BSD Hacks
100 Industrial Tip & Tools
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: May 2004
Pages: 450

In the world of Unix operating systems, the various BSDs come with a long heritage of high-quality software and well-designed solutions, making them a favorite OS of a wide range of users. Among budget-minded users who adopted BSD early on to developers of some of today's largest Internet sites, the popularity of BSD systems continues to grow. If you use the BSD operating system, then you know that the secret of its success is not just in its price tag: practical, reliable, extraordinarily stable and flexible, BSD also offers plenty of fertile ground for creative, time-saving tweaks and tricks, and yes, even the chance to have some fun."Fun?" you ask. Perhaps "fun" wasn't covered in the manual that taught you to install BSD and administer it effectively. But BSD Hacks, the latest in O'Reilly's popular Hacks series, offers a unique set of practical tips, tricks, tools--and even fun--for administrators and power users of BSD systems.BSD Hacks takes a creative approach to saving time and getting more done, with fewer resources. You'll take advantage of the tools and concepts that make the world's top Unix users more productive. Rather than spending hours with a dry technical document learning what switches go with a command, you'll learn concrete, practical uses for that command.The book begins with hacks to customize the user environment. You'll learn how to be more productive in the command line, timesaving tips for setting user-defaults, how to automate long commands, and save long sessions for later review. Other hacks in the book are grouped in the following areas:

  • Customizing the User Environment
  • Dealing with Files and Filesystems
  • The Boot and Login Environments
  • Backing Up
  • Networking Hacks
  • Securing the System
  • Going Beyond the Basics
  • Keeping Up-to-Date
  • Grokking BSD
If you want more than your average BSD user--you want to explore and experiment, unearth shortcuts, create useful tools, and come up with fun things to try on your own--BSD Hacks is a must-have. This book will turn regular users into power users and system administrators into super system administrators.
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by PowerReviews
oreillyBSD Hacks

(based on 7 reviews)

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Reviewed by 7 customers

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Excellent Hacks... now slightly outdated


from Albuquerque, NM

About Me Designer, Maker, Sys Admin


  • Concise
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples


  • Outdated Due To Versions

Best Uses

  • Expert
  • Intermediate
  • Novice

Comments about oreilly BSD Hacks:

The book is about 85% still relevant - and if you're a BSD user, it is essential to your print library.

I've been a Unix users (in various flavors) for over twenty years. I had heard about BSD in the early 2000s, but I could never find a copy of installation media (disks, CDROMs) to get it started up... until 2008. After I obtained a copy of FreeBSD 7.0, I've kept a copy on at least one system in my inventory... but not until I read Dru Lavigne's book "BSD Hacks" did I actually unlock some of the potential in that BSD box.

The learning curve is steady throughout the book, allowing you to tweak your system with Dru's hacks. A lot of the security related ones deal with OpenBSD or OpenBSD-derived commands on FreeBSD. It was a great read first-time through, and a irreplaceable reference for my BSDing.

The only downside is... since O'Reilly has seemingly discontinued the "Hacks" series, there will probably not be an update for this book. Some programs mentioned with (CVS comes to mind), has been deprecated in BSDs, and totally removed in current versions. So those hacks fall flat, now. Others just require tweaks from the older code/commands to newer versions.

Bottom Line: Get a copy, you BSD user!

(1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)


Great, but missing some important bits

By Michael Soulier

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly BSD Hacks:

I just recently got into looking at FreeBSD, as a full-time Linux developer. This book is good on both platforms, as many of the tips work on any Unix.

I constantly found myself wondering how to do the same tasks I'm used to from Linux on FreeBSD, and this book did help me greatly for that.

Unfortunately, I did find it lacking, missing some very important areas for me, at home on an ADSL connection.

running PPPoE

running NAT

setting up ipf (rc.conf, and the kernel module)

replacing sendmail

I found these conspicuously missing, which is why I'm only giving the book four stars.

I also found that some simple concepts about ports were not properly explained

Using portupgrade on a single package

Using portupgrade to replace one package with another

Fixing the multiple installed packages of different versions problem

Luckily, the FreeBSD community, the handbook, and some other community websites filled in these gaps. Still, these are important hacks that should have been covered.

A great read, and quite handy. Just missing some not-so-obvious but very important details.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)



By mindmerge

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly BSD Hacks:

This book is fantastic. This is one of those books that sets O'Reilly apart from other publishers. BSD Hacks is easy to read, extremely informative and very low on fluff!

My particular favorite hacks:

- Protecting Password with Blowfish Hashes (hack 29)

- Strip the Kernel (hack 54)

- Tune FreeBSD for Different Applications (hack 69)

- Traffic Shaping on FreeBSD (Hack 70)

Many more good hacks, this is a must have. BSD books have not been plentiful in the past years in comparison to other OS's. This book more than makes up for that lack of attention.

This book helps to form the strong backbone of the hacks body of books. Thank you Dru, and thank you O'Reilly for this series that cuts straight to the point.

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Great Book For All

By stakys

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly BSD Hacks:

Hi, every BSD lover must have this book! It's really powerfull (informative) and well understandable for all of us.

My final words would be: MUST HAVE IT!!!



By BSD Fanatic

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly BSD Hacks:

Finally! A book written for BSD sysadmins by a BSD sysadmin. Absolutely worth every single penny. Dru tells the reader how to setup Snort, ACid, mysql, Apache *AND* PHP in a simple concise manner. And that is just ONE HACK! An incredible amount of material. This one goes on the bookshelf. I'm a Dru fan now.

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)



By drew

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly BSD Hacks:

i'm a big fan of the "hacks" books. and this book isn't too shabby, though i liked linux server hacks a bit better.

then again, at 25 bizzles a pop, you can't afford to not have this gem in your collection.

just buy it ya cheap bastards.

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


BSD Hacks Review

By Marcelo Araujo

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly BSD Hacks:

Difinity and exclusive book

Powered BSD System

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