Building a Server with FreeBSD 7
A Modular Approach
By Bryan J. Hong
Publisher: No Starch Press
Final Release Date: March 2008
Pages: 288

The most difficult part of building a server with FreeBSD, the Unix-like operating system, is arguably software installation and configuration. Finding the software is easy enough; getting everything up and running is another thing entirely. The only option for many people has been to hire a consultant.

Building a Server with FreeBSD 7 is for those of us who prefer to build our own server. If you're a small business owner looking for a reliable email server, a curious Windows administrator, or if you just want to put that old computer in the closet to work, you'll learn how to get things up and running quickly. Then, once you have a working system, you can experiment, extend, and customize as you please.

You'll learn how to install FreeBSD, then how to install popular server applications with the ports collection. Each package is treated as an independent module, so you can dip into the book at any point to install just the packages you need, when you need them. The book s modules cover topics like:

  • Running common FreeBSD admin commands and tasks
  • Managing the FreeBSD ports collection
  • Installing third-party apps like Apache, Courier-IMAP, SpamAssassin, CUPS, Cyrus SASL, MediaWiki, and WordPress
  • Setting up MySQL, NTP, ISC DHCP, ISC BIND DNS, PHP, OpenLDAP, OpenSSH, OpenSSL, and OpenVPN

Building a Server with FreeBSD 7 will have you up and running fast, with minimum hassle. (Just be sure to send the money you save to the Unemployed Consultant Foundation.)

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oreillyBuilding a Server with FreeBSD 7

(based on 4 reviews)

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(2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)


Not as good as thought

By Big_Bill_Dauterive

from Homnestead, FL

About Me Sys Admin


  • Concise
  • Well-written


  • Not comprehensive enough
  • Too many errors

Best Uses

  • Expert

Comments about oreilly Building a Server with FreeBSD 7:

There are too many hiccups in this book. The biggest was after installing samba and issuing the
" /usr/local/etc/rc.d/samba onestart" script only to be met with the dreaded " %%RC_SUBR%%: No such file or directory" error message.

No provisions are made for what to do if you encounter errors.

(0 of 3 customers found this review helpful)


Very good guide, however missing elements for Mac users...

By dovad

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Building a Server with FreeBSD 7:

This book is an excellent reference if you wish to get a FreeBSD server up and running quickly. I also share the same server requirements for the same reasons as well as career choice with the author. My only disappointment is the lack of support for the vastly growing Mac community. It's kind of odd if you think about a book based on a UNIX server implementation leaving out the UNIX based Macintosh. My wish list for the next version of this book would have to include configuration of the "Avahi" mDNS responder as well as "Netatalk" Apple Filing Protocol. Putting this disappointment aside I like the book quite a lot...


Great Book

By J.Watkins

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Building a Server with FreeBSD 7:

I knew very little about FreeBSD before selecting this text. Not being an OS novice, I keep to the mainstream flavors of Windows, Linux and Mac OS. Mr Hong's explanations accompanied by precise step-by-step instructions can make this topic easy for anyone.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who is remotely interested in FreeBSD.


Easy to follow instructions

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Building a Server with FreeBSD 7:

I had an old machine sitting around doing nothing and had considered putting some flavor of Linux on it I hadn't used before, just "because". However, I ran across this book and - having used FreeBSD 4.x six or seven years ago - curiosity about what has changed won out over installing Linux.

Being somewhat familiar with FreeBSD I didn't follow the setup instructions exactly as laid out in the book (for example, I chose the X-Developer install instead of the User install). However, the instructions are laid out in a nice step-by-step format that was easy to follow. After getting FreeBSD and the ports collection installed, I was pretty much back to up speed with version 7. I didn't go through all the server app installs presented in the book, but the couple I did go through were equally well documented as the OS install.

Things to be aware of - you need a high speed connection and/or patience. Pulling down the ISO for the install is 500+ Mb. Updating the ports collection can take a while - depends on how you do the update. There also are no instructions for getting a GUI up and running, so if you want a GUI, you're on your own (not that a server needs a GUI). :)

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