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The Official Ubuntu Book / Edition 6

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Overview

Ubuntu is a complete, free operating system that emphasizes community, support, and ease of use without compromising speed, power, or flexibility. It’s Linux for human beings, designed for everyone from computer novices to experts. Ubuntu 11.04 is the latest release–more powerful, more flexible, and friendlier than ever. The Official Ubuntu Book, Sixth Edition, will get you up and running quickly.

Written by expert, leading Ubuntu community members, this book covers all you need to know to make the most of Ubuntu 11.04, whether you’re a home user, small business user, server administrator, programmer, or novice. The authors explain Ubuntu 11.04 from start to finish: installation, configuration, desktop productivity, games, management, support, and much more. Among the many topics covered in this edition: Ubuntu One cloud storage, Ubuntu Server, and the groundbreaking Unity desktop.

This complete guide also covers standard desktop applications, from word processing, spreadsheets, Web browsing, e-mail, instant messaging, music, video, and games to software development, databases, and server applications. In addition, you will

  • Learn how to customize Ubuntu for home, small business, school, government, and enterprise environments
  • Learn how to quickly update Ubuntu to new release versions with upgraded applications
  • Find up-to-the-minute troubleshooting advice from Ubuntu users worldwide from forums and other means to get the help you need quickly
  • Learn Ubuntu Server installation and administration, including LVM and RAID implementation
  • Learn how to use Ubuntu One to buy legal music from your favorite artists and how to use cloud storage to back up or share your important files
  • Learn how you can be a part of the community that creates Ubuntu

The DVD includes the complete Ubuntu Linux operating system for installation on PC platforms. The disk is preconfigured with an outstanding desktop environment for both home and business computing. It can be used to install other complete variants of Ubuntu, including Kubuntu (with the KDE environment), and Ubuntu Server.

The Barnes & Noble edition contains an extra chapter on Ubuntu Forums and two CDs.

Bonus chapter on the Ubuntu Forums:
Built by the community and constituted by more than half a million Ubuntu users, the Ubuntu Forums are the major venue for community support and discussion. This book features a new chapter written by forums administrator Matthew Helmke that gives a tour of the forums and its people, processes, and rules.

CD#1:
Kubuntu is an official derivative of Ubuntu using the KDE environment instead of GNOME. It is part of the Ubuntu project and uses the same underlying system. It is an exciting distribution that showcases the full potential of the KDE desktop. Kubuntu shares the same repositories as Ubuntu, and relies on the same underlying architecture.

CD#2:
Ubuntu is used in primary and secondary schools around the world. It is an excellent educational tool. Edubuntu is an officially supported derivative of Ubuntu that is customised for educational use. Edubuntu contains a large number of educational applications including GCompris, KDE Edutainment Suite, and Schooltool Calendar. Edubuntu is developed to enable teachers/lecturers with limited technical knowledge and skills to set up a computer lab, or establish an online learning environment, in an hour or less, and then administer that environment.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Dare we say it? For mainstream users, Ubuntu is rapidly becoming the "de facto" Linux standard. It's friendly, accessible, and reliable -- all qualities that apply to its official guidebook, too. This book captures the welcoming feel of the Ubuntu community, inviting you to get involved both as user and participant. But it also covers all the techniques you need to succeed happily with Ubuntu: from installation and configuration to "office applications," CD burning to instant messaging, networking to troubleshooting.

There are plenty of specific answers: how to make Ubuntu run faster on older computers; better coexistence with Windows; fixes for balky microphones and scroll-wheel mice; tips for recovering lost system passwords, and much more. You'll even find chapters on Kubuntu (Ubuntu preconfigured with the KDE graphical user interface) and Edubuntu (Ubuntu optimized for schools). Plus, instant gratification: This book's DVD contains the full 7.0.4 "Feisty Fawn" distribution. Bill Camarda, from the October 2007 Read Only

From the Publisher
This book is the perfect companion for users new to Linux and Ubuntu. It covers the basics in a concise and well-organized manner. General use is covered separately from troubleshooting and error-handling, making the book well suited both for the beginner as well as the user that needs extended help.

—Thomas Petrucha, Austria Ubuntu User Group

I have recommended this book to several users who I instruct regularly on the use of Ubuntu. All of them have been satisfied with their purchase and have even been able to use it to help them in their journey along the way.

—Chris Crisafulli, Ubuntu LoCo Council, Florida Local Community Team

This text demystifies a very powerful Linux operating system . . . in just a few weeks of having it, I’ve used it as a quick reference a half dozen times, which saved me the time I would have spent scouring the Ubuntu forums online.

—Darren Frey, Member, Houston Local User Group

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780132748506
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 6/27/2011
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Benjamin Mako Hill is a long-time free software developer and advocate, and was part of the founding Ubuntu team. He is a fellow at the MIT Center for Future Civic Media, and a researcher and Ph.D. candidate at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Matthew Helmke has been an Ubuntu user since April, 2005, and a leader in the Ubuntu Forums since 2006. He works for a cutting-edge cyber infrastructure project while also writing Ubuntu Unleashed (SAMS, 2011).

Amber Graner is an active Ubuntu community member whose path to Ubuntu activism started as she blogged about her transition to Ubuntu in 2009. She contributes to the Ubuntu News Team, Ubuntu Women Project, and much more.

Corey Burger is a long-term user and contributor to Ubuntu and a former member of the Ubuntu Community Council.

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Read an Excerpt

As we write this, it is one year since we penned the first edition of The Official Ubuntu Book. The last year has seen Ubuntu continue its explosive growth, and we feel blessed by the fact that The Official Ubuntu Book has been able to benefit from, and perhaps in a small way even contribute to, that success. Ultimately, that success paved the way for the second edition of the book that you’re reading now.

Being Official has carried with it a set of rights and responsibilities. Our book’s title means that we must attempt to reflect and represent the whole Ubuntu community. While we, as authors, are expected to put ourselves into the book, it is understood that it can never be to the detriment of the values, principles, technologies, or structures of the Ubuntu community.

Often the effects of this added responsibility are wonderful. While most book publishers and authors struggle with the decision to release a book under a free license that allows uninhibited redistribution, reuse, and revision, our situation was clear: Any official book needed to live up to the Ubuntu community’s stated philosophical standards of freedom for sharing and reuse. Prentice Hall was willing to take the risk, and the community has responded in typical fashion by making the book a great commercial success.

Other times, the pressure to live up to our title has been a little more difficult. Since certain groups within the Ubuntu community expanded in the last year, we have an obligation to update our text to reflect this. While the authors of other books might have the luxury to pass on an Edubuntu chapter because Edubuntu is not geared toward the market they’d envisioned for their book, we can’t use this excuse. The scope of an official book is the entirety of the Ubuntu project, and as that project grows in size and in scope, our goal of building an accurate, honest, and representative summary of and introduction to that community and its product—in several hundred pages, no less—becomes increasingly challenging.

Meanwhile, as for the first edition, we needed to write this book about a new release of Ubuntu while that version was under active development and was being redesigned, rethought, and rebuilt. Every day, Ubuntu grows in different, unpredictable ways. Our book’s development process had to both match and track this process as our content was crafted, rewritten, adjusted, and allowed to mature itself.

As in the previous edition, the contributors to this book go well beyond those listed on the book’s cover. As last time, the recipes included in Chapter 6 have been elicited from and designed in consultation with the community. But while the community contributions are sometimes less visible in other chapters, they are no less present. Invisible to most readers, dozens of members of the community left their mark on different parts of the text of this book. Although this process led to a writing process that was as hectic, and frustrating at times, as the one that builds Ubuntu, we hope we can remind readers of the level of quality that this process inspires in our book’s subject. In the places where we achieve this, we have earned our book’s title. With that goal in mind, we look forward to future versions of Ubuntu and editions of this book wrought through the same community-driven process.

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Table of Contents

Foreword xxi

Foreword to the First Edition xxiii

Preface xxix

Acknowledgments xxxi

About the Authors xxxiii

Introduction xxxv

Chapter 1: The UbuntuStory 1

The Vision 2

Free Software, Open Source, and GNU/Linux 3

How the Vision Became Ubuntu 7

What Is Ubuntu? 12

Ubuntu Promises and Goals 17

Sustaining the Vision: Canonical and the Ubuntu Foundation 25

Beyond the Vision: Ubuntu Subprojects, Derivatives, and Spin-offs 30

Summary 32

Chapter 2: Installing Ubuntu 33

Choosing Your Ubuntu Version 34

Getting Ubuntu 36

Installing from the Desktop CD 39

Installing from the Alternate Install CD 51

Installing from a USB Key 57

Installing from within Windows 58

Summary 58

Chapter 3: Using Ubuntu on the Desktop 59

Taking Your Desktop for a Ride 61

Using Your Applications 72

The Ubuntu File Chooser and Bookmarks 85

Ubuntu in Your Language 87

Customizing Ubuntu’s Look and Feel 87

Managing Your Files 90

Ubuntu and Multimedia 95

Moving to the Next Ubuntu Release 108

Summary 110

Chapter 4: Gaining Greater Proficiency 111

Adding and Removing Programs and Packages 112

Keeping Your Computer Updated 117

Adding Additional Users 122

Using and Abusing Devices and Media 123

Configuring a Printer in Ubuntu 126

How Linux Stores and Organizes Files 131

The Terminal 134

Backup Strategies 135

Working with Windows Programs 136

Summary 137

Chapter 5: The Ubuntu Server 139

What Is Ubuntu Server? 140

Installing Ubuntu Server 142

Ubuntu Package Management 154

Ubuntu Server Security 165

Advanced Topics 172

Summary 176

Chapter 6: More Applications for Ubuntu 179

Creating Graphics with GIMP and Inkscape 180

Desktop Publishing with Scribus 191

Creating Music with Jokosher 196

Playing to Learn with Educational Programs 200

Getting There Faster with Docky 206

Summary 208

Chapter 7: The Ubuntu Community 209

Venues 211

Teams, Processes, and Community Governance 226

Getting Involved 239

Summary 243

Chapter 8: Using Kubuntu 245

Introduction to Kubuntu 246

Installing Kubuntu 249

Navigating in Kubuntu 254

Customizing Kubuntu 257

System Administration 260

Managing Files with Kubuntu 270

Common Applications 274

Finding Help and Giving Back to the Community 287

Summary 287

Chapter 9: GNOME 3, GNOME Shell, and More 289

A Different Path 290

Installing the GNOME Shell 290

Exploring the GNOME Shell 291

Using the Keyboard 295

Common Questions 295

Summary 297

Chapter 10: Ubuntu-Related Projects 299

Officially Supported Derivatives 300

Recognized Derivatives 304

Other Distributions 305

Launchpad 307

Bazaar 314

Summary 315

Chapter 11: Introducing Ubuntu One 317

What Can I Do with Ubuntu One? 318

How Much Does Ubuntu One Cost? 318

How Do I Begin? 318

Syncing Files 321

Syncing Contacts 321

Syncing Notes 322

Syncing Bookmarks 323

Special Features of Ubuntu One Mobile 324

Summary 325

Appendix: Welcome to the Command Line 327

Starting Up the Terminal 327

Getting Started 328

Building Pipelines 329

Running Commands as the Superuser 330

Finding Help 331

Moving Around the Filesystem 331

Manipulating Files and Folders 332

System Information Commands 333

Searching and Editing Text Files 335

Dealing with Users and Groups 336

Getting Help on the Command Line 336

Searching for Man Files 337

Using Wildcards 337

Executing Multiple Commands 338

Moving to More Advanced Uses of the Command Line 340

Index 343

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 10 of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2008

    Disappointed

    The book does a very good job explaining the Ubuntu community, it's history, it's code of conduct, etc. but does a very weak job on the operating system itself.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2008

    Officially Disappointing

    The book gives a very, very general overview of Ubuntu et. al., but it is missing a great deal of depth, especially with explaining the terminal and anything more than the absolute basics when it comes to most programs. The troubleshooting section is somewhat helpful, but almost any problem you encounter can also be found and solved just as easily by typing it into the search bar and checking the forums, which also provide much more help. On the bright side, it does come with installation discs for Ubuntu, Xubuntu, and I think a few others which might take those with slow internet connections a long time to download or are otherwise unfamiliar with creating bootable discs. But it if you want to support Ubuntu, but otherwise you can save $30 by just browsing the internet.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted August 27, 2011

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    Posted June 8, 2011

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    Posted November 26, 2008

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