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Book Reviews

Windows and Linux Integration: Hands-on Solutions for a Mixed Environment

Jeremy Moskowitz, Thomas Boutell, Sybex Inc., 2005, $49.99, ISBN: 0782144284

For many computer professionals, Windows and Linux already seem integrated. We're using Windows clients to access Linux servers, creating file shares with Samba, and even installing both operating systems on dual-boot or virtualized machines. Why do we need a book on integration?

The value of this book lies in the fact that the Windows/Linux integration experienced by almost all of us is incomplete. We settle for an integration level of 80 percent because it requires only a 20 percent effort and we never get around to investing the rest of the effort because it exceeds the perceived benefit. Here, the authors spell out the details behind "the hard stuff," making it just as easy and worth doing as the initial steps.

Windows' Active Directory (including domain name system) is usually perceived as the greatest bugaboo for full integration, followed by cross-system authentication, Exchange/Postfix integration (e-mail and calendar services), and full printer sharing. This book provides step-by-step recipes for solving these problems and delves further into remote computing, virtual private networks, Web interoperability, and shared applications. It spells out specific configuration steps for creating truly integrated enterprises rather than cohabiting independent platforms. This book alone could fuel a Windows/Linux integration consulting niche.

The book is 540 pages, but reads easily and seems shorter. In fact, the writing style may be too casual. I question textbooks that say things like, "Heck, my grandma likes it" (page 5). The authors maintain a useful Web site that includes example code and additional material on Windows Server 2003 R2. —Bayard Kohlhepp

Reprinted from Computing Reviews, © 2006 ACM,


Originally published in Queue vol. 4, no. 6
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