Ubuntu Made Easy: A Project-Based Introduction to Linux


Ubuntu brings Linux to the masses, but it can still be intimidating for newbies, neophytes, and geeks-in-training. With Ubuntu Made Easy by your side you'll be ready to face any challenge, and you'll discover just how fun Linux can be.

Packed with tips, tricks, and helpful pointers, Ubuntu Made Easy will get you up and running with the world's most popular free operating system. Authors Rickford Grant and Phil Bull walk you through common tasks like installing and playing games,...

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Ubuntu Made Easy: A Project-Based Introduction to Linux

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Ubuntu brings Linux to the masses, but it can still be intimidating for newbies, neophytes, and geeks-in-training. With Ubuntu Made Easy by your side you'll be ready to face any challenge, and you'll discover just how fun Linux can be.

Packed with tips, tricks, and helpful pointers, Ubuntu Made Easy will get you up and running with the world's most popular free operating system. Authors Rickford Grant and Phil Bull walk you through common tasks like installing and playing games, accessing your favorite social networks, troubleshooting hardware and software problems, interacting with your Windows installation, and more.

With the help of the book's straightforward explanations and step-by-step projects, you'll also learn how to:

  • Set up printers, scanners, USB flash drives, and other hardware
  • Install and play free games like Frets on Fire and Frozen Bubble as well as commercial hits like Braid and World of Goo
  • Watch DVDs, listen to music, and sync your mobile devices
  • Edit and share digital photos and videos
  • Create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations
  • Work with the command line (or avoid it altogether!)

If you're looking for a pain-free way to learn Linux, Ubuntu Made Easy is just what you need to get started. Covers Ubuntu 12.04, Precise Pangolin. Includes LiveCD.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593274252
  • Publisher: No Starch Press San Francisco, CA
  • Publication date: 7/29/2012
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Rickford Grant is the author of Ubuntu for Non-Geeks and Linux Made Easy. He has been an operating system maniac for more than 20 years, from his early days with an Atari XL600 to his current Linux machines. Rickford is the international student advisor at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina.

Phil Bull is an author of the official Ubuntu documentation and a member of the GNOME documentation project. He has been helping people with computers since his early teens and has been an open source contributor since 2005. Phil currently spends his time studying astrophysics in sunny Oxford, UK.

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Table of Contents

Version Compatibility;
Concept and Approach;
How to Use This Book;
About the Conventions Used in This Book;
About the Projects in This Book;
Chapter 1: Becoming a Penguinista;
1.1 What Is Linux?;
1.2 About the Penguin;
1.3 Should You Use Linux?;
1.4 What Is a Distribution?;
1.5 What Is Ubuntu?;
1.6 Why Ubuntu Then?;
1.7 Hardware Compatibility;
1.8 Hardware Requirements;
1.9 Good News for 64-Bit Machine Users;
1.10 Mixed News for Mac Users;
1.11 Speaking Ubuntu;
1.12 Where Do I Go from Here?;
Chapter 2: Wading and Diving;
2.1 Going for a Dip;
2.2 Choices, Choices, Choices—Installation Options;
2.3 How Can I Get Back into Windows?;
2.4 Oh No, My Computer Won’t Boot!;
Chapter 3: A New Place to Call Home;
3.1 Welcome to the Desktop;
3.2 Parts of the Unity Desktop Environment;
3.3 Working with the Launcher;
3.4 The Dash;
3.5 Head-up Display;
3.6 Navigating a Sea of Open Windows;
3.7 Workspace Switcher—Virtual Desktops;
3.8 Why Doesn’t My Desktop Look Like That?;
3.9 Keyboard Shortcuts;
3.10 Shutting Down;
Chapter 4: More Than Webbed Feet;
4.1 How Do You Connect?;
4.2 Setting Up a Wired Connection;
4.3 Setting Up a Wireless Connection;
4.4 Connecting with a DSL or ADSL Modem;
4.5 Setting Up a Dial-up Connection;
4.6 Mobile Broadband Connections;
4.7 I’m Connected . . . So Now What?;
Chapter 5: Slipping and Sliding;
5.1 Firefox: Your Internet Browser;
5.2 Project 5: Installing Firefox Extensions;
5.3 Email with Thunderbird;
5.4 The Messaging Menu;
5.5 Chatting with Your Friends via Empathy;
5.6 Microblogging—Twitter and Friends;
5.7 Other Internet Applications;
Chapter 6: Rounding Out the Bird;
6.1 Project 6A: Installing Applications via the Ubuntu Software Center;
6.2 Performing System Updates via Update Manager;
6.3 Adding Extra Software Repositories;
6.4 Project 6B: Installing Software from a PPA—Turtle Arena;
6.5 Project 6C: Installing DEB Packages Not Available via the Ubuntu Repositories—Google Earth;
Chapter 7: A Tidy Nest;
7.1 Find It Fast—Searching for Files with the Dash;
7.2 Nautilus: The Fully Featured File Manager;
7.3 File Handling in Nautilus;
7.4 Navigating in Nautilus;
7.5 Reading Data CDs and DVDs;
7.6 USB Storage Devices;
7.7 Working with Bluetooth Devices;
7.8 Backing Up Your Files;
7.9 Removing Unwanted Files;
7.10 Project 7: Creating and Extracting Compressed Files;
Chapter 8: Simple Kitten Ways;
8.1 Meet the Terminal;
8.2 Some Goofy yet Useful Fun with the Command Terminal;
8.3 Nontoxic Commands;
8.4 Commands with Some Teeth;
8.5 A Couple of Other Commands You’ll Be Using Soon;
8.6 Project 8A: Creating a Plan;
8.7 Project 8B: More Command Practice with pyWings;
8.8 Project 8C: Command Practice Review with Briscola;
8.9 Project 8D: Compiling and Installing Programs from Source—Xmahjongg;
8.10 Customizing the Terminal;
8.11 Tabbed Shell Sessions in the Terminal;
Chapter 9: Dressing Up the Bird;
9.1 Project 9A: Creating a New User Account;
9.2 Customizing: The Basics;
9.3 Customizing Your Desktop Environment: The Next Level;
9.4 Project 9B: Customizing Your Desktop Environment—There’s No Place Like GNOME;
9.5 Project 9C: Switching from Unity to Cinnamon;
Chapter 10: Gutenbird;
10.1 Printers;
10.2 Project 10: Installing TrueType Fonts;
10.3 Scanners;
Chapter 11: Polyglot Penguins;
11.1 Read-Only Language Support;
11.2 Typing Nonstandard Characters;
11.3 Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Input;
11.4 Project 11: Setting Up Asian-Language Support;
11.5 Setting Up IBus to Automatically Start Up When You Log In;
11.6 Viewing Your System in Another Language;
Chapter 12: Penguins at Work;
12.1 Where the Apps Are;
12.2 LibreOffice;
12.3 Word Processing Done Lightly with AbiWord;
12.4 FocusWriter;
12.5 Some Other Cool Productivity Apps;
Chapter 13: Right-Brain Penguins;
13.1 Where the Apps Are;
13.2 Project 13A: Importing Images from Digital Cameras;
13.3 Project 13B: Working with Digital Images in Shotwell;
13.4 A Few Other Graphics Apps to Consider;
Chapter 14: Tux Rocks;
14.1 Where the Apps Are;
14.2 Audio File Formats;
14.3 Installing MP3 Support for Audio Apps;
14.4 Rhythmbox—Ubuntu’s Default Audio Player;
14.5 Project 14: Listening to Streaming Media with Rhythmbox;
14.6 Creating Audio CDs;
14.7 Other Cool Audio Apps;
14.8 Apps for Music Makers;
Chapter 15: Pluggin’ In the Penguin;
15.1 Knowing Your Limits;
15.2 Mounting and Ejecting Your iPod, iPhone, or iPad;
15.3 (Not) Auto-updating Your iPod or iPhone;
15.4 Working with Android-Based Devices;
15.5 What About Kindles, NOOKs, and Android 3.0+ “Honeycomb”-Based Devices?;
15.6 Working with Other Digital Media Players and Cell Phones;
15.7 Managing Your Audio Device’s Audio Files with Rhythmbox;
15.8 Problems Writing to Your iPod;
15.9 Working with Photos on Your Digital Device;
15.10 Converting Audio File Formats;
15.11 Playing Locked AAC (M4P) Files;
15.12 Linux on Your iPod, iPad, or Android Device?;
Chapter 16: Couch Penguins;
16.1 Where the Apps Are;
16.2 DVDs;
16.3 Project 16: Installing Support for Encrypted DVDs;
16.4 Can I Play Foreign DVDs?;
16.5 Watching Video Files with Movie Player;
16.6 An Alternative (and Arguably Better) Video Player: VLC;
16.7 Transferring Movies from Your Digital Camera to Computer;
16.8 Editing Digital Video with PiTiVi;
16.9 Other Video Apps;
Chapter 17: Feathered Flippers;
17.1 Where the Apps Are;
17.2 Project 17A: Expanding Your Game Collection via the Ubuntu Software Center;
17.3 3D Games;
17.4 Project 17B: Installing a Java-Based Game: Schnapsen;
17.5 Online Gaming;
17.6 Searching for More Games;
Chapter 18: Sweet Home Antarctica;
18.1 Where the Apps Are;
18.2 HomeBank;
18.3 Project 18A: Installing a Recipe Lens;
18.4 Personal Health;
18.5 Fun (but Educational) Stuff;
18.6 Kids’ Stuff;
18.7 Project 18B: Installing Parental Controls;
18.8 Other Home-Related Applications;
Chapter 19: Penguins at the Gates;
19.1 Project 19A: Accessing Files on Your Windows Partition (for Dual-Booters);
19.2 Accessing a Linux Partition While Running Windows;
19.3 Project 19B: Installing Microsoft Windows Core Fonts;
19.4 Dual-Booting: Changing the Boot Order and Timeout;
19.5 Linux Equivalents to Your Windows Applications;
19.6 Project 19C: Running Windows Programs;
19.7 Installing Windows Inside Ubuntu;
19.8 Sharing Files with Windows Users on Your Network;
Chapter 20: Defending the Nest;
20.1 Does My System Need Protection?;
20.2 The First Line of Defense;
20.3 Software Firewalls;
20.4 ClamAV: Antivirus Software, Linux Style;
20.5 Project 20A: Encrypting Your Files;
20.6 Project 20B: Shredding Documents Digitally;
Chapter 21: A Colony of Penguins;
21.1 Take Me to Your SABDFL;
21.2 Launchpad: Your Passport to the Ubuntu Community;
21.3 Bugs, Bugs, Glorious Bugs;
21.4 The Ubuntu Forums;
21.5 Ask Ubuntu;
21.6 Chatting on IRC;
21.7 Keeping Up with the News;
21.8 LoCos and LUGs;
21.9 Stickers and Other Goodies;
21.10 Getting Involved;
Chapter 22: Wounded Wings;
22.1 I Can’t Get Ubuntu Installed;
22.2 Something Goes Wrong Before Ubuntu Finishes Booting;
22.3 Sound and Video Problems;
22.4 Internet and Network Connection Problems;
22.5 Problems with the Display and Graphics Cards;
22.6 Hard Disks and Storage Problems;
22.7 Software Installation Problems;
22.8 Common Problems with Applications;
22.9 My Computer Is Running Slowly;
22.10 Lost Files;
22.11 Where Can I Go to Get More Help?;
Installing Ubuntu from a USB Flash Drive;
Preparing the Installer Files;
Creating a Bootable Installer Disk;
Booting from the USB Disk;
Ubuntu Desktop 64-Bit Discs;
Downloading and Burning Ubuntu Desktop CD ISOs to Disc;
Ordering an Install Disc from Other Online Sources;
Manually Partitioning Your Hard Disk;
Creating and Deleting Partitions;
Editing Existing Partitions;
Varieties of Partitions;
Example Partition Layouts;
Finishing Up;
Linux References;
Hardware Compatibility Issues;
Wireless Connections;
Free Downloads;
News and Information;
Ubuntu CDs;
About the CD;

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