Three cheers for the Nutshell format! There may be no better printed style for command-line environments, like the Internetwork Operating System (IOS) that runs on Cisco Systems routers. Cisco IOS in a Nutshell
documents the most important bits of the frequently arcane IOS command line from aaa accounting
, thereby providing a valuable resource to everyone who works with IOS. The reference section--which makes up about 60 percent of this book--summarizes each command (again, they're not all covered, but the ones that aren't are pretty obscure) with a statement of its scope (global, interface, line, or whatever), followed by generalized syntax summaries in the style of Unix man pages (these indicate the legal combinations of switches and parameters). Then, a detailed discussion of each switch and parameter clarifies what each is for. The whole reference section is alphabetical, with lettered dark boxes on the pages' outer edges that are easy to scan while flipping pages rapidly.
Prior to the reference section, the author explains how the IOS interface refers to and controls aspects of routers, such as lines and interfaces. He does a great job of it, too--you could do far worse than to read his explanations before going to work under IOS for the first time. The other great value of this early section is in the author's discussion of how to configure a new router by bringing interfaces, data-communication protocols (like TCP/IP), routing protocols (like Border Gateway Protocol, or BGP), and services like Domain Name Service (DNS) online. This book is a tremendous value for Cisco engineers. --David Wall
Topics covered: How to configure a Cisco Systems router with the Internetwork Operating System (IOS). The most popular commands are documented, and there's a tutorial section that familiarizes readers with the Cisco way of thinking about a router's work. The author uses IOS 12.x as his baseline, though users of older versions will find his work valuable.
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Cisco routers are everywhere that networks are. They come in all sizes, from inexpensive units for homes and small offices to equipment costing well over $100,000 and capable of routing at gigabit speeds. A fixture in today's networks, Cisco claims roughly 70% of the router market, producing high-end switches, hubs, and other network hardware. One unifying thread runs through the product line: virtually all of Cisco's products run the Internetwork Operating System, or IOS. If you work with Cisco routers, it's likely that you deal with Cisco's IOS software - an extremely powerful and complex operating system, with an equally complex configuration language. With a cryptic command-line interface and thousands of commands - some of which mean different things in different situations - it doesn't have a reputation for being user-friendly. Fortunately, there's help. This second edition of "Cisco IOS in a Nutshell" consolidates the most important commands and features of IOS into a single, well-organized volume that you'll find refreshingly user-friendly. This handy, two-part reference covers IOS configuration for the TCP/IP protocol family.
The first section includes chapters on the user interface, configuring lines and interfaces, access lists, routing protocols, and dial-on-demand routing and security. A brief, example-filled tutorial shows you how to accomplish common tasks. The second part is a classic O'Reilly quick reference to all the commands for working with TCP/IP and the lower-level protocols on which it relies. Brief descriptions and lists of options help you zero in on the commands you for the task at hand. Updated to cover Cisco IOS Software Major Release 12.3, this second edition includes lots of examples of the most common configuration steps for the routers themselves. It's a timely guide that any network administrator will come to rely on.