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Beginning Ubuntu Linux

samzenpus posted more than 8 years ago | from the start-to-finish dept.

204

Ravi writes "Anybody who have heard about Linux would be aware of Ubuntu which is a very popular flavor of Linux created by the South African firm Canonical founded by the space tourist Mark Shuttleworth. In fact, they set the precedent of supplying free CDs of this very popular OS to any one interested in installing and trying out Linux on their machine. Recently, I got hold of this wonderful book named "Beginning Ubuntu Linux - From Novice to Professional" authored by Kier Thomas. Being a Ubuntu user myself, I was pleased to see a Linux book specifically concentrating on Ubuntu, finding its way to the book stores. This book is aimed at people who are new to Linux and who wish to start their Linux journey by installing Ubuntu on their machines. Read the rest of Ravi's review.

The book's 600 pages are divided into 7 parts each concentrating on a particular topic. And there are in total, 34 chapters and 4 appendices.

The first part of the book concentrates on giving a firm foundation to the readers as to what Linux is all about, its history and the benefits of using Linux over any other operating system.

From here, the author moves into explaining how to install Ubuntu on ones machine which forms the basis for the second part of this book. This part is divided into 3 chapters, one each dealing in pre-installation steps like partitioning ones hard disk, the actual installation steps and the equally important part of the most common issues faced by users before, during and after the installation and their solutions. In fact, the author lists over 18 problems that any user could encounter and gives their possible solutions.

The third part of the book which contains 6 chapters focuses on giving a fly-by tour of different aspects of Ubuntu Desktop, its various elements like menus, panels, virtual desktops and applets. I especially liked the section which listed the Microsoft Windows desktop functions and their equivalents found in Ubuntu. There is a special chapter titled "Ubuntu replacements for Windows programs" which could be an eye opener for any one interested in embracing Linux. In fact, the whole book is geared towards neophytes who are hoping to take their first steps in Linux.

Part 4 aptly named - "The Shell and Beyond" - contains 5 chapters where the author gives a sound introduction to the shell in Linux as well as takes the reader through the most useful and commonly used commands which would help a user save time. This part of the book contains a chapter on the Bash shell where the author explains the uses of the command line and how one can benefit from it. I really liked the table giving the DOS commands and their equivalents in Linux and also the section on how to disable the graphical desktop and boot into the console. And surprisingly the author explains how to do it the command line way which I found really interesting. This section is full of useful tips for people who have an affinity for the command line - like creating aliases, getting more help on the command usage, the file hierarchy in Ubuntu, file permissions and much more. The icing on the cake is the chapter named - "Cool Shell Tricks" - which contains many command line gymnastics that showcase the true power of the console in Linux. But what is amazing is that the author explains all these topics in a very simple and lucid manner which makes it easy for even a lay person to understand.

The fifth part of the book deals entirely with the topic of digital music, movies and image editing and is spread over 3 chapters. Here one gets to know the various software used to play different media formats as well as an introduction to the fine art of image manipulation using Gimp. One of the biggest drawbacks for Linux users is the lack of out-of-the-box support for popular media formats due to license restrictions. The author explains how one can enable the media players bundled with Ubuntu to play most of these media files including the ever popular mp3. By going through the chapters in this section, one gets to know more about the different audio and video formats which could be an eye opener for any tech neophyte.

What is the use of a desktop if it does not suit an office setup right? The next section comprising of 8 chapters cover how one can use Ubuntu at one's work place. The author takes the users on a trip of using OpenOffice.org office suite to create documents, spreadsheets, presentations as well as configuring an email client to send and receive emails. The last chapter in this section is exclusively dedicated to installing and running Microsoft Office in Ubuntu using Wine.

Till now if the book was dedicated more or less to new users of Linux, then in the seventh and final part of this book, the experts among us have something to look forward too. This part of the book covers the finer nuances of maintaining the Ubuntu system which includes installing and updating software, managing users and groups, ways of backing up data, and most interesting of all, steps to make the system more responsive which includes disabling unnecessary services, optimizing the hard disk, the concept of prelinking and much more.

The inclusion of 4 appendices which contain among others a glossary of Linux terms, the bash shell command index, information on getting further help online as well as a synopsis of the different flavors of Ubuntu makes this book a perfect guide for new users in Linux.

Having said that, even though at first glance, a person who is well versed in Linux might be tempted to pass it on as a book for newbies; on close scrutiny, one will find interesting nuggets and tips which even an expert would not have known. One example of this is the part where the author explains how one can configure Ubuntu to communicate and transfer data with one's bluetooth enabled cell phone. And it is to the authors credit that all these technical topics are explained in clear and simple language. The book is interspersed with images and screen shots making it easier to visualize the steps being explained. All in all a good book which is both informative and entertaining at the same time, and which would appeal to anybody interested in installing and using Ubuntu Linux on ones machine.

The author, Keir Thomas has been writing about computers, operating systems,and software for a decade. He has edited several best-selling computer magazines, including LinuxUser & Developer, PC Utilities, and PC Extreme, and worked as part of the editorial staff on a range of other titles. He was formerly Technical Group Editor at Live Publishing. Throughout Keir's career, his aim has been to explain advanced and confusing technology in ways that the average person can understand. Keir works as a freelance editor and writer. He lives on the side of a mountain in England, and his pastimes include hiking and playing musical instruments.

Ravi Kumar is passionate about all things related to Linux and likes to share his experiences through his blog on Linux."


You can purchase Beginning Ubuntu Linux - From Novice to Professional from bn.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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WOW (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15019354)

FIRST

Re:WOW (0, Flamebait)

Machina Fortuno (963320) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019411)

You should feel really cool... I mean, really. The fact that you have displayed so much skill, as to click fast and type a mind-boggling 5 character comment has earned my immediate respect. Congratulations you Anonymous Bastard.

It is nice to see some good software manuals out there. It seems like so many of the ones that you run into might aswell have been written in a different language. I am also just fond of the word Abuntu! Might have to tell my friend about this one... the other day he was complaining about his new box, and how it is hard to use, haha.

Re:WOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15019442)

i smell jealousy in the air.

Re:WOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15019445)

You should feel really cool...I mean, really. You complain about a five character post when you yourself couldn't even manage to put six together properly (Abuntu? Might want to read that fucking title again, genius...and there's no such thing as an "aswell" either). Not only that you also managed to post a masturbatory ego-boosting reply in the nick of time, thus ensuring yourself of your own supposed intelligence.

Stop posting on Slashdot and go back to school for a while, it might help with your spelling. Your personality, well, I'll leave that mess for you to figure out.

Re:WOW (1)

fufubag (935599) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019546)

Yup, this is what it's all about. Why would I need cable TV, when I can get all my laughs right here?

Ubuntu? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15019395)

Ubunt-you? Ubunt-me!
You no sake to me lik dat! Me lav yoo looong tayme!

Canonical's not South African (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15019401)

Canonical isn't a South African company. It's a Manx company. Or a British one at a stretch.

Re:Canonical's not South African (4, Informative)

dustinl4m3 (460530) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019494)

Canonical is a global organisation headquartered in the Isle of Man, with employees throughout Europe, North America, South America and Australia. http://www.canonical.com/ [canonical.com]

Many people who have never been to the Isle of Man are not sure exactly where it is! The answer is that it lies in the Irish Sea, between England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, less than 60 miles west of the Lancashire coastline http://www.isleofman.com/about/ [isleofman.com]

Re:Canonical's not South African (3, Funny)

Saven Marek (739395) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019556)

Many people who have never been to the Isle of Man are not sure exactly where it is! The answer is that it lies in the Irish Sea, between England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, less than 60 miles west of the Lancashire coastline http://www.isleofman.com/about/ [isleofman.com] [isleofman.com]

In other words, South African.

Re:Canonical's not South African (4, Informative)

tpgp (48001) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019561)

Canonical isn't a South African company. It's a Manx company. Or a British one at a stretch.

For those who are wondering what the hell AC is talking about (I know I was):

1) Manx means 'native of isle of man' (Like the cats)
2) Isle of Man is an Island between the British Mainland & Ireland - its neither part of the UK or the EU & certainly not british (although Britain represents them to some extent)
3) Canonical is registered as a company there.

I'll leave it the reader to judge whether Canonical (founded by a South African, employing people all over the world, with a heavy South African presence, but registered in a tax haven) is South African or Manx.

Meaning, for those who are curious. (3, Interesting)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019440)

Taken from the site [ubuntu.com] :
"Ubuntu" is an ancient African word, meaning "humanity to others". Ubuntu also means "I am what I am because of who we all are".
My favorite meaning comes from Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] :
"a person is a person through other persons"
To me, it gets at the root that concepts of self and other are fairly arbitrary. It often makes more sense thinging about who I am in the context of family, work, and society.

Re:Meaning, for those who are curious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15019498)

"Ubuntu" is an ancient African word...

That line just drips with well-meaning condescension. It's not an "African" word, it's a word in an African language. And it's ancient compared to "Linux", obviously, but not to non-technical words in any other language.

Again, it's well-meaning but unhelpful to pretend that Africans speak "African".

Re:Meaning, for those who are curious. (3, Interesting)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019633)

Hmmm, well I'm not sure that you know what you're talking about. There are 11 national languages in South Africa, and some words do become quite universal, for instance "yebo" means both "yes" in the affirmative and also as a response to a greeting. Practically every South African would recognise it as such regardless of which language they speak. "Ubuntu" has been described as both a Zulu word and a Xhosa word - I suspect it's well-known in both languages and probably several others.

I do know what you're getting at, but the reality is that there are concepts that are fairly ubiquitous across most of Africa, so it's not unreasonable to describe a particular word or concept as "African" just as there are words and concepts that are particularly "European" despite the size of my continent (I'm British). In fact, there are concepts that are distinctly "Western" (covering, I suppose, Europe, North America and arguably Australia and NZ) for instance the idea that every bad event must be blamed on a named individual.

Re:Meaning, for those who are curious. (2, Interesting)

sydb (176695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019907)

the idea that every bad event must be blamed on a named individual.

That's not the idea. The idea is that in an organised effort to achieve an objective (run a restaurant for a night, put a man in space, create a piece of software), there should be responsibility allocated for the different kinds of risks which might derail the effort. When the effort is in fact derailed in an uncontrolled manner, either the individual with responsibility for mitigating the causative risk is to blame, or the person with responsibility for identifying risks and allocating responsibilities is to blame.

We don't blame weathermen for bad weather. We do blame them if they predict good weather and it turns out to be bad, because their job is to provide the information we need to mitigate against bad weather.

Re:Meaning, for those who are curious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15019939)

... despite the size of my continent (I'm British).

And despite the fact you are not on the continent.

To moderators: don't hesitate, this post is a troll.

Re:Meaning, for those who are curious. (2, Funny)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019504)

a person is a person through other persons

Ooh! Ohh, ooh! Cue the Randroid flamers!

Re:Meaning, for those who are curious. (1)

Saven Marek (739395) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019535)

The problem is many people see that as being "communist" or "hippie"

I know two managers who found the meaning of ubuntu and immediately demanded a de-install of all linux systems.

This is not what is needed. Maybe not for the USA.

I think call it "Ubuntu" for the rest of the world and "Individual" for the USA. or "Freedom".

Re:Meaning, for those who are curious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15019644)

Not bad, but you blew your plausibility on two points:

1) Your English isn't American. I can't put my finger on why (it's not grammatically flawed) but your phrasing is just ... off.

2) The "two managers" is pushing it. You should have used "a manager" instead of getting carried away.

Not bad, though. Keep at it!

Re:Meaning, for those who are curious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15019906)

How about "Charity"? That's a good Christian concept...

Biggest Complaint (0, Flamebait)

XanC (644172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019578)

That's my biggest complaint about Ubuntu: the name is so stupid. What a load of touchy-feely crap! At least other Free Software names are either random, or named for somebody, or are just there to sound cool. People understand that.

But try to tell people that they don't mean anything individually, and inundate them with flower-smelling, pot-smoking hippy crap, right in the title of the OS, and they don't go for it.

Re:Meaning, for those who are curious. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15019590)

It sounds pretty socialist to me, and it reminds me of the need to liquidate such people in order for humanity to move forward once more.

Re:Meaning, for those who are curious. (2, Interesting)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019605)

Reminds me of Pirsig's rants in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle maintenance about "subject-object duality". Its right in the root of our language. I am me, as seprate from us and them.

I never really exists sepratly from anything else though. What is my keyboard? My finger comes down and intersects a peice of plastic... there is an edge where the keyboard ends and the free space begins...

The keyboard is not the edge, it is not the free space above it, but it never exists as a seprate entity from those things. Everything that is not my keyboard defines my keyboard by providing the contrasts of all of its properties.

Or as one talk in some other book noted (I think it was "the 3 pillars of zen"), everything we see is just the mental representation of visual input. We don't see a chair, our eyes detect the patterns of light bouncing off the chair, and what we experience is a mental composite of that image and our thoughts and ideas about chairs. In essense, what we experience isn't the chair, but our own mental image of a chair. Fundamentally every experience is not external but internal, the chair that we see is actually as much a part of us as our arm or our leg or our thoughts.

Of course, its not usually very useful to think that way... subject-object duality makes a very nice abstraction when you want to convey information.

-Steve

Re:Meaning, for those who are curious. (2, Insightful)

OwnedByTwoCats (124103) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019718)

Or as one talk in some other book noted (I think it was "the 3 pillars of zen"), everything we see is just the mental representation of visual input. We don't see a chair, our eyes detect the patterns of light bouncing off the chair, and what we experience is a mental composite of that image and our thoughts and ideas about chairs. In essense, what we experience isn't the chair, but our own mental image of a chair. Fundamentally every experience is not external but internal, the chair that we see is actually as much a part of us as our arm or our leg or our thoughts.
But we do experience things that are external to our mental image of things. If I sneak up behind you and clonk you on the head, you have no preparatory mental experience of me, but you would experience cuts, bruises, and (possibly) broken bones. Fundamentally that experience is external, as you had no internal experience or expectation to which it could corresponded.

Pathogenic Disease is another area where you have no internal states at the outbreak of symptoms, but there is an external agent causing your experiences.

I find the whole internal/external debate to be useless and sterile. There is an external world out there, and it will affect you, whether you want it to or not, and no philosophers can change that.

Re:Meaning, for those who are curious. (1)

jotok (728554) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019610)

To me, it gets at the root that concepts of self and other are fairly arbitrary. It often makes more sense thinging about who I am in the context of family, work, and society.

Not completely arbitrary. If asked, "Where are you?" you can answer "So-and-so from that other point." If they ask "Where is that other point?" you can say "So and so from where I am." It is circular. It is no different from saying "I yam what I yam." True, but devoid of really useful content.

However, I do agree that we are not 100% as autonomous as some would have us believe. Interdependence is important; who I am depends in part on my location in a big web of relationships. It must necessarily influence me, but the me-node is more than just a node.

Re:Meaning, for those who are curious. (1)

Brushfireb (635997) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019845)

To me, it gets at the root that concepts of self and other are fairly arbitrary. It often makes more sense thinging about who I am in the context of family, work, and society.

Thats interesting. Seriously, becuase I really dont think about that. For me, it often makes more sense thinking about who I am in the context of my personal accomplishments and failures, dreams and aspirations, and all of my past experiences. Family and Society only come in loosely, but dont really affect how I think about myself.

Speaking with my japanese friends about topics like this, they seem to tend more towards you. Oh well.

Re:Meaning, for those who are curious. (1)

Terrabite3 (940933) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019860)

"Ubuntu is what Ubuntu is because of what Windows is"

Re:Meaning, for those who are curious. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15019878)

My favorite definition that I've come across...

Ubuntu is an ancient African word, meaning "can't configure Debian"

Re:Meaning, for those who are curious. (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019898)

It often makes more sense thinging about who I am in the context of family, work, and society.

But then, if society is an illogical, random, unreasonable conglomeration of nonsensical ideologies, beliefs and traditions.... what would that make me?!

Free CD's (2, Insightful)

torpor (458) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019457)

... far as i can remember, Yggdrasil were the first to do the 'heres a free bootable Linux CD so you can try it out' promotional trick, as early as 1994.

sure, Ubuntu is a wonderful project, and the purpose of making Linux easier for humans is an admirable and honorable effort. But, these 'new-generation Linux distros' getting all the credit for what has been a 'traditional activity' among the Linux crowd rankles a little ire ..

get over yourself (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15019648)

because no one other than you is so pathatic that they give a fuck about something so insignifcant and stupid

Re:Free CD's (3, Informative)

eldacan (726222) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019655)

The article is not quite clear, but the point is, Ubuntu will *ship* you CDs free of charge, in any quantity you desire. I don't think Yggdrasil did this...

Re:Free CD's (1)

02bunced (846144) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019962)

... far as i can remember, Yggdrasil were the first to do the 'heres a free bootable Linux CD so you can try it out' promotional trick, as early as 1994.

sure, Ubuntu is a wonderful project, and the purpose of making Linux easier for humans is an admirable and honorable effort. But, these 'new-generation Linux distros' getting all the credit for what has been a 'traditional activity' among the Linux crowd rankles a little ire ..


Maybe it suggests that something went wrong with the marketing of Yggdrasil and Ubuntu's "effort" seems to be competently led.

Why are COBOL programmers so sad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15019469)

Cobol programmers are down in the dumps.

???

Seems nobody can capitalize COBOL correctly anyway. Morons.

Re:Why are COBOL programmers so sad? (4, Funny)

Tezkah (771144) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019534)

???

Seems nobody can capitalize COBOL correctly anyway. Morons.


I think CoBoL Programmers are so sad because people cant capitalize their title properly.

Manager: "Hi Rob, this is the CEO"
CEO: "Nice to meet you Rob!"
Rob: "Hi!"
Manager: "Rob here is one of our top Cobol Programmers!"
Rob: ":( YOU DIDNT CAPITALIZE IT PROPERLY"
CEO: "YOU CANT SEE CAPITALIZATIONS IN SPOKEN WORD, YOU'RE FIRED!!!"
Rob: ":("

No wonder they are so sad. :(

Re:Why are COBOL programmers so sad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15019615)

> I think CoBoL Programmers are so sad because people cant capitalize their title properly.

You may be right, but shouldn't it really be "CoBOL": Co-mmon B-usiness O-riented L-anguage.

Re:Why are COBOL programmers so sad? (1)

crosstalk (78439) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019841)

They are so sad because it is COBOL, i mean come on, LE/370 release was a step up but damn, it does some things well but it is COBOL, staring at that syntax all day made me sad too.

Former COBOL programmer, 5 years dry

Re:Why are COBOL programmers so sad? (4, Funny)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019922)

Seems nobody can capitalize COBOL correctly anyway. Morons.

There, there. I know it's hard. Kids can be so case insensitivite at times.

Need something more general (2, Insightful)

cabinetsoft (923481) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019487)

I still have the feeling that an IT specialist writing a book about Ubuntu or Debian or Gentoo is just like a sexologist writing a book about making love with his wife Jenny...

Beside that, can someone recommend a good book about Linux / Unix in general? People ask me for this and frankly I don't know a printed book to recommend to them. For some time I recommended Tannenbaum's "Operating Systems" series.

And I'm still planning to write a book on Gentoo tho - I'll just send all the logs from stage 1 install 'till OpenOffice compile to my publisher.

Re:Need something more general (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15019643)

I've found Jenny to be an amazing lover. If you've never tried Jenny before, I suggest you get a hold of the live version, slip it in, and turn her on.

Re:Need something more general (2, Funny)

v0lrath (759006) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019680)

"an IT specialist writing a book about Ubuntu or Debian or Gentoo is just like a sexologist writing a book about making love with his wife Jenny..."

As long as Jenny is available to anyone who wants to try her out, placed on the open market, and comes free of charge, you're absolutely right. Well, provided Jenny has some unique features none of the other girls on the street corner have.

Re:Need something more general (5, Funny)

LordOfTheNoobs (949080) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019991)

JENNY@STREETCORNER:~$ sudo apt-get install herpes-4.11

Re:Need something more general (1)

cabinetsoft (923481) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020093)

"an IT specialist writing a book about Ubuntu or Debian or Gentoo is just like a sexologist writing a book about making love with his wife Jenny..." As long as Jenny is available to anyone who wants to try her out, placed on the open market, and comes free of charge, you're absolutely right. Well, provided Jenny has some unique features none of the other girls on the street corner have.

That would stand true for Mary, Alice, Gina, Debbie and so on also... It just seems silly to me to have like 10-20 printed books on each Linux distro... I mean c'mon one can write this kind of books one per day...

And btw... what's so different about Ubuntu? Which are the unique features you're referring to? I bet there are several others distros having them.

I was just pointing out to the marketing scheme behind all these titles... Are ps, ls, cp, mv, less, bash so different on Ubuntu that one needs to write a book about it?

Re:Need something more general (1)

zez (181530) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019747)

"Linux in a Nutshell" is about as general as you can get, but I wouldn't recommend it to a beginner!

Re:Need something more general (3, Informative)

robin.shepheard (951560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019781)

While I have not actually read the book, some of the people I have suggested 'Moving to Linux: Kiss the Blue Screen of Death Goodbye!' (mainly as it was the only book I have found aimed at the beginner and that i was impressed by the quick flick in the bookstore) as a good place to start have been very impressed

Moving to Linux: Kiss the Blue Screen of Death Goodbye!
By Marcel Gagne
ISBN 0321159985
Publisher Addison-Wesley Professional

It even comes with a version of knoppix so people can try before they completely commit to linux which I have to say I think is very important.

I was surprised to find recently when I friend of mine (complete technophobe) was given a knackered laptop that when I put ubuntu on it he was very pleased and gave less trouble than a lot of people found when changing between windows versions

Using Ubuntu (4, Interesting)

wren337 (182018) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019489)

I've been a fedora core user for some time and I decided to try Ubuntu on a recently donated dell 933. I have been pleased with the ease of setup and install and the intuitive package tools so far. Most amazing to me was that my old MA101 USB wireless adapter "Just Worked(tm)". No ndiswrapper install, no kernel stack size recompile, no headache. I was just on the network. Amazing. Core seems to go out of it's way to make ndiswrapper hard to use. I may switch all my boxes to Ubuntu.

Re:Using Ubuntu (2, Interesting)

databyss (586137) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020031)

I'm in the same boat. I just Ubuntu on yesterday after switching over my girlfriend a week ago. I used her as my guinnea pig.

She isn't incredibly computer literate and she enjoys it so far.

I enjoy it too. Very easy to use sets up nicely off the bat.

ubuntuforums.org and ubuntuguide.org are mandatory references.

Also, on the coincidence side of things, I just bought this book today for my girlfriend. She prefers the dead tree stuff to online references.

Re:Using Ubuntu (2, Interesting)

MAXOMENOS (9802) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020078)

I was also very impressed with Kubuntu until it started freezing on me randomly, and in ways from which I could not recover without rebooting. Based on my reading in the forums [ubuntuforums.org] it looks like the problem isn't resolved yet (sorry, can't find the thread now), and so I switched back (somewhat reluctantly) to Fedora Core. Hopefully they'll iron out more of the bugs in Kubuntu in the next couple of releases. I really like that Kubuntu does everything I would ever want in a Linux distribution, but I should never ever have to reboot my Linux box to recover from a freeze.

What about Security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15019500)

Funny that there isn't a chapter on security!

Ubuntu just rocks (3, Interesting)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019509)

Not related except as my ubuntu experience.

I had an old laptop that i recently fixed (it just needed to be taken apart and have some connectors reseated). I had been running Debian on it, but I have a new job, and a new work issued laptop...so I didn't need it.

So my sister, who is one of those people who "knows how to use word". Thats right, she could type up a report for school, and browse the web, but that was about it. Complete novice.

So I didn't have a copy of windows to install (though since there was a product key attached to the laptop I technically could have, if I had install media)... anyway... so I installed Ubuntu and said "If you want windows, you have to have it put on, but heres this" (she lives too far away for me to get media and drive out to her). I showed her how to log in and pointed at open office and said "that works like word" then pointed her at firefox and said "heres your web browser".... litterally all of 2 minutes.

She called me 3 days later to tell me how great it was working and ask why she was able to get on the internet last night, but not today... turns out she just randomly had picked up someone elses wireless and got on, never even realised it... whoever it was must turn off their access point when they are not home, she never saw the signal again.

Point is... she never even needed to ask a question beyond that. I have had less problems giving her an ubuntu box, than giving people with similar experience levels windows boxes...she has been usign it and happy with it (I talked to her the other day) for several weeks now.

Man... who ever would have thought Linux on the desktop would really get there for us non-geeks? I always said it would, but I have to admit, I always had some doubt in my mind.

Hell as it is I have completely switched over to ubuntu myself. Its a fresh debian! Yay! Its what i have wanted for years now... a debian stable thats less than 6 months old! (and more often than for 6 months out of every 3 years)

-Steve

Re:Ubuntu just rocks (1)

Uzik2 (679490) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019576)

Does it handle CD's better than what I'm used to?
Having to goto a shell and umount the drive to get the cd out is awful.

Re:Ubuntu just rocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15019739)

Hello, 1999. It's 2006 calling. I'd like to introduce you to my friends udev and pmount.

Re:Ubuntu just rocks (1)

Uzik2 (679490) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020001)

Still have this issue in all the other distros I tried.
Maybe they don't have it, or it doesn't work.

Pop in your DVD. Run the video player of choice.
Hit the eject button on the dvd player.
I know why it doesn't work, but it seems a reasonable action
that should be supported gracefully.

If your dvd player crashes you have to umount the disk.
To be fair windoze is really awful about CD's with bad sectors too.

Re:Ubuntu just rocks (2, Informative)

burner (8666) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019772)

Yes.

1) stick in CD
2) see icon appear on desktop
3) right click on icon, select Eject
4) CD pops out.

At the risk of "me-too"-ing... (1)

Captain Sarcastic (109765) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019666)

... let me "me-too" the parent post.

I have a laptop (IBM 1200i series), and XP was running into problems. Also, the laptop was mostly being used in conjunction with our stereo (playing MP3's and Shoutcast) with very limited browsing. I had a PCMCIA card with 2 USB 2.0 slots, and both of them were filled - one with a portable hard drive, the other with a Zydas 1211-based wireless .11g card.

I got a new blank hard drive for the laptop, and after trying other systems, installed Ubuntu 5.04 (it was the CD I had available, and the laptop's CD-ROM seems to be getting a bit dodgy). Upon install I had instant access to the portable hard drive. I found documentation that explained why my system hung when the wireless USB was connected, as well as how to change the check order for hotplug, and next thing I know, the wireless no longer hangs the system. I then found out what I needed to download on a land-line system to be able to compile the driver for the Zydas dongle, got it, compiled it, re-booted, and voila! The wireless is up.

Ubuntu maintains Linux's tradition of "What do you mean, obsolete equipment?" quite nicely, and adds the ability to do some pretty sophisticated things without dumbing things down to the point of uselessness.

Ubuntu just plain rocks.

(Now, feel free to mod me down for Linux cheerleading, or something like that.)

Not me too (1)

fprintf (82740) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019885)

I learned about the free CDs about 5 weeks ago. Not having had a Linux install for a few years I went onto their shipit website and ordered a set.

Three weeks later they arrive and I tried the live CD. No joy - it turns out my nVidia onboard graphics are not supported. DAmn.

So I tried to load the no graphics server on my old dual 400 mhz computer that used to run SuSE 6.4. No joy there either - somehow the install mucked up my MBR and now I get nothing to install on that computer except Windows 95!

Until I can figure out either the MBR issue or the nVidia graphics issue there will be no ubuntu for me. I wish I was a happy user.

Re:Ubuntu just rocks (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15019915)

See, that's great the Ubuntu distro works for you.

I have to admit I sick of these kind of comments. It 'Rocks' has no value to anyone else except fanboy gratification. Ubuntu is a great distro, it's strength is in the UI layout and auto-hardware detection, BUT it's still a distro. I mean, I just tried installing 5.10 (which is a bit out of date) and Fedora Core 5 and guess what? The Ubuntu install failed and Fedora worked (due to enhancements via X11R7).

In the end, it's about who can crank out a hard-stable distro using the latest packages and offer best support tools. Bling and fan base need not apply.

Oh? You want a book? (3, Interesting)

irimi_00 (962766) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019540)

This book is great and if you can't install Unbuntu yourself; go and buy the book. But here is what I did:

I wanted to migrate away from Windows.
I am sorta tech savvy - I know the different parts of a computer, I can trouble shoot some basic problems, and I can type "getting your printer to work in ubuntu' into google.

My point is, instead of paying 40 dollars for a book, here is what you do:

1.Go download the Ubuntu ISO
http://mirror.mcs.anl.gov/pub/ubuntu-iso/CDs/5.10/ ubuntu-5.10-install-i386.iso [anl.gov]

2.Go get some burning software, I had to download a few free ones off downloads.com to find that actually worked burning isos as they claimed to, but you probably have some installed, I'm sure.
http://www.download.com/Click-N-Burn-CD-DVD/3000-2 646_4-10461707.html?tag=lst-0-5 [download.com]
http://www.download.com/3120-20_4-0-2-0.html?qt=bu rning&author=&titlename=&desc=&li=49&os=&swlink=&g filetype= [download.com]
I installed slackware a few years ago and my friend spent like 5 hours helping me configure it to get everything to work and it still gave me problems.
It was a pain, or else one of us just overcomplicated it.

Once Ubuntu was installed... it just worked wonderfully. I sometimes forget I'm not using windows and any non GPL software. The install went like this: insert CD, boot off cd, go through install process, Ubuntu won't start up, switch to boot of IDE-0 in bios - Everything is perfect

I also installed automatix, and Auto Packages
http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=13840 5 [ubuntuforums.org]
http://autopackage.org/docs/howto-install/index.ht ml [autopackage.org]

I don't like computers particularly, I'm not a poweruser or a nerd, and I don't really game. Ubuntu provides me near full functionality for what I need - more than windows ever did.

CentOS provides other options too, but why use Windows if you don't have to?
I feel like such a subversive.
So do what works for you.

Re:Oh? You want a book? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15019887)

>I don't like computers particularly, I'm not a poweruser or a nerd, and I don't really game.

what are you doing an /. ???????????

Re:Oh? You want a book? (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019940)

Once Ubuntu was installed... it just worked wonderfully.

Did it play mp3s?

Re:Oh? You want a book? (1)

databyss (586137) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020184)

First thing my girlfriend said too...

Well first was "Where are all my files?" since we setup dual boot. But the web was good and helped her map her ntfs drives in a couple minutes. Then xmms was installed and all was well.

She thinks apt-get is the hottest thing alive right now.

Terriblely written (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15019571)

I just hope the book is written with more eloquence and skill than this review was.

How similar is Kubuntu? (2, Interesting)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019587)

I built my first Linux machine with Xandros a few years ago, and I've used it as my home server ever since.

Now, I'm looking to upgrade, and I was planning to use the next version of Kubuntu when it released next month. I have used KDE for some time and I think I prefer its interface to that of Gnome.

My question is, if I choose Kubuntu, would I get anything at all out of this book? Or is it so different as to be not worth the purchase?

I'm an electrical engineer, but I do hardware design. I have little interest in being an expert in operating system configuration. I like the concept of Linux, but I want easy-to-follow instructions to set up what I need, with a minimal amount of fiddling in .conf files and other settings.

Re:How similar is Kubuntu? (3, Informative)

wolfemi1 (765089) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019832)

AFAIK, Ubuntu and Kubuntu are exactly the same project, with slightly tweaked default settings and, of course, the different desktop environment.

As a matter of fact, you can change an Ubuntu install to a Kubuntu install with one command:

sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop

I think you can even change back by using the above and "ubuntu-desktop" instead.

Re:How similar is Kubuntu? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15020037)

If you do that, (apt-get install kubuntu-desktop), you haven't removed the old Ubuntu desktop; it's still installed. So you now have a choice between KDE (Kubuntu) and GNOME (Ubuntu) when you log in. I use it this way, and it's *very* nice for people who want to try both. You can set one to be the default, too, so it's not confusing to new users. Doesn't use too much hard drive space, either.

It's easy to keep your Kubuntu fresh by going to kubuntu.org and following the simple directions every time a new KDE or KOffice version is released (that is, if you want to try 'em out when they're new).

Re:How similar is Kubuntu? (1)

teklob (650327) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019840)

The short answer is yes.

Although I haven't read the book in question, I have used Ubuntu and Kubuntu, and the only part that wouldn't apply to you would be (going on the review info) section 3 (6 chapters) on the actual gnome interface, and the replacement windows apps. Installation, command line, advanced administration etc. are all exactly the same.

Ubuntu and Kubuntu are very similar, and you can even turn one into another with a single bash command.

Re:How similar is Kubuntu? (1)

shiznatix (924851) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019846)

Kubuntu is simply ubuntu with KDE. Thats it, nothing more. Everything works just the same on the 2. My friend uses Kubuntu and I use Ubuntu and we have yet to spot a difference other than the KDE vs Gnome interface.

Although I have not read the book I would bet money that there would be no difference.

Re:How similar is Kubuntu? (1)

tpgp (48001) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019914)

My question is, if I choose Kubuntu, would I get anything at all out of this book?

Judging from the review:

1st Section: Linux History
2nd Section: Installing Ubuntu
3rd Section: Ubuntu Desktop / app comparison to windows
4th Section: Linux Command Line.

Of these sections, the 3rd is almost useless to you, 2nd should be reasonably useful, the 1st & 4th useful - but available from any book describing a linux distro.

In short - the book will be useful, but not alot more then a book describing any other debian based distro.

I know a book is a lovely reference to have - but I think one describing a particular iteration of any particular distro to be overkill. Grab yourself a general linux (or even unix) book, and use the helpful ubuntu wiki (and less helpful ubuntu forums) for kubuntu specific deviations.

Check out the Kubuntu Quick guide [ubuntu.com] for starters...

Save $6.80! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15019588)

Save yourself $6.80 by buying the book here: Beginning Ubuntu Linux [amazon.com] . And if you use the "secret" A9.com discount [amazon.com] , you can save an extra 1.57%!

Or make a living spamming /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15019794)

Parent is spam

BLATANT ADVERTISING DRIVEL - Re:Save $6.80! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15019831)

- thanks for posting this shill for amazon...

- amazon is EVIL!

Why so easy? (2, Insightful)

CrunchyMunchy (23178) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019596)

After typing this comment I realized it could come off as criticizing ubuntu for targetting "easy", which is not my intent. I'm using Ubuntu right now to type this, and love it, not as a user friendly Linux, but as a nice barebones start for a Debian GNU/Linux desktop after a bit of customization. It's not cluttered with tons of things by default that just get in your way, but still has many useful programs either installed already or easily installable. This comment is more of a gripe about why more people aren't willing to "try" Linux, by which I mean, install, and LEARN it, rather than just failing to set a few things up for a couple minutes and then giving up. As Yoda said, "Do, or do not. There is no try".

Does anyone have an opinion on why people seem to demand that an operating system be so incredibly simple that they could almost use it without thinking before they'll look at it? Computers are complex but extremely powerful machines, and it's not as if a modern GUI based *NIX system is so much harder to use than Windows, with powerful tools available to you if you choose to use them. These systems were created by people who needed to use them to get things done, so it's not as if you can't use them that way if you're willing to apply a little thought to how you use a powerful tool.

People who don't want to learn to use a computer are cheating themselves out of the most amazing tool mankind has yet invented for the transmission and manipulation of knowledge. Why should the target for interface design be someone who doesn't know how to use a computer and never will?

Re:Why so easy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15020043)

Does anyone bitch that you don't drive your car to its full potential? Go to racing school then give me a call.

For most people a car is a way to get from point A to point B.

For most people a computer is a way to do thing A or thing B.

To some, a car is something to be utilized to its full potential (or even modified to perform beyond its intended potential) and thus a certain level of knowledge regarding the technology and operation thereof is necessary.

To some, a computer is something to be utilized to its full potential (even modified to perform beyond its intended potential) and thus a certain level of knowledge regarding the technology and operation thereof is necessary.

Take me to the Mountain (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019625)

Throughout Keir's career, his aim has been to explain advanced and confusing technology in ways that the average person can understand. Keir works as a freelance editor and writer. He lives on the side of a mountain in England, and his pastimes include hiking and playing musical instruments.

Keir is the one you seek...a sage, a traveler, adventurer, musician, writer and master of all things technical. He has the amazing ability to explain even the most complex of things in a manner we can all understand. Now has come the time to implement the Ubuntu Linux - it is your destiny.
Seek out Keir, he lives on the side of the Mountain in England. He is the one who shall give you the knowledge you will need to carry on amongst the confusion and delusion.
Fear not, there are many dark naysayers ahead, but your unabashed determination and great skills will carry you forward in your quest for the Golden Operating System!
Go Forth and God Speed!

Re:Take me to the Mountain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15019755)

Hey man... You gonna pass that joint or what?

What a name.. (3, Funny)

swordfish666 (518548) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019632)

Ubuntu will never make it on to desktops simply because of it name.

RedHat - now that's a Linux distro name. But at $150 a seat they can shove the hat...
Mandrake - another good name but it's gone
Mandriva - border line bad oh the the company is going down like a whore at the prom
Debian - solid name too bad it's maintaind by relinux zealots
SuSe - kind of lame, kind of free, Yast is very hand for lazy people
Fedora - border line good name, just don't install it on any hardwars older that last week
CRUX - CRAP
blag - all I can think of Barf-Bag
SLAX - Trousers (Pants! Pants! Pants! to you limey's)
Slackware - Old Navy's new clothing like for the unemployed
Gentoo - more junk but the name's ok
Xrandos - cool name it's too bad this distro costs money and sucks donkey snot
MEPIS - Me Piss
Damn Small Linux - That's not a name that's an in-complete sentence
KNOPPIX - good name now if it were only a real distrobution
PCLinuxOS - just in-case you don't know Linux is an OS that runs on PC's
Kubuntu - really?
Frugalware - again really?
Puppy Linux - hahahahahaha when it becomes v2.0 will it be renamed to Dog
Linux XP - Sure I'm running XP.
Turbolinux - now that's a name. Too bad this distro sucks and it's not FREE

I have a followup question for you... (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019704)

"What distro should I use?"




BWAHAHAHAHAHAH!

Re:What a name.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15019738)

Anybody else find it funny that the name elitist goes by swordfish666?

Re:What a name.. (1)

swordfish666 (518548) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020162)

Anonymous Coward.

Re:What a name.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15019805)

swordfish666 will never make it to heaven simply because of it name.

Microsoft Windows - Sounds like double glazing salesmen that give you free toilet paper
Mac OS X - See PCLinuxOS

oo-boon-too (1)

chocolatetrumpet (73058) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019975)

Remember that Ubuntu is pronounced "oo-boon-too" (all the u's rhyme with "too").

Now, say Ubuntu using the lowest range of your voice.

That was fun, wasn't it?

Re:What a name.. (1)

nowhere.elysium (924845) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020133)

Hah. perversely enough, this is a conversation that i had with a colleague a couple of years back, circa FC1. we decided that we'd quite like to (if we ever got the time) build a new distro of linux, and keep with the tradition of silly names. because we were both RedHat fans at the time, it was going to be BlueCondom. Never was quite sure why...
anhways, ubuntu is now my favourite distro; it behaves itself, it installs really, really easily, and it's based on the ever-stable debian, with a workable update cycle. i am most pleased.

nice distro (1)

slackaddict (950042) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019656)

I'm partial to Slackware, but I've tried Ubuntu and I have to admit that it's a very nice distro. I would recommend it for newbies or those who want a nice LiveCD with good hardware detection "out of the box".

Re:nice distro (1)

tarball_tinkerbell (664105) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019745)

It isn't just for newbies -- I've been using various versions of Linux for 4 years now, & I currently use Kubuntu, simply because I'm not an IT professional & I have work to do. It's nice to have an operating system that "just works," because all the time saved in configuration & on a learning curve allows me to actually get stuff done.

Re:nice distro (1)

v3xt0r (799856) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019896)

how convenient... your 5th year of linux, and you're using a Kindergarden Distro.

Congrats! lol

Ubuntu is Open (1, Flamebait)

kangpeh (875381) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019706)

I really have a discrepency with the fact that an author is attempting to profit off sales of an Ubuntu book. That is why there is an Ubuntu Forum, Ubuntu Wikipedia, and Ubuntu tutorials. In fact, Ubuntu isn't just great because it features a 6 month release cycle, a large community of contributing users, but more importantly, because its community has users who are willing to share and help you get your Ubuntu system running. You don't need to waste money on an Ubuntu book. Just head on over to IRC.FreeNode.Net and come to the Ubuntu IRC Channel, or visit the Ubuntu Forums at www.ubuntuforums.org [ubuntuforums.org] and you can find lots of tutorials, HOW-TO's, and so forth. There are even in-depth tutorials on the installation of XGL and the compiz composite manager. I hope this helps save you guys some money. Now, if you really are "hell-bent" on purchasing an Ubuntu book, then, of course, some people do like to have paper in hand. However, if you are ready to join the new millenium, save paper, save trees, and get FREE community supported information, that is more than plenty to get an Ubuntu system up and running, then just look on the web.

Re:Ubuntu is Open (1)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020022)


I really have a discrepency with the fact that an author is attempting to profit off sales of an Ubuntu book..


I've never really understood why there are some who have a problem with this.

I, like the majority of people in the world, grew up being both educated and entertained by books and personally still find them much more convenient, enjoyable, and easier to read than electronic texts despite having used computers for over thirty years now.

Besides, trees are renewable resource unlike the petroleum products that are used to build many computer parts, plus paper manufacturing and book publishing create employment and can even provide a source of revenue for open source projects.

Re:Ubuntu is Open (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15020024)

I can go out on the Web and look up ANYTHING I need to learn. Linux, Windows, Mac, A+, cooking, cleaning, auto repair. I can go to IRC channels, forums, wikis, websites. I KNOW I can do these things (in fact I have), and I can do them for free, and without "wasting paper". Not that there's a paper shortage in the world anyway.

But I still want the book. Why? Because sometimes paper is just easier to read. Sometimes it's nice to get some consistency rather than filtering through a dozen people's opinions on how to install JRE (and there are a LOT of opinions on installing JRE!). Sometimes it's nice to just sit back on the couch and not stare at a computer screen for hours on end.

There are a good number of people out there just like me. There are probably a good deal more that don't even want to bother sifting through opinions and wikis. And I know there are a HUGE number of average PC users for whom reading a book is the natural path to learning something.

I've ordered my copy ten minutes ago, and I eagerly anticipate its arrival.

Re:Ubuntu is Open (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020090)

I use ubuntu primarily, and I've used the forums and the wiki, but honestly both of them aren't especially helpful. I've found the wiki especially to have fairly large gaps when I'm trying to look up stuff I need to know.

I have this question (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15019754)

Why are WE, the Open Source Community, being charged for this tripe?

I thought WE were supposed to Work TOGETHER on documentation not create some
Closed Source book.

There are many advantages to open source development model which make it Far Superior to the
shit turned out by Greedy Profiteering swine such as Apress and Oreilley.

Don't buy this book and support open source!

MOD Parent Down! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15020103)

Parent is a Known Troll and an _Enemy_ of the Open Source REVOLUTION!

He is only here to spread FUD and Disease amongst us!

Tried them all, this is the best.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15019838)

I started off with a version of Caldera OpenLinux that came free with a "dummies" type book waaaay back. The installer was broken, but after a fair bit of work I still got a bootable system c/w KDE, etc.

Since then I think I've tried just about every distro out there - I've bought every SuSE boxed set from 7.2 to 9.3, dabbled with Red Hat, flirted with Fedora, and even briefly toyed with Mandrake.

Bored one afternoon I backed up my data to another drive, and booted into an Ubuntu Hoary install disk.

That'll do for me, thank you very much.

Deb had previously failed to install correctly on this same very system - networking was just not there. Ubuntu has delivered where all the other distros have merely promised.

Horrible Writing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15019865)

Anyone else disturbed by how badly written this review is?

Re:Horrible Writing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15020114)

I certainly were. The, apparently random use of, commas, along with blatant subject/verb disagreement are enough to drive any one who's read that review too tears.

Need a book to install Ubuntu? (1)

Enrique1218 (603187) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019923)

That explains alot! I have try Ubuntu again in recent weeks. Though it has improved greatly since my first experiments, it does have a longs ways to go in the way of usabililty. Granted, the installation went flawlessly however, it does require you to have a functioning network connection which is a problem if you use wireless. Post installation is another matter. You have everything needed to basic computing tasks but when you want to do something a little more intense like run Doom3, you have more problems. The ubuntu forums are a help but all the how to involve hacking away at config files using the cli for hours (who wants to do that). But, I guess that is what free gets you.

Contents page (2, Interesting)

hentaidan (933903) | more than 8 years ago | (#15019980)

There's a pdf of the contents pages @ apress.com [apress.com]

What makes Ubuntu so popular? (2, Insightful)

Hellboy0101 (680494) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020055)

Early on in Ubuntu's beginings, I ran it as my primary desktop mainly because it was described as a better Debian than Debian. So I ran it, and was genuinely impressed, but not overly thrilled. Yes, it has many of the pluses that Debian has namely in APT, and embraces Debian social contract, [debian.org] and then some. But I still don't get why people are losing their minds over this. After about seven or eight months, I tried it again. Better, but still not amazing. In the meantime, I had used Xandros, and eventually moved (and settled on) PCLinuxOS. Wireless worked, the browser had every plug-in I needed, Java was pre-installed, etc. In my opinion, it's clearly a better Ubuntu than Ubuntu. What permanently turned me off, is when Ubuntu refused to include KDE based apps with their distro (this is prior to Kubuntu and Breezy Badger), and when problems started cropping up regarding Ubuntu seemingly splitting off with Debian. [ianmurdock.com] Regardless of what Mark Shuttleworth has to say, I agree with Ian's comments that they are not respecting the fact they are riding on the backs of Debian's work. Just my .02.

Re:What makes Ubuntu so popular? (1)

pradeep1 (964550) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020202)

I am admittedly an old-school Windows/DOS power user since the days of DOS 2.1 back in the 80's. I've always wanted to get into Linux mainly because of my Unix background from my college days. However, for a busy nerd, Linux can be a bit intimidating. A lot to learn and not enough time. I tried RedHat, Debian, Suse, Knoppix, etc. installs on various machines, but I could not get productive quickly enough for my interest to be kept up. I put up Ubuntu 5.10 on an old busted out laptop the other night, and in a space of four hours, I was up and running with a base level of productivity. I found automatix and that solved a lot of my stupid "where's this and that" Linux problems. I can browse the internet, do office tasks, burn and copy CD/DVDs, get on my Windows network, and edit photographs. Ubuntu is has a simple paradigm that is easy for Windows users to pick up. Now only if Linux guys could get installation of package software through an Installshield type of setup going. That would solve so many problems for new users like me. I mean, just upgrading from Firefox 1.0.7 to 1.5 would be an annoying and daunting task if it had not been for automatix. Why don't we have an InstallShield type of system for Linux - and don't quip back that we do with package managers. Downloading .deb, .rpm, etc files is annoying, especially if you don't know what you are looking for. A simple standard installation system for all Linux distros is needed. But I see Ubuntu as being a serious replacement for Windows if it keeps heading in the right direction. Since their stated purpose it to bring computing to the people (and not only to nerds), I see this as an encouraging trend. Pradeep

Principles of Ubuntu (1)

Errandboy of Doom (917941) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020067)

Key to Ubuntu's philosophy is making "the tools you need available free of charge" [ubuntu.com]

Thomas should respect the principles of Ubuntu and release this book for free and license it under Creative Commons to allow mashups and external improvements so the book can become more helpful over time.

Wrong Book Format (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15020185)

This book should have been a 200 page paperback, cost $5-$10, and come with an install CD.

Shuttleworth? (2, Insightful)

Illbay (700081) | more than 8 years ago | (#15020222)

...space tourist Mark Shuttleworth

I've always wondered:

Shouldn't he change his name to "Soyuzworth?"

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