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Practical Ruby for System Administration

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Ruby has set the world on fire, proving itself a serious challenger to Perl and Python in all spheres. In particular, more and more people are discovering that Ruby's flexibility, superb feature set, and gentle learning curve make it a natural choice for system administration tasks, from the humblest server to the largest enterprise deployment.

Within the pages of Practical Ruby for System Administration, you'll learn the Ruby way to construct files, tap into clouds of data, build domain-specific languages, perform network traffic analysis, and more.

Based on author André Ben Hamou's own experiences working as a system administrator, this book will help you pick up practical tips on Ruby coding style, learn how to analyze and improve script performance, and make use of no-nonsense advice on scripting workflow, including testing and documentation.

Above all, you'll come to appreciate the sheer power of Ruby and the hundreds of benefits it offers for system administration.

This book places equal emphasis on fundamental Ruby concepts as well as practical how-tos. It uses examples from other languages to ease the transition to Ruby. The book is concise, entertaining, and informative�unlike many books aimed at system administrators, which can be overly long and stodgy.

239 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 1, 2007

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Displaying 1 - 2 of 2 reviews
Profile Image for James Stewart.
38 reviews6 followers
December 22, 2007
If you've encountered Ruby primarily through Rails and know it chiefly as an elegant tool for writing web applications it's easy to miss its longer history as a tool for systems administration. Before Rails made Ruby the language-du-jour sysadmins bore much of the responsibility for keeping it alive, with the result that it has a suite of libraries helpful for server monitoring and a range of other administrative tasks.

Author André Ben Hamou is clear that his book is not an exhaustive guide to using Ruby for systems administration. Rather than try to cover every possible context he provides an introduction to the language and some of its key libraries intended to give a feel for how it might be used and why it leads to succinct and expressive solutions. A number of the more important libraries for working with network protocols and files are covered, and there's a good introduction to rubygems and how they can be used and created.

Having not done much work with Ruby on the command line I found the first couple of chapters, which cover command-line switches that can help with one-liners for file processing, particularly informative, though I suspect I'll be referring back to them for a while until the different options take hold. As with the book as a whole those chapters are clear and to-the-point, helped by a presumption that the reader has a good understanding of the problem space and some experience with using scripting languages to simplify their life.

Don't go into this book expecting to come away ready to work as a sysadmin. That's not its intention. Nor is it a comprehensive guide to ruby, and you'll probably still want a good language reference to go with it. But it provides a number of helpful hints and a good sense of how robust scripts can be built quickly and simply with ruby, and there are likely to be a few helpful tricks for most readers.

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of this book for review by the publisher.
Profile Image for Philip Hollenback.
431 reviews48 followers
December 1, 2014
I'm going to argue about the 'practicality' of this book. This was really more of a 'learning ruby' book than a 'getting sysadmin tasks done' book. Then again, maybe I'm just an old perl curmudgeon who remains doubtful that OO programming is a good fit for sysadmin tasks.
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