Python for Unix and Linux System Administration Book Arrives At Door

By Noah Gift
August 24, 2008 | Comments: 15

Jeremy and I both received the first copies of Python For Unix and Linux System Administration at our house's on Friday. It took Jeremy and I close to a year and a half from conception to finish, to write the book.



According to Amazon, the book should be out around September 2nd. One cool thing we are doing in conjunction with the release of the book is releasing an Ubuntu 7.10 Virtual Machine that has our source code pre-installed and has a very sweet configuration including LDAP/Trac/SVN/Apache/Samba all working together. If you would like to help us beta test the Virtual Machine you can download it here. Former Olympic High Jumper and "Uber" Ubuntu Geek, Alfredo Deza, helped us prepare the Virtual Machine. If you have any comments or questions on how to use the virtual machine there will be more information forthcoming, but feel free to email us.

Writing this book was one of the toughest things I have ever done, and I think I speak for Jeremy too, in saying that we are both very happy with the outcome. This is in large part in thanks to the hardworking technical reviewers we had on the book including Shannon Behrens, Doug Hellmann, and Titus Brown. There were also many other people that helped tremendously and they are listed in the acknowledgments for Jeremy and I, which is actually quite large at a few pages.

Update: The virtual machine is a vmware image and has py4sa as the username and password for everything. Again, this is just a beta for the brave who want it right NOW. We have formal instructions coming, as well as the official release.

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Congrats on the book!

The virtual machine needs a bit of explanation. What are the requirements (e.g. which VM software)? Is the file a VM image, or an installer? I'd rather not download 500+MB just to find out I can't use it. :-)


is there any plan to have an eletronic version of this book? If so, which format? I'm interested on LRF or epub formats for my Sony Reader PRS 505.




I agree, we need a bit more information about the VM. I should get time by the end of the week to write a fairly detailed how to on using some of the features. For now, the spartan information is that it is a VMWare Virtual Machine and the username and password is: py4sa/py4sa

The end goal is for there to be a really cool general purpose Virtual Machine that someone could build an entire infrastructure off of, if they wanted as it does have LDAP/Trac/SVN/Apache and Samba pre-configured. Again, I will post a full how to by the end of the week and send out another blog post about it.

I believe Jeremy and I are also going to give a webcast/screencast on using it as well in the future.



You can find it on Safari.

Congratulations guys !

Looking at the description, and the TOC, I dunno.

I have not looked at the actual book, so I don't want to jump to conclusions. But from what I have seen, the book seem more like "Miscellaneous Topics in Python" rather than a book about how to use python for UNIX sysadmin.

I was expecting something more along the lines of the Perl sysadmin book. I was expecting sections on stuff that sysadmin do: backups, user management, etc. Instead, it seems more like any other basic book about python: managing packages in python and so on. And is cloud computing really a sysadmin task?

I hope to get a good look at the book when it comes out, I hope I am wrong about the impression that I have now.


Congratulations, Noah. You guys got the snake cover, that's pretty cool. Coincidentally a friend of a friend's mother is the one who illustrates all the animals for those books.

everything/thanks for the kind words!
walterbyrd/I have read the Perl and Ruby books on systems administration as well as a fairly large percentage of Python programming books. I can safely say, that I think people will learn new things from the book that aren't covered anywhere else. As that was one of our goals.

We cover things on SNMP and IPython, an interactive shell, that have never been covered in a book before. I think that both the SNMP and and IPython chapters alone are worth the price of the book, but I am a bit biased of course :)

In addition, I think we had a good balance in giving a very dense overview of things people that deal with systems administration in Python need to know including, writing command line tools, automatically rebuilding machines, writing cross platform tools, etc. I am fairly confident a large range of people will be happy with the level of detail and originality we put into the book.

We didn't get into cloud computing a ton, but we did show some examples with Amazon and App Engine. I think the future is probably going to involve some shift into SaaS, or Software As A Service, and this will involve sysadmins knowing about the Cloud and their local environment.

Congratulations, looking forward to this one. But I gotta ask, a Boa Constrictor on the cover of a Python book? I know that O'Reilly is somewhat arbitrary with matching animals to books, but you'd think that at least go with a "non-snake" animal?


The safari edition is already available online as an electronic version (right now!).


Can we get a zip file of all of the sample code vs. having to download each of the files?


Bill/Your wish is my command. I have checkout our code into svn on google code, and then created a .zip download based on the revision. If there are bugs or corrections, we can you create a ticket, we can fix, then issue a new release.

Congratulations, guys!

Congratulations,Now I think you need a vacation come visit at home in California. Love Mom

how does this book integrate with python 3?

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