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Cheap Printed Official Ubuntu Linux Documentation

Hemos posted more than 8 years ago | from the read-more-about-it dept.

45

A reader writes:"The Official Ubuntu, Kubuntu and Xubuntu 6.06 Desktop Guides, the Official Ubuntu Server 6.06 Guide and the Official Ubuntu Packaging Guide are all now available in print from on-line publisher Lulu. The best part? All of these guide are cheap, in fact the only cost is that of manufacture and shipping, both Canonical and Lulu do not make any profit on the books at all. The Official Ubuntu Desktop Guide for example only costs $6.49 plus postage and contains 98 pages in total. Free downloadable PDF files are available for download on the Ubuntu Documentation Project Lulu website as well as on-line copies at http://help.ubuntu.com. All of the guides are available in many different languages thanks to the Ubuntu Translation Teams. Currently there are about 10 different languages available, more translations will be added to the store as they are compleated in Canonical's on-line project management web site Launchpad. All the guides are dual licenced under the GFDL and Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike licences. This is a really good idea to give Linux users cheap and reliable printed Linux manuals. Lets hope other distributions follow Ubuntu's lead on this one, some of the Gentoo manuals for example available in print this cheap would be really great to see."

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Page 1 (0, Flamebait)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 8 years ago | (#15472245)

Page 1: "RTFM"

The END.

Re:Page 1 (-1, Troll)

thc69 (98798) | more than 8 years ago | (#15472264)

Fifteen minutes, I sat there reloading to see what kind of smartass first post would show, and that's all you have for me?

Lame...

Re:Page 1 (2, Funny)

thc69 (98798) | more than 8 years ago | (#15473129)

I guess I should have just made the FP myself. My karma would have been damaged less...

Re:Page 1 (2, Funny)

BobNET (119675) | more than 8 years ago | (#15472582)

Page 1: "RTFM"
The END.

Isn't that the OpenBSD User's Guide?

New slogan (1)

From A Far Away Land (930780) | more than 8 years ago | (#15472298)

Ubuntu is no longer Linux for Human Beings, it's
Linux for Old Fogies
or
Linux that Kills Trees.

Seriously though, it's good that actual paper documents are still made availalbe. Until we have e-paper or HP stops raping consumers for 3.5mL of ink at $30 a pop, we need a company like Canonical to keep the printed docs tradition alive.

Re:New slogan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15472906)

Buy an old laser printer.

I have an old LJII-D in very good condition that I am trying to find a home for.
I replaced it with a LJ4-Plus with a duplexer and PS cartridge.
The II-D prints both sides, and total costs for toner and paper is
about four cents for a double sided page of text.

So a 98 page document would be about $4 to print.
Same for the LJ4.

Okay, no color graphics, and the B&W graphics are pretty coarse, but for printed
text, they are cheap and fast.

Re:New slogan (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15473468)

If you're trying to find someone to take it off your hands, posting as AC is not a good way to get people to contact you.

I read TFA as "Cheap PIRATED Ubuntu" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15473897)

Seems I read too fast, and thought someone was pirating Ubuntu.


Re:New slogan (1)

kurtdg (138723) | more than 8 years ago | (#15474898)

Nobody is forcing you to buy a $30 printer that needs $30 ink cartridges. Next time, spend a little more and buy a Kyocera. On my old FS-1800, a ~$60 cartridge is good for ~20,000 B/W pages. In real life, not just 'on paper'.

Re:New slogan (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15475383)

Nobody is forcing you to buy a $30 printer that needs $30 ink cartridges. Next time, spend a little more and buy a Kyocera. On my old FS-1800, a ~$60 cartridge is good for ~20,000 B/W pages. In real life, not just 'on paper'.

Or be sensible and buy a Canon. Canon printers don't give a shit if you refill the carts.

Personally, I bought a laser printer instead. I ended up paying $300 total, but that covered $200 for the [used, remanufactured] printer and another $100 with shipping to get the network card so all the computers in the house can use it without having to have one computer turned on. I own two laptops, my girlfriend has a laptop, I also have a desktop, and work is about to buy me a [desktop replacement] laptop... Most people can get away without the network card.

Anyway, for that tiny chunk of change (at the time, I'm poorer now) I got a HP LaserJet 2100N. 14-17ppm depending on print res, does 300-1200 dpi with that spiffy REt "technology" on the 600 dpi mode, it uses different size "pixels" to give better quality than normal 600 dpi, you can run refilled toner cartridges with impunity, and it's a workgroup printer intended to do 20,000 pages per month (there's less than 9,000 pages printed to date...) AND I got it with a new rebuild kit and a new refilled toner cart. Best way to handle bulk printing.

Re:New slogan (1)

ketsugi (930099) | more than 8 years ago | (#15485734)

Aren't all those guides available in any Ubuntu install anyway? Apart from the server guide, anyhow, I don't really see the need for a printed copy of these docs.

Re:New slogan (1)

spagetti_code (773137) | more than 8 years ago | (#15506830)

Its neat that they did it.

Let me relay my experiences.
The company I work for has a s/w package with a reasonable amount of documentation,
which we used to provide on the CD only, in online viewing form only - installed
with the app.

We were continually asked if we had printed documentation.

So we created it. Guess what - no-one ordered it (and it was very cheap).
So we dropped a printable version on the CD.
Again - no-one printed it.

Everyone wants to know you *can* provide printed documentation.
No-one actually *wants* to use printed documentation.
Its like a check box that they have to be able to tick when ordering
your software.

Yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15472305)

Too bad the people who actually need these won't be smart enough to purchase them anyway.

Re:Yeah (1)

La Gris (531858) | more than 8 years ago | (#15472667)

So true! People who seek valuable documentation still have to spend much time searching the web and talk with the community. Actual ubuntu documentation is mostly immature or incomplete. Ubuntu realy evolve quite fast and I guess it is very hard for the community to keep up with up to date and coherent informations. Printed support is static by nature. That won't help it beying up to date. If you look at ubuntu server documentation you will see it is mostly pointless. If you need documentation to setup usable servers you won't find anything usefull in it. If you quite know a bit, there is nothing usefull in it either. But I can't rant about it. Ubuntu is free as in speech and free as in beer... WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Give to the community).

I ought to know who realy need printed docs for ubuntu, realy!

Re:Yeah (1)

angaram (875805) | more than 8 years ago | (#15474193)

If no other purpose, then a printed manual will be that piece of visceral evidence that Linux supporters need to convice PHBs that Linux is a real product with real support. Many traditional commercial products ship with poor and/or out-of-date printed documentation, but it seems to be a token of seriousness or evidence of having met the minimum bar to entry for RealBusinessTools (R)(TM).

Re:Yeah (1)

mi11house (978673) | more than 8 years ago | (#15476639)

The introduction of Ubuntu 6.06 LTS (Long Term Support) would seem like a perfect time for a printed manual to be released. The two will go hand-in-hand to help PHBs accept this as a real product with real support.

The issue of the manuals falling out-of-date is probably less relevant in a highly-controlled corporate environment - most large corps have Windows Update turned off on their desktops, I would imagine they would do the same with Ubuntu. Thus the manuals will stay relevant far longer.

On a non-corporate note, this is a big step towards grandma-compatibility too -
  • - That generation prefers information in dead-tree format
  • - Avoids problems with help windows obscuring program windows
  • - Grandma is more likely to feel comfortable poking around a book

Fairly unlikely, for Gentoo (2, Interesting)

keesh (202812) | more than 8 years ago | (#15472313)

If the Gentoo people can't even manage to keep the official branded CDs up to date reliably, I don't fancy their chances for documentation as well... If you want printed documentation, just find a local print shop and get them to do it for you.

Re:Fairly unlikely, for Gentoo (0)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 8 years ago | (#15472760)

What exactly has this to do with Ubuntu? :)

Re:Fairly unlikely, for Gentoo (1)

keesh (202812) | more than 8 years ago | (#15473101)

Perhaps you should read the comments in the original post. You know, the part that says "Lets hope other distributions follow Ubuntu's lead on this one, some of the Gentoo manuals for example available in print this cheap would be really great to see.".

Looks like the mods have been on the $2 crack again.

Re:Fairly unlikely, for Gentoo (1)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 8 years ago | (#15473202)

Uh, seems like I have led the mods astray. Sorry, I overlooked the Gentoo part in the blurb.

The PDFs... (4, Informative)

bagofbeans (567926) | more than 8 years ago | (#15472373)

...are available without creating an account at http://help.ubuntu.com/ [ubuntu.com] .

MOD Parent right up!!! (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 8 years ago | (#15472781)

saves everyone the hassle of creating an account with lulu just to download... :)

what I would like to see... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15472380)

...is a gui to cli translator, then a simple list that shows where all the *(&^&**(ing files are located in the hierarchy. If you are non leet it is a bear to see what a command line command is compared to what the app is called in the gui menu, nor can you find all the files without already knowing where they are! Catch 22. I just went through this last night when my NTP date/time gui menu applet failed to work (I still don't know why, some update hosed a buncha stuff), I had to google to see what the damn thing is really called or how to do it command line! I found the rdate commands eventually and got my time sync back easily once I found them, but why isn't it right there as a menu option? One freaking sentence, just a single *word* in properties would be enough. Right click gui menu entry, get properties, right there it should say "see blah blah foo". That would eliminate 99% of the BS trying to figure stuff out. We aren't all unix guru admins here, a lot of people just need to use the computer. Ideally this info would be available under "properties" in the GUI menu entry, but it sure isn't in any distro I ever tried out. Does no good to say use the MAN pages when you can't see what the app is REALLY called in the first place to get to the appropriate MAN pages!

Re:what I would like to see... (2, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#15472473)

You don't say which GUI you're using, but under KDE, if you run kmenuedit, you can look up what command is being run from the menu, and do a "man" on that.

Re:what I would like to see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15472820)

I am primarily using guh-nome, but I have a lot of kde apps installed, but perhaps not that one. I'll check it out later and thanks for the tip!

Re:what I would like to see... (2, Informative)

dextromulous (627459) | more than 8 years ago | (#15472495)

[...]then a simple list that shows where all the *(&^&**(ing files are located in the hierarchy.
man hier
If you are non leet it is a bear to see what a command line command is compared to what the app is called in the gui menu, nor can you find all the files without already knowing where they are! Catch 22. [...] Does no good to say use the MAN pages when you can't see what the app is REALLY called in the first place to get to the appropriate MAN pages!
man -k [insert phrase here] (also try enclosing phrase in "")

Re:what I would like to see... (1)

dextromulous (627459) | more than 8 years ago | (#15472512)

[...]then a simple list that shows where all the *(&^&**(ing files are located in the hierarchy.
Whoops, also forgot the locate command.

Re:what I would like to see... (4, Informative)

chphilli (885315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15472754)

Also, apropos.

When I first found out about this tool, I thought it was going to be useless compared to locate, but the fact that you can get the title of the man-page entries, plus a short description, is incredibly useful when you don't know exactly what you are looking for.

Re:what I would like to see... (2, Informative)

dextromulous (627459) | more than 8 years ago | (#15472971)

I don't know about you, but the man page for man(1) on my distro says that apropos and man -k are equivalent... whatis OTOH, is different, and is equivalent to man -f :-)

oddly enough, the same script is used for both whatis and apropos (on gentoo at least) it just uses different parameters for grep depending on how it was called... The More You Know :-)

Re:what I would like to see... (1)

chphilli (885315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15473967)

Cool - I hadn't ever used man -k and didn't even think to look into it after reading the last hint! ( I just thought it was going to be some formatting command for man ) Thanks!

Re:what I would like to see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15472638)

man is only half the usefulness. The rest of the usefulness is in "apropos".

Copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15472617)

The Lulu page cites the book as being copyright!

"Copyright: © 2006 Standard Copyright License"

Apparently this is a typo.

Ugly! (2, Interesting)

zsau (266209) | more than 8 years ago | (#15472632)

The real question is, who would want to pay even a pittance for such poor typography? Some of the best-looking books have been produced using free software. Why can't they do the same?

Re:Ugly! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15474776)

You stand on the shoulders of giants and the best you can do is crap on them? You are running a free operating system to which hundreds of people have contributed thousands of hours of real work. It is the only distribution I have used that provides such great support and a free (beyond materials cost) manual and the best you can do is whimper about the artwork. Have you contributed anything to either the Ubuntu forum or artwork, which are open for contributions from the community?

You could have been direct and said "Sir, were that my nose I would amputate it on the spot"...but you chose to quisiling and say "Is your nose not rather large"
Cyrano de Bergerac

Re:Ugly! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15475390)

There are obviously things which are not great about the typography. The cross references aren't great, for example. However, as the other poster commented, these guides were written and published entirely by volunteers, and we've made them available for no profit.

As for the tools, please point me to some docbook xml -> pdf tools, which might have produced a better result, and I'll definitely look into it.

Matt

Maybe I can figure out my current problems... (0, Offtopic)

dargaud (518470) | more than 8 years ago | (#15472649)

...but I doubt it.
Just tried out the New 6.06 Ubuntu Dapper on a clean install. Although I've been configuring servers for years with Gentoo or RedHat, the Desktop Linux keeps stomping on me. Wireless card (3com 3CRSHPW196) seems to work but doesn't, DNS gets lost every few minutes on static LAN, could not figure out how to import Outlook Express messages and settings into Evolution and many other surprises along the way. It looks nice, but it's so much effort looking at message boards for hours to figure out how to fix things that aren't even broken...

won't open in evince! (2, Interesting)

Captain Rotundo (165816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15472652)

I am running Ubuntu Dapper, and the PDF file doesn't display correctly in the default PDF viewer. Isn't that a faux pas?

Re:won't open in evince! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15472753)

I was having the same problem. The ones mentioned above from http://help.ubuntu.com/ [ubuntu.com] work just fine though.

Re:won't open in evince! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15473006)

Gee, it opens just fine in kpdf!

Re:won't open in evince! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15475157)

The problem is evince doesn't play well with embedded fonts. The embedded fonts were needed for lulu.com

Not as spiffy as commercial offerings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15473131)

The first 8 pages are titles and a contributor list. Then there's 6 pages for "About Ubuntu." The last 13 of the 80 pages cover the various licenses under which things have been distributed. So over a quarter of the content isn't particularly useful.

There's also not a single screenshot in the book. Newbies love screenshots. So do authors - they get to pad out page after page of their 500 page books with screenshots. There's a useful middle ground, and the Ubuntu documentation isn't it.

The instructions for various tasks - for example, adding Flash support, additional codecs, and so on - are simple enough for the computer savvy. But they're the sort of thing that prevents me from recommending Ubuntu to others (or using it myself). For example, I've got a friend who was complaining that his WinXP machine with Internet access kept getting infested with spyware. You'd think he'd be an ideal candidate for Ubuntu, but because he'd want his machine to transparently do "non-free" sorts of tasks like running Flash, or playing back videos. (I suggested PCLinuxOS instead.) That's a real pity, because there are a lot of really nice things about Ubuntu.

Re:Not as spiffy as commercial offerings (1)

jekewa (751500) | more than 8 years ago | (#15473344)

And there's the brilliant use of space wherein pages with a header and footer only (see page labeled v), or a single two-line paragraph describe the following pages (see page labeled #9). Surely this could be formatted better to not waste paper, should one want to print the document. Electronically, whatever, printed, big waste.

Re:Not as spiffy as commercial offerings (1)

Braino420 (896819) | more than 8 years ago | (#15477750)

There's also not a single screenshot in the book. Newbies love screenshots. So do authors - they get to pad out page after page of their 500 page books with screenshots. There's a useful middle ground, and the Ubuntu documentation isn't it.


I don't think this is the book's intentions. This looks more like a quick reference guide. Have you even tried installing Dapper Drake? Just so you know: it acts as a LiveCD at first, and places you on a desktop with 2 icons. One is listed examples and one says install. Guess what you'll find in the examples folder.... N00b documents with lots of pictures.

Besides, I find command line instructions to be easier to convey to those that are unfamiliar with the gui.

$6.49 for 98 pages = Too Much! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15473290)

6.5 cents per page? Surely this can be done for less, even including postage.

Lolzo1d (1)

Jhou Shalnevarkno (980460) | more than 8 years ago | (#15486096)

It's a silly attempt of making linux USER FRIENDLY :( Linux is friendly to Linux friendly users! Fruitless is what I call it. Atleast GNU Linux is counting for more everywhere.. :P
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