Mastering Linux Administration - Book Review

People frequently inquire about the best ways to learn Linux. I’ve already done extensive research on the subject and written three articles on how to learn Linux online. Candidates that are serious about learning Linux can get started immediately by joining online communities or purchasing video courses. Books, on the other hand, have always been the best source of in-depth knowledge on any topic, including learning Linux.

In this article, I’ll be discussing Mastering Linux Administration, a book that will undoubtedly help you get closer to your objective of learning Linux. Alexandru Calcatinge and Julian Balog wrote the book; both have over ten years of experience in programming or Linux system administration.

Are books better than video courses?

People frequently inquire as to which approach of learning is superior: books or videos. For the sake of wasting our time, we could discuss the subject for days, but I doubt we’d come to any conclusions. Personally, I believe that it is determined by what the learner finds comfortable and productive. There is no question that hundreds of teachers have created high-quality videos to teach their students, so anyone who finds videos more effective than books can benefit from them.

Books or videos

However, I believe that books, particularly tangible versions, are more productive than videos these days. When watching videos, the learner is more likely to become distracted from the material. I don’t have to replay the entire video if I miss a single point or want to find the section that discusses a specific topic. I can quickly turn the pages and discover the topic I wish to re-read.

As a result, one should always evaluate their learning style and how much they are truly receiving out of their classes. If they are unable to grasp information, they should reassess their learning style and strategy.

Mastering Linux Administration

The book Mastering Linux Administration is a great example of learning Linux from books. As I mentioned the book has been written by two well-experienced authors, who have been in programming or Linux administration for years. The authors have focused on the topic clarity with examples and screenshots.

Who is this book for?

  • Title: Mastering Linux Administration
  • Authored by: Alexandru Calcatinge | Julian Balog
  • Pages: 772
  • Published date: June 2021

Mastering Linux Administration is intended for anyone interested in learning advanced Linux as well as Linux for everyday use. The book is organised into sections, with the first laying the groundwork for novice Linux users. If you value privacy and security and want to switch to Linux, the first section will get you up and running quickly.

With a vast list of content for both new and advanced users, this book will appeal to all technology aficionados, even if you aren’t a Linux fan. Because Linux is the most used operating system on servers, it has become a focal area of attention for developers.

3 Levels: Basics, Advanced, and Cloud Administration

1. Linux basics

The book is organised into 3 sections and fifteen chapters, each of which covers a specific topic in depth. Some of the fundamentals covered in the first chapter range from common Linux phrases like “Linux distributions” through the selection and installation of a Linux distribution. If you’ve only been interested in Linux for 5 minutes, you’ve probably heard of several Linux distributions. The first chapter describes what Linux distributions are, the installation process (Ubuntu and CentOS), install GUI (GNOME and KDE), and the post-installation instructions. However, all of the above can easily be found on the Internet in fact on LinuxAndUbuntu, we have published articles covering all the above topics. But, this book cover topics in an order that readers will find very helpful.

Linux Basics T

The following two chapters are devoted to the Linux filesystem and Linux software management, respectively, in order to expand the readers’ expertise. For every Linux learner, both of these chapters are essential reading material. Because the filesystems used by Windows and Linux are fundamentally different, any Windows user who switches to Linux will find it difficult to grasp the filesystem hierarchical structure. Despite the fact that Windows has lately built a centralised tool to distribute software known as the Windows AppStore, Linux has had this feature for quite some time. When it comes to package updates and installations, Linux refers to these locations as repositories. As a result, the chapter Linux Software Management is geared around package management, which is accomplished through a variety of package managers.

2. Advanced topics lead toward Linux server administration

If you want to pursue a career as a Linux system administrator, the next part, “Advanced Linux Server Administration,” is far too important for your future professional development. The third section covers everything from the fundamentals of the Linux operating system to more in-depth technical topics such as understanding computer networks, network protocols, and working with network services such as DHCP and DNS, to securing a Linux server and creating a disaster recovery plan, among other things.

In terms of operation, Linux is very comparable to any other graphical operating system. Users can use the internet, listen to music, and create office presentations. However, on the server, Linux is usually used via the command line, and practically every component of the server is configured differently. Without a question, each Linux server is configured based on the applications that are installed on it, but how a server administrator securely instals those services is crucial to Linux system management. Any configuration flaw may expose the server or its services to hackers looking to steal sensitive data from users. As a result, the second section addresses the critical aspects of managing Linux servers.

The author has written in an easy-to-understand style to describe complicated topics in depth. The process of setting up a Linux server begins with the setup of the disc, which is critical for the future performance and security of the server. It all starts with how Linux handles different disc and filesystem types. It is possible to deploy and expose the server to the internet without having any networking knowledge, but maintaining its security would be exceedingly challenging. But, the writers have done an excellent job of covering networking with Linux. Besides networking, the section dedicates a chapter on Linux security and disaster recovery.

When a server is made available to the Internet, it should be appropriately set up with tools to handle malicious queries. The security section focuses on some critical tools for increasing system security, as well as how to install and configure them, as well as installing and configuring a firewall, which is a must-have utility for any Linux server. In the event of a breach, the book will walk you through the processes to quickly recover from the disaster.

3. Cloud Administration

Cloud Administration is the final and most significant section for modern server management. This section goes over cloud computing in-depth. It teaches how to use containers and virtual machines, two of the most commonly used cloud computing technologies.

The days of manually administering various critical server operations duties are long gone. We now employ technologies that will automatically conduct activities to make the process of deploying and managing services easier. It highlights many cloud technologies that are important in server management nowadays, such as OpenStack, which is a suite of open-source tools for creating and managing cloud infrastructure.

The 13th chapter of the book goes into great detail about how to properly deploy your app with AWS or Microsoft Azure. In case you didn’t already know, both of these cloud services include a free tier for new users. As a result, you may follow the author’s lead and put what you’ve learned into practice. Another key aspect of cloud computing is the ability to automate workflows in order to save time and money. The book’s final chapter focuses on teaching process automation with Ansible.

Tips for readers

Before you buy and start reading this book, you should make a mental note of something vital. When you first start reading the book, you will be looking for information online. It’s a nice habit to learn about a subject, but especially with Linux, people often disagree from one another. There are numerous methods or tools for tackling a certain problem; yet, people from various open-source communities are frequently seen fighting on the topic at such a degree that the fundamental argument is lost. While it is beneficial to broaden your knowledge, I strongly encourage broadening your knowledge rather than developing a dislike for a tool or process. The systemd discussion is a prime illustration of such behaviour. Though there are many new things to learn in that debate, as many experienced developers know, the toxicity surrounding the dispute may sour the mood of any learner.

Purchase the book

The book is published by Packtpub and is currently available to buy.


As many of you are aware, we have a Discord server where we hold giveaways. Join our server and participate in giveaways to get your hands on a free copy of the book. I give out different books, so you may have to wait for the free book you want. Otherwise, go to the Packtpub website and buy the book.