Absolute OpenBSD

name = Absolute OpenBSD"' UNIX for the Practical Paranoid

author = Michael W. Lucas
cover_artist = [http://www.octopodstudios.com Octopod Studios]
publisher = No Starch Press
release_date = July, 2003
media_type = Print (Paperback)
pages = 528
size_weight =
isbn = ISBN 1-886411-99-9

"Absolute OpenBSD, UNIX for the Practical Paranoid" is book about the Unix-like OpenBSD operating system, written by Michael W. Lucas, author of "Absolute BSD" and "Cisco Routers for the Desperate". It is a guide to OpenBSD designed for seasoned Unix users. The book assumes a level of understanding of POSIX operating systems; their design, commands and permission controls. It was written at the time of the 3.4 release, thus some information became dated within only a few months when the next OpenBSD version was released.

The book contains troubleshooting tips as well as background information on the system and the commands it covers and examples to assist with learning.


Chapter 0, "Introduction", explains the uses of the book and what the later chapters cover, the history and core philosophical views of the OpenBSD project, where it is used and who uses it. The chapter also covers a small relational comparison between OpenBSD and the other BSD operating systems.

Chapter 1, "Additional Help", discusses the documentation available through the manual pages and OpenBSD website, as a prerequisite to installation.

Chapter 2, "Installation Preparations", gives the user some details on the steps used to install OpenBSD 3.4 on an Intel 386-class "PC" computer, both for a dedicated and multiboot systems.

Chapter 3, "Installation Walkthrough", takes the reader through all the steps of the 3.4 release's installation process. Covers the areas where users new to Unix-like systems may find difficult, such as partitioning.

Chapter 4, "Multiboot Installation", illustrates how to install OpenBSD 3.4 on a machine which already has an operating system installed on it.

Chapter 5, "Post-Install Configuration", deals with the initial things users may want to do immediately after the first boot and gives a rundown of the default configuration the system startup file, /etc/rc.conf.

Chapter 6, "System Startup", shows the reader the OpenBSD booting process, which files are involved and how to modify them.

Chapter 7, "Managing Users", covers the adding, modifying, restricting and removing of users, as well as the use of sudo and the concept of user privileges.

Chapter 8, "Networking", shows the basics of TCP/IP and network troubleshooting.

Chapter 9, "Network Connections", shows usage of modems as well as Ethernet NICs and the tools needed to manage a network, such as how to add alias networks to an interface.

Chapter 10, "Additional Security Features", explains the security tools available in OpenBSD.

Chapter 11, "Basic Kernel Configuration", describes how to configure a kernel, rather than compile a custom kernel, since this is a procedure discouraged strongly by the OpenBSD developers.

Chapter 12, "Kernel Compilation", illustrates the steps required to recompile the kernel for the outside situations where a customized kernel is required.

Chapter 13, "Additional Software", explains the ports and packages system on OpenBSD, how to find, download and install packages as well as how to automate the download of package dependencies.

Chapter 14, "Upgrading OpenBSD", gives an explanation of the ways an administrator can upgrade the system.

Chapter 15, "Disks", runs through how OpenBSD handles disks and how to mount/unmount and manage disks.

Chapter 16, "/etc", covers all the files in /etc/ that haven't already been dealt with in a previous chapter.

Chapter 17, "Packet Filtering", shows how to use the packet filter which is included in OpenBSD, giving examples on how to filter network traffic.

Chapter 18, "More Packet Filtering", details how to use the packet filter's integrated traffic shaping tool, ALTQ, to manage connections.

Chapter 19, "Managing PF", takes the reader through a list of tools used to manage pf and which work with pf to ease firewall management.

External links

* [http://www.nostarch.com/frameset.php?startat=openbsd No Starch Press's official Absolute OpenBSD site]
* [http://www.absoluteopenbsd.com/ Michael Lucas's Absolute OpenBSD page]

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