Here’s a sample of reviewer comments about my work, in their own words. Not all of these have links; some sites are no longer available, others moved, still others are print-only.

“I am pleased to say that SSH Mastery is another must-have, must-read for anyone working in IT.”

Richard Bejtlich, TaoSecurity

“This is truly an excellent book. It’s full of essential material on OpenBSD presented with a sense of humor and an obvious deep knowledge of how this OS works.”

Sandra Henry-Stocker, Unix as a Second Language column on ITWorld.

SSH Mastery: OpenSSH, PuTTY, Tunnels, and Keys by Michael Lucas is one of those technical books that you wouldn’t keep on your bookshelf. It’s one of the books that will have its bindings bent, and many pages bookmarked sitting near the keyboard. Well, that is until most of the information is second nature to you. This book is one of the rare books that lives up to its title, is short and concise, very valuable, and is rather inexpensive.”

Steven K Hicks, the exception catcher

“Do you need this book? If you use OpenBSD, and have not yet achieved guru status, yes, this book is just for you. Even gurus will find valuable things in this book that they did not know. But beyond the OpenBSD aspect, there are great sections on cross-platform applications like sudo that are almost enough on their own to justify getting this book. And there are several of those chapters. So: even if you don’t use OpenBSD directly, would you like a quick reference on sudo, IPv6 networking, and NFS setup? Oh, and also tftpd, PXE, and diskless BSD systems? But wait, what if I told you these references came with a free book on OpenBSD installation and configuration?”

Warren Block

“Absolute OpenBSD is an excellent book from both an OpenBSD perspective and a Unix perspective. Michael provides security tips and reminders along the way and always with a sense of humor.”

Michael Dexter,

“That’s what I like about “Absolute OpenBSD”, it covers the why at least as much as the how and that makes it a great instruction manual for any system administrator, not just OpenBSD admins. I certainly recommend the book for administrators, especially people interested in OpenBSD. Even if you don’t read the entire text, be sure to check out the author’s tips and asides that are featured on almost every page, they are heavy with wisdom from the trenches.”

Jesse Smith,

“On the eve of 2008, I am happy to say that Michael Lucas is probably the best system administration author I’ve read. I am amazed that he can communicate top-notch content with a sense of humor, while not offending the reader or sounding stupid. When was the last time you could physically feel yourself getting smarter while reading a book? If you are a beginning to average FreeBSD user, Absolute FreeBSD 2nd Ed (AF2E) will deliver that sensation in spades. Even more advanced users will find plenty to enjoy.”

Richard Bejtlich, Tao Security, on Absolute FreeBSD, 2nd Ed

“A thorough and well-presented coverage of network flow analysis intended for professional network administrators/managers.”
Linux Users of Victoria

“The world’s first user-friendly book on email privacy. Unless you’re a cryptographer, or never use email, you should read this book.”


“… this book isn’t a reference – it’s a survival guide, a “break glass in case of emergency” safety harness…. What I found remarkable was how it was obviously written for people like methose of us who have little interest in router management but whose jobs depend on the consistent, trusted functioning of such infrastructure.”

ASP.NETPRO, on Cisco Routers for the Desperate

“I found it to be a great addition to my reference bookshelf, and I’m sure it will be creased and dog-eared as I attempt to implement my own NetFlow analysis system this next year.”

To the Last Tribe Consulting

“Even longtime users of FreeBSD may be surprised at the power and features it can bring to bear as a server platform, and Absolute BSD is an excellent guide to harnessing that power.”


“…a well-written book that hits its market squarely on target. Those new to OpenBSD will appreciate the comprehensive approach that takes them from concept to functional execution. Existing and advanced users will benefit from the discussion of OpenBSD-specific topics such as the security features and pf administration.”

SLASHDOT, on Absolute OpenBSD

“An excellent book that shows the end-user in an easy to read and often entertaining style just about everything they need to know to effectively and properly use PGP and OpenPGP.”


“Combining a great writing style with lots of technical info, this book provides a learning experience that’s both fun and interesting. Not too many technical books can claim that.”

;login: Magazine, October 2010

“. . . a great resource for people new to BSD and those who have been using it for years. Michael Lucas has a writing style which is very easy to read and absorb.”

FRESHMEAT, on Absolute BSD

“Absolute OpenBSD by Michael Lucas is a broad and mostly gentle introduction into the world of the OpenBSD operating system. It is sufficiently complete and deep to give someone new to OpenBSD a solid footing for doing real work and the mental tools for further exploration. . . . The potentially boring topic of systems administration is made very readable and even fun by the light tone that Lucas uses.”


“A very fine piece of work, it isn’t about how to implement BSD solutions, but it is about managing systems in situ.”

LOGIN:, on Absolute BSD

“I recommend Absolute OpenBSD to all programmers and administrators working with the OpenBSD operating system (OS), or considering it.”


“PGP & GPG is another excellent book by Michael Lucas. I thoroughly enjoyed his other books due to their content and style. PGP & GPG continues in this fine tradition. If you are trying to learn how to use PGP or GPG, or at least want to ensure you are using them properly, read PGP & GPG.”


“Master practitioner Lucas organizes features and functions to make sense in the development environment, and so provides aid and comfort to new users, novices, and those with significant experience alike.”

SciTech Book News, Vol. 32, No.1 – March 2008, on Absolute FreeBSD, 2nd Ed

“Excellent tutorial, quick read, and enough humor to make it enjoyable.”


“. . . packed with a lot of information.”

DAEMON NEWS, on Absolute BSD

“…reads well as the author has a very conversational tone, while giving you more than enough information on the topic at hand. He drops in jokes and honest truths, as if you were talking to him in a bar.”

Technology and Me Blog, on Absolute FreeBSD, 2nd Ed

“If only Cisco Routers for the Desperate had been on my bookshelf a few years ago! It would have definitely saved me many hours of searching for configuration help on my Cisco routers. . . . I would strongly recommend this book for both IT Professionals looking to get started with Cisco routers, as well as anyone who has to deal with a Cisco router from time to time but doesn’t have the time or technological know-how to tackle a more in-depth book on the subject.”

BLOGCRITICS MAGAZINE, on Cisco Routers for the Desperate

“. . . provides beautifully written tutorials and reference material to help you make the most of the strengths of this OS.”