Cover V11, I11




This month's theme is interoperability, and several of the articles in this issue provide solutions to cross-platform problems. In the feature article, Ralf Engelschall (who has long been involved in the development of open source software, such as Apache mod_ssl, GNU Shtool, OpenSSL, and OSSP) and his co-authors describe a robust, cross-platform software packaging tool called OpenPKG. Brian Gollsneider has written a follow-up to his multi-booting article published last year in Sys Admin. In this month's article, Gollsneider provides new information about multi-booting Windows 2000, Windows 98, Solaris 8, and Red Hat 7.3. In other articles, Nathan Yocom shows how the GPL'd pGina tool can provide PAM-like authentication and facilitate adding Windows clients to your UNIX environment, and Brent Bice explains how to use the net-snmp agent for monitoring your UNIX systems.

A different type of cross-platform tool was released in the spring of 2002 -- it's the Universal Command Guide: For Operating Systems by Guy Lotgering and the Universal Command Guide Training Team. This 1600-page book, published by John Wiley & Sons, is a comprehensive command reference book. It contains more than 8,000 commands (and more than 57,000 options) from various operating systems, such as UNIX, Linux, Windows, Mac 9.1 (but not OS X), and DOS. Not all flavors of UNIX are covered -- HP-UX and Tru64 are notably absent -- however, the book is well organized and well indexed, and to my knowledge no other book has attempted to organize so many commands in this way. The UCG team provides lots of usage examples and cross-references each command. The book also comes with a CD-ROM containing the UCG finder, which allows the user to type in a command and request its equivalent for a different system. The UCG finder tool can also be accessed (for free) on the team's Web site at: This book is a great reference tool -- especially for beginning admins.

Sincerely yours,

Amber Ankerholz
Editor in Chief