The Official Ubuntu Book

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  • Edition: 7th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-06-21
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
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Ubuntu is a complete, free operating system that emphasizes community, support, and ease of use while also enhancing speed, power, and flexibility. It is Linux for human beings, designed for everyone from computer novices to experts. Ubuntu 12.04 is the latest release-more powerful, more forward-looking, and friendlier than ever. The Official Ubuntu Book, Seventh Edition,will get you up and running quickly. This title serves a wide audience: Ubuntu novices, intermediate users, ,those who just want to test the waters and give Ubuntu a try, and those who want to take the next step toward becoming power users. It is not intended as a guide to highly technical uses like professional systems administration or programming, although there is some technical material here. The focus is on learning the landscape, starting from little to no experience with Ubuntu or Linux and maturing through proficiency and power use as a regular, everyday home or business user. Written by expert, leading Ubuntu community members, this book covers all you need to know to make the most of Ubuntu 12.04, whether you're a home user, small business user, server administrator, programmer, or novice. The authors explain Ubuntu 12.04 from start to finish: installation, configuration, desktop productivity, games, management, support, and much more. A new focus in this edition is deep coverage of the groundbreaking, user-experience-focused Unity desktop, an innovative new style of humancomputer interaction that has undergone extensive development and testing to provide powerful, industry-leading usability. 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 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, for novices and advanced users.

Author Biography

Matthew Helmke first used Unix in 1987 and has been an Ubuntu user since April 2005. He has been an active member of the Ubuntu community since that time, including leadership roles in the Ubuntu Forums and one of the Ubuntu membership boards. He is also the author of Ubuntu Unleashed (SAMS, 2012), intended for more technical and advanced users.


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.


Table of Contents

Foreword to the Sixth Edition xix

Foreword to the First Edition xxi

Preface xxvii

Acknowledgments xxxi

About the Authors xxxiii

Introduction xxxv


Chapter 1: The Ubuntu Story         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

Booting and Installing   40

Installing from the Alternate Install CD   53

Installing from within Windows   59

Summary   59


Chapter 3: Getting Started with Ubuntu         61

Getting Acquainted with Unity   63

Using Applications   74

Using Ubuntu in Your Language   84

Configuring a Printer   84

Keeping Your Computer Updated   88

Adding and Removing Programs and Packages   90

Upgrading to the Next Ubuntu Release   93

Ubuntu and Multimedia   95

Backing Up   102

Customizing Ubuntu’s Look and Feel   104

Summary   104


Chapter 4: Becoming an Ubuntu Power User         105

Administering System and User Settings 106

Understanding How Linux Stores and Organizes Files   111

Learning Unity Keyboard Shortcuts   115

Using the Terminal   118

Working with Windows Programs   119

Installing Software from PPAs   120

Compiling Software from Source   121

Summary   122


Chapter 5: Finding and Installing Ubuntu Applications         123

Using Ubuntu Software Center   124

Learning Terminology and Foundations   131

Using Synaptic   132

Useful Software Packages to Explore   135

Playing to Learn with Educational Programs   154

Summary   161


Chapter 6: Customizing Ubuntu for Performance, Accessibility, and Fun         163

Unity Terminology   164

Appearance Tool   169

MyUnity   171

Compiz Config Settings Manager   174

Unity Lenses and Scopes  181

Additional Resources   181

Summary   182


Chapter 7: Welcome to the Command Line         183

Starting Up the Terminal   184

Getting Started   185

Building Pipelines   186

Running Commands as Superuser   187

Finding Help   188

Moving around the Filesystem   189

Manipulating Files and Folders   190

System Information Commands   191

Searching and Editing Text Files   192

Dealing with Users and Groups   193

Getting Help on the Command Line   194

Searching for Man Files   195

Using Wildcards   195

Executing Multiple Commands   196

Moving to More Advanced Uses of the Command Line  198


Chapter 8: The Ubuntu Server         199

What Is Ubuntu Server?   200

Installing Ubuntu Server   202

Ubuntu Package Management   214

Ubuntu Server Security   225

Advanced Topics   232

Summary   238


Chapter 9: Ubuntu-Related Projects and Derivatives         241

Recognized Derivatives  242

Editions   253

Remixes   254

Other Distributions   256

Launchpad   258

Bazaar   267

Ubuntu One   268

Summary   273


Chapter 10: The Ubuntu Community         275

Venues   277

Teams, Processes, and Community Governance   293

Getting Involved   306

Submitting Apps to the Ubuntu Software Center   310

Summary   310


Index          313


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