Absolute OpenBSD, 2nd Edition

I promised I’d announce the title of my next No Starch Press book in my BSDCan talk. That happened. The rest of you had to wait until now to hear that I’m rewriting Absolute OpenBSD. The technical reviewer is Peter Hansteen, author of The Book of PF.

Most of the book does not exist yet. Best guess for a release date is some time in 2012.

Why did a second edition take so long?

I will only write books about tools I use in production, out in the real world. (Desktop use does not count.) In my previous job, senior network engineer at a global automotive supplier, I had no opportunity to use OpenBSD. That meant I couldn’t offer advice about using OpenBSD, or discuss how it fit into my infrastructure. I could have written the book, but it would have sucked.

I’m also working on a second nonfiction project, but I’ll announce that separately.

17 Replies to “Absolute OpenBSD, 2nd Edition”

  1. Michael, this is great news! Every time I run into Bill from No Starch Press at Scale linux expo in LA I ask him about whether or not an update for this book is coming out. Now I can stop bugging him. 😉

  2. Hi
    Do you require any additional proofreaders? If so, where can we signup?

  3. This is great news! I can’t thank you enough for your first book and all the explanation you provided for your guides! The time I read it, it was a life saver.

    Now, even if I have learned many things throughout the years, I can’t wait to read your new book.
    Your first book and “BSD Hacks” are the books that are always in my bag. Just for a nice read from time to time and as a reminder for some things I may forget.

  4. I am another one in the queue for proofreader. Not a native english speaker, but rather heavy reader of (mostly yours) Nostarch stuff and OpenBSD (and other unices) sysadmin for some years…

  5. Hi,

    Why don’t you write a good book on “How to administrate OpenBSD ? or How to maintain it ?”.
    I will be a success ! Also, can you make OpenBSD Course about services (like mail server, IDS …) in PDF format ?

    All the best,


  6. Michael, delighted to hear about progress on Absolute BSD 2nd Edition. I’ve just bought the second edition of The Book of PF and I’ll be doing the same for your book.
    Sorry to hear that you think that it might be too long- I was disappointed that the first edition was shorter than Absolute FreeBSD (yes, I own that as well).
    I find that your books are the great (common sense) approach between the terse man page and cut/paste FAQ. Oh, and No Starch Press fits right in there as well.
    I’m looking at web-based SSH access, and trying to figure out if running “Shell in a Box” in a chroot environment is possible; not to restrict SSH access, but to provide some protection if Shell in a Box code breaks. Any thoughts or comments?

  7. This is awesome, the first edition was excellent. Can’t wait to read it ! Do you have any update about the release date ?

  8. I recently got into OpenBSD and wanted to get hold of a decent book on it. Unfortunately, Amazon no longer stock Absolute OpenBSD.
    I’m currently working my way through the Secure Architectures Book (2004! version) which is pretty good.
    However, everything I have read (including your Absolute BSD book for FreeBSD) indicates that your approach is ideal for the savvy user.
    Consequently, it’s excellent to hear that you are in the process of writing a second edition for OpenBSD.
    I was originally excited when I read about systrace and securelevel but now understand that these are not the best things since sliced bread, after all. Boo-hoo!! (I believe Theo isn’t a huge advocate of them either – unless I am very much mistaken).
    So – I am hoping that your second edition will deal with how secure OpenBSD is by DEFAULT (yep – I checked Secunia – very impressive data) and how it’s possible to truly exploit the OS.
    Cheers! Mike

  9. Hi,

    I was listening to BSDtalk podcast when I heard something like “Lucas… Absolute OpenBSD 2nd edition… review”, a few seconds latter I was rewinding the podcast 🙂

    Absolute FreeBSD 2nd edition is amazing and even though I haven’t used nor plan on using OpenBSD, I’ll buy AOBSD2nd and take the OS for a spin just because of the quality of your work.

    Do you stop writing! I’m still hoping for Absolute FreeBSD 3rd Edition in a few years.

    Best regards.

  10. Dude,

    I love the first edition and use it almost everyday. I actually take it to work and have them pay me to read it (under the radar of course).

    I know, I know, don’t call me dude.


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