messages to find out what driver is being used...

    Next, you wanted to know about vga modes on the console, right?

    /d/home/dcs$ apropos vga console
    loadfont(1) - is used to load fonts into EGA or VGA boards for use by the 'pcvt'
    video driver
    vga(4) - generic video card interface
    kbdcontrol(1) - a utility for manipulating the syscons console driver
    moused(8) - pass mouse data to the console driver
    pcvt(4), vt(4) - PC console virtual screen system
    speaker(4), spkr(4) - console speaker device driver
    syscons(4), sc(4) - the console driver
    vidcontrol(1) - a utility for manipulating the syscons console driver

    Which is pretty much what you want.
  • For FreeBSD, no need to search the web or all kind of HOWTO's: Just look in the man-pages or in the (on-line) handbook, in /usr/share/doc.

    Everything you need to know, apart from generic UNIX basics, comes with the system.

  • O'Reilly not providing a FreeBSD book -- you ask, "Shouldn't they"? I think the major reason they haven't is they deem the usage volume of FreeBSD much less then would be necessary for a title regarding it to be a financial success.

    O'Reilly has at least two FreeBSD books in the works at the moment.

    Much of the current FreeBSD printed documentation is of poor quality.

    Ah even more unsubstantiated FUD. The printed FreeBSD documentation is quite excellent. The only nuance is that many places still carry the OLD 3.x documents. So your statement was incorrect. A more accurate statement would be that some printed FreeBSD documentation is slightly out-of-date.

    If printed manuals aren't your bag, just print yourself out the man pages which are technically excellent and quite complete.

  • I guess man pages are no longer official.
  • FreeBSD severely lacks formal documentation, as far as I know the handbook and the "design and implementation" we're the only books I know of.

    When I need help with my box I go to www.freebsddiary.org, or the search the mailing lists from freebsd.org. if that fails I try Deja (now google), and google.com/bsd, or sometimes just google with my problem and "FreeBSD" tacked onto the end.

    Another book is always a help, but in I doubt this book can compare to the "tome" status that the previous two do. The handbook is by far the most strait forward guild to any OS I have ever seen, it covers an amazing breadth of topics in very few pages, the Design and implementation book is one of the tomes on OS design in general, and of course specific to BSD, which is arguably the best designed OS, ever.


    Streamripper [sourceforge.net]

  • The Complete FreeBSD by Greg Lehey (sp?) is in its 3rd or 4th edition now, and when paired with the FreeBSD Handbook, there's little other documentation you really need, and 99% of whatever is lacking is either online, in the man pages, or in any of the countless UNIX books out there.
  • at Linuxiso http://www.linuxiso.org

    by Alex Graven
  • This review says very little about the book itself.

    From the review

    "It seems that the main purpose of the book is to describe how FreeBSD can be integrated into current network structures that include Microsoft clients and servers -- a very useful idea. The author describes step by step how this can be done, and in which particular situations."

    The review may have been not very well written or organized, but it did answer your issue.

  • by Cerb ( 10299 ) on Wednesday February 14, 2001 @07:47AM (#433162) Homepage
    Remember that google runs on linux. They seem to rank linux stuff higher just because. Or at least they used to.

    If you want help try freebsd-hackers@freebsd.org and freebsd-questions@freebsd.org. The latter has a high noise to signal ratio, hackers is bettter but tends to get you a few replies like "RTFM asshole."

  • by warlock ( 14079 ) on Wednesday February 14, 2001 @07:58AM (#433163) Homepage
    Has it ever occured to you that these "rafts of links to mailing list archives, HOWTOs, message board posts, etc" are a side effect of insufficient documentation? What would you prefer, some gossip on the mailing list, some step by step guide that may or may not work in your case or precise authoritative documentation to help you understand how to do whatever it is you want to do and warn you of any possible consequences? I'd take the latter any day of the week.

    It seems to me that many Linux users, especially those that have been using it for a long time like you did, picked up this nasty habbit of hitting the search engines first instead of reading the proper documentation, probably because documentation on most linux distributions is rather poor. In the case of the FreeBSD you have the excelent manual pages documenting nearly anything you can imagine (including drivers, configuration files and misc information like ports(7) for example) and on top of that the handbook and the FAQ. If you still can't find an answer, you can search the questions mailing list, if you find nothing, you can ASK a question.

    How do you use VESA modes with the console? read the manual page of the console driver of course, syscons(4), which points you to the direction of vidcontrol(1) among other things, that explains what you have to do.

    How do you optimize your UDMA drive performance? Well, first of all you don't have to - I never found an disk/controller combination that was set incorrectly by FreeBSD. While the kernel boots up the transfer mode of all drives is clearly indicated, ie:
    ad0: 42934MB <WDC WD450AA> [87233/16/63] at ata0-master UDMA33
    If you want to change it, you check on the manual page of the respective driver, in this case ata(4) where you will find that there is a sysctl knob to tweak them should you really have to. Which you won't.

    As for newbies being frustrated, I rather doubt it. The handbook explains rather well how to go about looking for answers in the (excellent) manual pages, and after a couple of times one gets used to it. What IS really frustrating is having to rely on mailing list archive gossip that might offer information that is old or does not apply.
  • by VSarkiss ( 173815 ) on Wednesday February 14, 2001 @06:45AM (#433164)

    This review says very little about the book itself. The majority of it is about the reviewer's disagreements with the author. After reading it, I still don't know whether it would be useful for, say, an administrator, a developer, or just curious about FreeBSD.

    How about listing the table of contents, or describing which areas are covered in how much depth, are there any examples with source, are the examples accurate, and so on.

    My meta-review: this review is (-1, uninformative)!

Neutrinos have bad breadth.