[rescue] off topic - red hat linux book

Ray Arachelian ray at arachelian.com
Wed Oct 21 06:47:25 CDT 2009

Steve Sandau wrote:
> Ahhh, "pain and suffering" would also describe out experiences with
> RedHat. The hardware is nowhere near as well-behaved as SPARC boxes
Oh HP (ok, Compaq really) hardware with ILO's, it's not half bad.  It's
not as tightly integrated to the hardware as is Solaris on UltraSPARC
machines, but it's quite good.
As with any OS that's not Solaris, it's just not Solaris. :-)  So you
can't expect it to be the same.  I too prefer Solaris over RHEL, but I
suspect that's because that's where I spend most of my time with.

I do find that out of the box RHEL is a lot friendlier than Solaris. 
For instance their adduser program allows you to pass a password hash
(not the password, but the hash out of /etc/shadow), so you can easily
clone accounts across many machines without resorting to OpenLDP or
NIS.   tar recognized j and z options properly, and the default shell is
bash.  Their /proc file system is a lot nicer.

One thing I've found really annoying in RHEL is that cpio throws
*needless* warnings - there is an option to silence it, but it's only in
the Linux version of cpio, so you can't run the same script on both
Solaris and Linux to do backups.  So, there are enough differences to
make porting scripts across machines a bit of a chore sometimes, though,
unless you actively install GNU tools on Solaris.  But then that freaks
out your users ("Should I use /usr/bin/tar or /usr/local/bin/tar? 
What's the difference? Why are there two of them?" and so on.)

That said I find AIX far more different than either RHEL or Solaris.

Original Poster asked about some books.  I recently picked up this book,
and I'm quite happy with having spent only $5 total on it. :)

Granted, it's for RHEL4 and more than half of the book is wasted on
beginner stuff, which if you already know Solaris, you can skip over,
but we do have RHEL4 at $work, and whatever 5 has that's different, I
can always RTFM the docs off redhat.com.  I did notice a huge change
with RHEL5.4, they've switched from Xen to KVM for their virtualization.

There is a newer RHEL5 version of the above for $37.

I haven't looked that deeply, but there's probably some RHEL for Solaris
administrators book/faq/reference out there somewhere.   I found the IBM
redbook "AIX for Solaris admins" useful.
There's probably something that's the opposite of this:


Unfortunately google seems to return job listings instead of guides when
queried for "RHEL For Solaris Admins" :)  So deeper digging is needed.

What I'd wish for is something that was a short FAQ that shows how to do
various sysadmin things (so far googling RHEL and the item usually gets
me to the right thing, but would be nice to have a central place to look):

How to use the LVM, specifically how to set it up, how to replace failed
How to tell if the interface is 100FDX
How to tell if an interface has errors?
How to configure limits for file handles, memory, and the like per user.
How to optimize various parameters (you've mentioned TCP/IP for instance)
add/remove swap
add/remove LUNs from a SAN
How to multipath?
How to tell if a hard drive has errors?
How to setup a cluster?
how to virtualize?
How to tell what kinds of CPUs you have and how many? (hint, /proc has a
cpufinfo file)
How to do kickstarts and boot off the network?
How to add routes (yes, route add, but it's syntax is very different
than on Solaris or *BSD for that matter)

I find most of the books/manuals out there do have some of the above,
but they're generally beginner Admin things, so would be nice to have a
more concise guide to those things.

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