Servers for Hackers is a new book by Chris Fidao. For those that are not familiar with it, it started out as a wildly successful newsletter. Each issue includes tips and tricks about server administration written toward developers. From the success of this Chris is releasing a new package of three products, an e-book, case studies, and tutorial videos.
I feel I am a perfect match for this book because I honestly loathe server administration. I know enough of the basics to be dangerous and this part of the tech stack never grabbed my attention.
Cloud servers are now very affordable and running your own has never been easier or cheaper. Getting up to speed on basic server administration is an important attribute not only for my job but also for my personal projects. That is why I’m excited about this book.
Servers for Hackers the e-book covers the following topics:
- Virtualbox and Vagrant
- Package Managers mostly APT with Ubuntu
- Permission and User Management
- Webservers – HTTP, DNS, Apache, Nginx, and Multi-Tenancy
- Multi-Server Environments – Load Balancing with both Nginx and HAProxy
- Logs – Logrotate and Rsyslog
- File management, deployment, and configuration – Managing files, Auto-Deploy with GitHub, and Ansible
- SSH – Config and Tunneling
- Monitoring Processes
- Serving Static Content locally
Each of the sections goes into really great detail and steps you through the workflow of setting everything up. Since getting an early copy I’ve been using this book as a resource to refer back to when I get stumped. It’s structured in such a way that referencing later is easy. I think it’s well worth the price of $34.99.
As I mentioned more packages are also available. For an extra $10 you can get a second ebook with case studies that cover some common use cases that you may run into. This includes items like the first steps on a server, nginx with multiple sites, MySQL replication, Python and uWSGI, and Queues and Workers.
Then for an additional $20 you can get video tutorials which include:
- Ansible (similar content to the book but shows debugging steps)
- Purchasing and installing real normal and wildcard SSLs, including testing the install
- Vagrant and setting up wildcard sudomains that automatically map to directory, using xip.io, and some common gotchas
- Setting up and using supervisord
- and more planned to come…
Well worth the extra few dollars to have these available when you need them.
One final benefit is Servers for Hackers should have lasting value as Ubuntu has LTS for 4 years. Unlike lots of tech style books you can buy it today and it will not be outdated for a long time. That’s a huge bonus!
As I mentioned in the beginning I’m a perfect match for the content and I feel like this book was written specifically for me. I highly recommend it. So many great topics that are explained clearly. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy. I don’t believe you will be disappointed.
Here is the site to go buy it.
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