The Official Ubuntu Book / Edition 4

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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 8.04 LTS (Long Term Support), a.k.a., "Hardy Heron," is the latest release—more powerful, more flexible, and friendlier than ever. The Official Ubuntu, Third 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 8.04 LTS, whether you're a home user, small business user, server administrator, or programmer. The authors covers Ubuntu 8.04 LTS from start to finish: installation, configure, desktop productivity, games, management, support, and much more. Among the many new topics covered in this edition: the new Edubuntu and the brand new Kubuntu Remix including KDE 4.

The Official Ubuntu Book, Third Edition, covers standard desktop applications, from word processing, spreadsheets, Web browsing, e-mail, instant messaging, music, video, and games to software development, databases, and server aplications. In addition, you'll

• Learn how to customize Ubuntu for home, small business, school, government, and enterprise environments

• Learn how to quickly update Ubuntu to accommodate new versions and new applications

• Find up-to-the-minute troubleshooting advice from Ubuntu users worldwide

• Learn Ubuntu Server installation and administration, including LVM and RAID implementation

• Learn about Edubuntu—Ubuntu optimized specifically for the classroom

The DVD includes the complete Ubuntu Linux operating system for installation on PC platforms, 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 Edubuntu (for use in schools).

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.

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.

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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780137021208
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 7/13/2009
  • Edition description: Book and DVD
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 461
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (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

Ch. 1 Introducing Ubuntu 1

Ch. 2 Installing Ubuntu 33

Ch. 3 Using Ubuntu on the desktop 67

Ch. 4 Advanced usage and managing Ubuntu 119

Ch. 5 The Ubuntu server 147

Ch. 6 Support had typical problems 181

Ch. 7 The Ubuntu Community 241

Ch. 8 Using Kubuntu 271

Ch. 9 Using Edubuntu 323

Ch. 10 Ubuntu-related projects 369

App. A Welcome to the command line 385

App. B Ubuntu foundation documents 395

App. C Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 open publication license 409

App. D Ubuntu equivalents to Windows programs 419

Index 423

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Customer Reviews

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( 12 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 12 of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2008


    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 22, 2010

    Great Ubuntu Book

    To many people, right or wrong, Ubuntu is synonymous with Linux. Ubuntu does much to publicize Linux and is responsible for much growth in popularity of Linux in the last few years.
    This book covers Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, the latest stable release of Ubuntu. LTS (Long Term Service) means Ubuntu 10.04 has support for three years (until April 2013) instead of the usual eighteen months of most Ubuntu releases.
    The authors of The Official Ubuntu Book are prominent members of the Ubuntu and the Linux communities.
    The book was written before Ubuntu 10.04 was frozen. There could changes after the writing the book but it was decided to get the book out in time for the release.

    This book contains about 400 pages in a 7x9 format, not too bulky and nicely portable. About 350 pages comprise the subject matter. The cover is very different from older official Ubuntu books, varying shades of purple and not the traditional Ubuntu orange, expressing the new theme of Ubuntu. Included is an installation DVD containing the desktop installation, alternate installation and server installation.

    ?The Official Ubuntu Book, Fifth Edition, begins with a history and the mission statement of Ubuntu. The general organization of the project and related projects are briefly covered.

    The installation section explains obtaining installation media and installing Ubuntu in clear detail. Partitioning is thoroughly and clearly covered. When the CD/DVD is booted, a menu appears on-screen. This menu includes the option of checking the media for defects. This is my first step. After checking the integrity of the installation media, try the Live CD to explore Ubuntu and determine if audio, video and peripheral support is satisfactory.

    Much of the text is about the actual use of Ubuntu. Desktop layout, desktop and menu navigation, and customization are well covered. Core desktop programs and utilities are discussed thoroughly. Additional programs are introduced but are not discussed in great detail. Finding, installing and removing programs, much different than Windows, is covered. Many other administration tasks are discussed in these pages. There is a guide to Kubuntu, the KDE desktop version of Ubuntu, and Netbook Edition, especially designed to for netbooks.

    Many other versions of Ubuntu, both official and unofficial, are mentioned. These other versions are worth investigating as another version of Ubuntu might better suits specific needs as multimedia or old computers with limited resources.
    There is a brief but useful discussion of setting up a server. This is a good introduction but, as pointed out in the text, server administration is too complex to be covered in a general Ubuntu guide. It takes several books, not one chapter to cover this subject.

    This book has much information on the Ubuntu community. Ubuntu is unique among Linux distributions in it's community emphasis.

    There are many projects related to Ubuntu including translation, packaging software and other behind the scenes tasks necessary to make Ubuntu work. Users are invited to join these groups according to their abilities. Part of the Ubuntu philosophy is "anyone can play."

    Ubuntu Forums, a question and answer forum sponsored by Ubuntu, is explained. Here users ask questions and volunteer answers. T

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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