As I mentioned in What do all the pictures on the front of the "Unix and Linux System Administration Handbook" represent? I'm fairly new to Linux and Unix.

@jasonwryan provided an excellent link to a blog that describes all of the items on the front of the first book, but is there an explanation available for all the items on the cover of the the "Linux Administration Handbook"? I didn't see any other entries on Lisa Hanley's blog.


  1. Cloud
  2. Penguin Skiing
  3. VISTA Helicopter
  4. Tombstone
  5. Coffin
  6. Book
  7. Dead Cat
  8. Boy in a cube
  9. Monkey on a vine
  10. Tire
  11. Restrained Spider
  12. Cliff
  13. Spock
  14. Hand
  15. Doctor
  16. Tunnel
  • This isn't going to be a recurring thing, is it? I left the first one even though I think it's probably off-topic, but if you have a dozen books on your bookshelf you're planning to ask about I'll reconsider Dec 4, 2011 at 22:15
  • Just these two books, thanks for your help
    – mark
    Dec 4, 2011 at 22:15
  • Note the first edition detail @4 "R.I.P. Biff" and @8 rat bearing mention sssca.
    – user44370
    Aug 13, 2014 at 21:48

2 Answers 2

  1. IPv6, a cloud looming over the horizon. At the time, IPv6 was a scary beast whose widespread adoption was thought to be in the near future. Now, IPv6 is a scary beast whose widespread adoption is thought to be in the near future.
  2. While this may look like a penguin from afar, I believe this is Duke, the mascot of Java.
  3. Windows Vista, not part of the scenery on the ground but something you have to cope with.
  4. 10 MB/s Ethernet was common, but by the time this edition came out, 10BASE5 and 10BASE2 had been almost completely wiped out by cheap 100MB/s Cat-5 with RJ-45 connectors (yes, that's how everybody calls it).
  5. UUCP is dead and buried. What's UUCP? A protocol for machine-to-machine transfers, from the days when intermittent connectivity was the norm.
  6. "LAH" — refers to original Linux Administration Handbook
  7. Looks like a raccoon, which is the emblem of MINIX 3, released with Operating Systems Design and Implementation 3rd edition. For a history of the strained relations between Linux's creator and MINIX's creator, read about the Tanenbaum–Torvalds debate.
  8. ITIL is a methodology for managing IT systems. Some think it puts sysadmins in a box.
  9. ?
  10. ?
  11. I presume the spider web represents the World Wide Web. A lot of people use the web to make money (hence the $ eyes), and security for the web is a common task for Linux systems (hence the chain and padlock).
  12. ?
  13. Alien, a tool to convert software packages.
  14. The finger daemon.
  15. The SNMP daemon, a system diagnosis tool (many devices and daemons report their status and can sometimes be configured through SNMP).

I'll bite on the first three, front row and center.

1) Web Spider (probably a rogue one that doesn't respect robots.txt, got caught stealing server resources and so has been locked out)

2) Daemon (any background server process)

3) Finger Daemon (an early rudimentary identification server that allowed you to query it to find out about people on the system) Giving "The Universal American Symbol of Defiance" as its usefulness degraded over time and people started abusing it. Finger Daemon also demonstrates that computers operate on a digital binary system. Clenched fist = 0, Middle finger erect = 1. Just remember that the next time your system is giving you the Digital One. If it was British, a trinary system would be required to offer the same response.

  • ps: i added numbers to the book cover since you posted
    – mark
    Dec 4, 2011 at 23:08

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