For the past two and a half years I've been heavily involved with deployment of X.509-based infrastructures, working with both in-house and out-of-house proprietary solutions coupled with many Free Software components. This has had a great influence on me to pursue my future development in this area. I've found it interesting and challenging both to deploy the X.509 infrastructure, as well as services depending on this technology for the purpose of authentication and authorization.
Being a Free Software fan, it comes at no surprise that I've kept myself wondering - could I build all of this based only on Free Software components, replacing the proprietary bits and pieces with appropriate alternatives? It comes to no great surprise that after lots of time spent on working with such components that the answer was yes.
The intent of this book is three-fold - it's supposed to provide the reader with some elementary knowledge required for handling the X.509 technologies (unfortunately, this topic is not currently covered in the cookbook), to describe a deployment of an X.509 infrastructure, and to also supply the reader with guide on setting-up various services using the X.509 for data and communications channel protection as well as authentication and authorization in a variety of available services. In order to reflect this intention, the cookbook itself is comprised out of three major sections, each focusing on one of the above three topics. In addition, there's also a separate section describing the software used throughout the cookbook with links to project homepages.
This book is still a work-in-progress at the time of this writing, and even if it wasn't the case, I can't take any responsibility for the information presented within. Still, I can at least give assurances that I've done as much as it's possible on my part to procure correct information, and to keep the guide as accurate as possible.
For what it's worth, this cookbook will probably remain a heavy work-in-progress for the years to come.
I'm also very open to any suggestions or corrections related to the contents of this cookbook. Feel free to either add comments to appropriate pages or to contact me through the contact page or e-mail.
Special thanks go to all of the people surrounding me from whom I have been able to learn a great deal about X.509 and administration in general. They have certainly allowed me to further my knowledge in all of the related areas.
I'd also like to express my eternal gratitude to all the Free Software developers, packagers, and maintainers who have, in the end, made all of this possible. Their unselfish work and sacrifice for development of Free Software must never be forgotten, and they are the true pillars of our entire Free Software ecosystem. This cookbook in itself is a small token of appreciation to their work and deeds.