The Official Ubuntu Book / Edition 5

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The Official Ubuntu Book, Fifth 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 10.04, whether you’re a home user, small business user, server administrator, or programmer. The authors explain Ubuntu 10.04 from start to finish: installation, configuration, desktop productivity, games, management, support, and much more. Among the many topics covered in this edition: Kubuntu, Ubuntu Netbook Edition, and Ubuntu Server.

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 and 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 install Ubuntu on a netbook

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), Ubuntu Netbook Edition, 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.

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

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: 9780137081301
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 7/9/2010
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 401
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Benjamin Mako Hill serves on Ubuntu’s Community Council governance board, which helps oversee community aspects of Ubuntu. 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 is one of the administrators of the Ubuntu Forums and a member of the Ubuntu membership board for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Corey Burger serves on Ubuntu’s Community Council governance board, Ubuntu’s Marketing and News Teams, and is a geography student in his spare time.

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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 to the First Edition xxi

Preface xxvii

Acknowledgments xxix

About the Authors xxxi

Introduction xxxiii

Chapter 1: Introducing Ubuntu 1

A Wild Ride 2

Free Software, Open Source, and GNU/Linux 3

A Brief History of Ubuntu 7

What Is Ubuntu? 12

Ubuntu Promises and Goals 18

Canonical and the Ubuntu Foundation 26

Ubuntu Subprojects, Derivatives, and Spin-offs 31

Summary 33

Chapter 2: Installing Ubuntu 35

Choosing Your Ubuntu Version 36

Getting Ubuntu 38

Installing from the Desktop CD 41

Installing from the Alternate Install CD 50

Installing from a USB Key 56

Installing from within Windows 57

Summary 57

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 84

Ubuntu in Your Language 86

Customizing Ubuntu’s Look and Feel 87

Managing Your Files 89

Ubuntu and Multimedia 94

Moving to the Next Ubuntu Release 109

Summary 111

Chapter 4: Gaining Greater Proficiency 113

Adding and Removing Programs and Packages 114

Keeping Your Computer Updated 120

Adding Additional Users 124

Using and Abusing Devices and Media 125

Configuring a Printer in Ubuntu 128

How Linux Stores and Organizes Files 133

The Terminal 137

Backup Strategies 137

Working with Windows Programs 139

Summary 140

Chapter 5: The Ubuntu Server 141

What Is Ubuntu Server? 142

Installing Ubuntu Server 144

Ubuntu Package Management 156

Ubuntu Server Security 167

Advanced Topics 174

Summary 178

Chapter 6: More Applications for Ubuntu 181

Creating Graphics with GIMP and Inkscape 182

Desktop Publishing with Scribus 194

Exploring the Future with GNOME-shell and Zeitgeist 206

Getting There Faster with GNOME Do and Docky 211

Summary 214

Chapter 7: The Ubuntu Community 215

Venues 217

Teams, Processes, and Community Governance 231

Getting Involved 240

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 272

Common Applications 277

Finding Help and Giving Back to the Community 290

Summary 291

Chapter 9: Mobile and Netbook Editions 293

Installing on a Netbook 294

Using the Launcher 296

Window Listing 300

Maximized Windows 300

Switching Back to the Regular Ubuntu Desktop 301

Applications to Make Your Netbook Better 302

Other Changes from the Desktop Edition 306

Summary 307

Chapter 10: Ubuntu-Related Projects 309

Officially Supported Derivatives 310

Recognized Derivatives 314

Other Distributions 315

Launchpad 318

Bazaar 324

Summary 325

Chapter 11: Introducing the Ubuntu Forums 327

What Are the Ubuntu Forums? 328

A Brief History of the Ubuntu Forums 328

How May I Participate? 329

Questions, Locations, Conversations, and Activities 334

Key People in the Forums 335

Fun Stuff 336

The Foundation of the Ubuntu Forums 337

Summary 337

Appendix: Welcome to the Command Line 339

Starting Up the Terminal 339

Getting Started 340

Building Pipelines 341

Running Commands as the Superuser 342

Finding Help 343

Moving Around the Filesystem 343

Manipulating Files and Folders 344

System Information Commands 345

Searching and Editing Text Files 347

Dealing with Users and Groups 348

Getting Help on the Command Line 348

Searching for Man Files 349

Using Wildcards 349

Executing Multiple Commands 350

Moving to More Advanced Uses of the Command Line 352

Index 355

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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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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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