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The Official Ubuntu Book

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the read-all-about-it dept.

Book Reviews 139

Craig Maloney writes "Over the long history of Linux, there have been many different distributions. One of the most famous distributions, love it or hate it, is the Ubuntu distribution. Ubuntu has come quickly from being the new kid on the block with the Warty Warthog release (4.10) to the most recent release Gutsy Gibbon (7.10). In that three year span, Ubuntu has grown from a handful of enthusiasts and developers to a thriving worldwide community. The Official Ubuntu Book is the official book from Canonical, which describes not only the Ubuntu distributions, but also the community from which Ubuntu is derived." Read below for the rest of Craig's review.The Official Ubuntu Book is comprised of 10 main chapters covering various aspects of the Ubuntu project. The first chapter discusses a bit of the history of the Ubuntu project, as well as the relationship of Canonical to the project. Chapter 2 dives into installing Ubuntu from either the Live CD or the Alternative installation CD. Chapter 3 shows how to use the applications that ship with Ubuntu with some detail. Some of the more in-depth programs get more attention, like The GIMP and Firefox. Also covered are the basics of the GNOME interface, such as adding items to the panels, or logging off of the system. Chapter 4 covers basic system administration (printers, upgrades, file sharing), and package management. Chapter 5 introduces the Ubuntu Server variant, covering RAID, LVM, and more package management techniques. Chapter 6 deals with support issues in a question / answer format, and is a great place for readers to get some of their more common questions answered. Chapter 7 covers the Kubuntu variant of Ubuntu in more depth. Chapter 8 and 9 introduce the Ubuntu Community, and the tools that keep the Ubuntu project running. These chapters alone should be required reading for anyone with more than a passing interest in the Ubuntu project. Lastly, Chapter 10 covers the Edbuntu project, and demonstrates how to set up a LTSP network. The appendices include the Ubuntu related documents, a quick tutorial on the command line, and a great Windows / Ubuntu equivalent section for those who are looking for the best alternatives for certain Windows programs. All-in-all, The Official Ubuntu Book covers the main aspects of the Ubuntu project in a very thorough manner.

Included with the book is the Ubuntu 7.04 release (Feisty Fawn) on DVD. This is a solid release, and was current at the time the book was published. It still has 12 months active support even in light of the recent 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) release, and should give those looking to try Ubuntu an excellent starting point.

The biggest issue facing a book like The Official Ubuntu Book is determining a target audience. Ubuntu appeals to a wide range of people; from the newest newbie to the hardened UNIX aficionado. Making a book that speaks to both is no easy task. Fortunately, The Book does an admirable job of providing enough to keep both parties interested. New Ubuntu users will find lots of information about how to get things accomplished in Ubuntu, while seasoned UNIX user will find enough information to see what th differences are between Ubuntu and other Linux distributions. Both will find a great introduction to participating with the rest of the Ubuntu community in the later chapters of the book. Any user of Ubuntu would be well served in reviewing those chapters fora sense of what opportunities exist, and how best to participate in the community given their talents and skills. True, the chapters describing specific applications lack much depth, but the omission can be forgiven in light of the shear amount of material covered. Just learning how to navigate what is provided on the live CD could fill a tome the size of this book, leaving no room to discuss the more about the community. The Official Ubuntu Book balances between both extremes, and provides plenty of information about both the Ubuntu distribution, and the community.

The success of the Ubuntu project is due in no small part to the people who spend their time participating with other Ubuntu users. Reading the book not only gives a sense of what Ubuntu is about, but also shows how open and inviting these users are. It may not be the best tutorial for the new Linux user, but it is an excellent book for those who want to take the next step and be a part of putting together and supporting a large Linux distribution. The Official Ubuntu Book captures the spirit of the Ubuntu community well, and brings the excitement in a palpable form to the reader. I can recommend this book to new users of Ubuntu with only the caution that they may need to find other resources to learn the many new programs that ship with Ubuntu. However, I can also highly recommend this book to anyone who has even a passing interest in getting involved with the Ubuntu project, both new and experienced. The Official Ubuntu Book, much like the Ubuntu project, is an ambitious undertaking, and similarly we all benefit from their hard work.

You can purchase The Official Ubuntu Book from amazon.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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The probem with these types of books is that... (4, Funny)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 6 years ago | (#21187433)

...these things are usually obsolete in, oh say, 6 months or so.

That's Why I Hate Magazines. (5, Funny)

CheeseburgerBrown (553703) | more than 6 years ago | (#21187471)

My issues of Newsweek from 1993 are practically useless now.

Re:That's Why I Hate Magazines. (2, Insightful)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#21187989)

Just wait a couple years, it will be the same stories only most of the names will have changed.

Re:That's Why I Hate Magazines. (2, Insightful)

lavid (1020121) | more than 6 years ago | (#21188081)

You should have kept the ones from the mid to late eighties, it's the same stories with the same names!

Re:That's Why I Hate Magazines. (1)

duggi (1114563) | more than 6 years ago | (#21188399)

yeah,but does it cover questions about the christian edition? :)

Re:That's Why I Hate Magazines. (1)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 6 years ago | (#21189889)

Yes, Chapter 9 scientifically disproves the existence of your "God".

Re:That's Why I Hate Magazines. (4, Funny)

frankmu (68782) | more than 6 years ago | (#21188227)

oh, i don't know. there are some classic "articles" and "short stories" from old Playboy magazines.

Re:That's Why I Hate Magazines. (2, Funny)

Mahjub Sa'aden (1100387) | more than 6 years ago | (#21188569)

The deeply insightful articles over the years about the Rise and Fall of Bush? An era that's come to an end, my friend. Once the was much Bush, now you can glance through the magazine without encountering any.

Oh how the might have fallen. Er... shaved.

Re:That's Why I Hate Magazines. (1)

CaptainZapp (182233) | more than 6 years ago | (#21188351)

Well, there's really nothing older then yesterdays newspaper.

Re:That's Why I Hate Magazines. (1)

kaizokuace (1082079) | more than 6 years ago | (#21188541)

Uh hello! COLLAGE! That or cut out lettering to write creepy letters to your friends!

Re:That's Why I Hate Magazines. (1)

Bastian227 (107667) | more than 6 years ago | (#21189261)

You could burn them for warmth. That's practical and useful, especially for the winter months.

Re:The probem with these types of books is that... (2, Insightful)

farkus888 (1103903) | more than 6 years ago | (#21187503)

it seems they are outdated by the time they hit the shelfs unless you are running the LTS version of the operating system. The massive resources on the internet are probably more useful and thorough than this book. but my real point is that I feel bad for anyone who buys the book, realizes you can't log in as root, and decides to never use ubuntu again.

Re:The probem with these types of books is that... (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#21187525)

Exactly. It makes much more sense to write a book only for the LTS releases.

Re:The probem with these types of books is that... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21189071)

"but my real point is that I feel bad for anyone who buys the book, realizes you can't log in as root, and decides to never use ubuntu again."

Yes, going into the User Accounts section and enabling the root account takes hours.

May by the standards of.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21187647)

Obsolete in 6 months is not likely, Linux/UNIX is much more stable than that other OS.

Re:May by the standards of.... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#21188955)

I really hope that was sarcasm.. there are hardly any versions of Windows compared to hundreds of different Linux distros, each with new versions coming out all the time. Stable in terms of less crashes sure, but stable with releases????!?!?!???...

Re:The probem with these types of books is that... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21187779)

...these things are usually obsolete in, oh say, 6 months or so.

Oh, I can think of some [amazon.com] computing [amazon.com] books [amazon.com] which are just as useful today as when first published. Maybe the quality of a technology could be judged by how long its documentation goes without being superseded.

However, any Linux guide will stand the test of time better if it explains matters through command-line tools. Graphical interfaces change too rapidly.

Re:The probem with these types of books is that... (1)

TorKlingberg (599697) | more than 6 years ago | (#21187783)

True, but that goes for just about any how-to book for any computer program. Which hasn't stopped it from becoming a huge market.

Re:The probem with these types of books is that... (5, Informative)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21187925)

Some things change more rapidly than others. I have a student who's trying to get started with Linux on an old machine his family had around. He's asking me questions like, "Where can you learn how to do that command line stuff?" and "What's a window manager?" The answers to those questions aren't going to change in six months.

From my point of view as a relatively experienced Linux user, the usefulness of such a book is probably a lot less. I have a big, long set of notes on Unix that I maintain in a personal wiki, and I doubt that there's very much in the intersection of {things I need to know} & {things I don't have in my notes} & {things that are in this book}. The main thing that's kicking my butt with ubuntu these days is cups and network printing; every time I manage to get it working, it takes a couple of weekends of pulling my hair out, and then it breaks again at the next upgrade. For that, the book is certain to be useless to me because of obsolescence, and also probably because the issue with cups seems to have more to do with poor design and integration into the distro. Another big problem a lot of people are suffering from is difficulties wifi and laptop power management. (Personally, wifi Just Works for me these days, and power management Just Doesn't Work). The book won't help with those issues, because they're fundamentally related to the proprietary nature of the hardware (e.g., hardware manaufacturers not publicly documenting the registers that need to be saved when you put your machine to sleep).

There are also certain categories of specialized, advanced knowledge that won't change anytime soon, but that most people don't need to know. For instance, I have a copy of "The Debian System" by Krafft, and although I can't recommend the book in general, it does have a reasonably intelligible and detailed discussion of the debian packaging system, which for me has turned out to be a lot more helpful than the various online descriptions (which are poorly written, disorganized, incomplete, and never up to date).

One of the big advantages of FreeBSD over Linux, IMO, is that FreeBSD is a single complete operating system, not a kernel that's packaged in a whole bunch of different distros, so you can buy a book on FreeBSD, and it will document the actual system you're using.

Re:The probem with these types of books is that... (1)

kavehkh (725943) | more than 6 years ago | (#21188013)

that's kicking my butt with ubuntu these days is cups and network printing; every time I manage to get it working, it takes a couple of weekends of pulling my hair out, and then it breaks again at the next upgrade.
You are lucky my nvidida drivers break on Debian Edgy after every restart (which is rare).

Re:The probem with these types of books is that... (1)

tzanger (1575) | more than 6 years ago | (#21190675)

I don't know about you, but CUPS seems to only work when you are directly connected. I cannot get CUPS<-->CUPS-->printer working at all. If I tell my kubuntu machine to use the CUPS server that is connected directly to the printer, great. If I tell my slackware machine to do the same, it works. But either one trying to use their own CUPS server to talk to a remote CUPS printer... fuggedabowdit. Protocol dumps show that it seems to be sending incorrect data, and the CUPS ipp utility program just isn't getting the right parameters from any app. I don't think they've ever tested it.

Re:The probem with these types of books is that... (1)

notamisfit (995619) | more than 6 years ago | (#21188737)

The only Linux book I've found that approaches the usefulness of the *BSD handbooks would have to be "Linux Administration Handbook" by whoever the hell wrote it. Haven't seen the Ubuntu book yet, and I doubt I'd really be interested, judging by the review.

Re:The probem with these types of books is that... (2, Insightful)

rk (6314) | more than 6 years ago | (#21188913)

"The main thing that's kicking my butt with ubuntu these days is cups and network printing; every time I manage to get it working, it takes a couple of weekends of pulling my hair out, and then it breaks again at the next upgrade. For that, the book is certain to be useless to me because of obsolescence, and also probably because the issue with cups seems to have more to do with poor design and integration into the distro."

I think you're closer to the truth regarding distro integration, because my experience with CUPS in Slackware 12.0 was the exact opposite. I went into it dreading it too, because I am famous for not getting along with printers at all. I started at 11 am on Saturday, figuring the bulk of my weekend would need to be sacrificed just so I could print from my new system. All I did was start the CUPS server, logged on to it, told it the printer's IP and model number, and it Just Worked(tm). I was done and printing recipes for Ethiopian dishes at 11:02am :-). I was simultaneously pleased and flabbergasted all at once.

It's somewhat surprising to me a distro targeted in part at the newbie market would be such a bear to configure to do as common a task as using a printer, especially when it's using the same software package a "hard" distro like Slackware uses.

Re:The probem with these types of books is that... (2, Interesting)

ctr2sprt (574731) | more than 6 years ago | (#21189419)

All I did was start the CUPS server, logged on to it, told it the printer's IP and model number, and it Just Worked(tm).

I think you and the GP are talking about different classes of printer, here, based on the fact that yours has an IP address. It's the cheapie inkjets that you get for free with a $500 computer that don't work right in Linux.

Pretty much any laser printer is going to Just Work(tm) in Linux, especially if you're sending it PCL or PS to its built-in, lpd-compatible print server over a TCP/IP network. Which is the way businesses usually do it, and that's why they work so well in Unix. (I bet you could plug a modern-day HP 4050 into a network of VAXen and they'd be able to print to it with no special configuration, too.)

Re:The probem with these types of books is that... (2, Interesting)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21190117)

I think you and the GP are talking about different classes of printer, [...] It's the cheapie inkjets that you get for free with a $500 computer that don't work right in Linux.

Just to clarify, I'm the GP poster, and I have a laser printer, not an inkjet. What's kicking my butt time after time is network printing, not printing locally. I think part of the problem may be that the cups developers and the Ubuntu developers are on different wavelengths about security. I keep seeing cases where the default in cups is supposed to be easy, but ubuntu has disabled the easy functionality for security reasons. IIRC, they disabled the entire web browser interface for a while, and the problem I'm currently having is that between Fiesty and Gutsy there's been a regression in network printing functionality, which seems to be security related. IMO there ought to be a button in the cups browser interface that you can click that says "Goddamn it, I'm on a home network behind a router, and the router has a built-in firewall. Stop breaking all my functionality in the name of security, and let my wife and kids print on this printer!"

Re:The probem with these types of books is that... (1)

tzanger (1575) | more than 6 years ago | (#21190725)

What's kicking my butt time after time is network printing, not printing locally.

How, praytell, did you get it to work??!! I've got a Slack 12 system with a locally-connected Pixma MP530 (GREAT printer, btw, absolutely stellar). I can print from windows to the CUPS spool just fine. I can print from the Slack server just fine. Neither of my Kubuntu machines can print to it, and neither can my other Slack box. If I tell those Kubuntu or other Slack box that their CUPS server is the Slack box with the printer connected, it works great. I cannot, absolutely CANNOT get a box with a locally running CUPS server printing to a remote CUPS queue!

Re:The probem with these types of books is that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21190213)

For us setting up a printer wasn't hard, sharing it over multiple computers was though :(. It's not a network printer but a USB one.

Re:The probem with these types of books is that... (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#21188665)

...these things are usually obsolete in, oh say, 6 months or so.
And the real problem with this is not the short shelf life, it's the price: $23 at Amazon. For that money, I'll make due with Google.

Re:The probem with these types of books is that... (1)

Wobble-U (1112077) | more than 6 years ago | (#21190265)

I've got old fat "Redhat Linux Unleashed" and "Using Linux" books and most of the stuff in them are still fairly relevant, as most of it is about using the console, not the GUI. I still use them occasionally too, as some of the stuff in there is hard to find on the web.

Re:The probem with these types of books is that... (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21190403)

I dunno, the man pages are still pretty interesting...

Supposed to be easy to use... (-1, Troll)

UseTheSource (66510) | more than 6 years ago | (#21187443)

So why does it need a book?

Re:Supposed to be easy to use... (0, Offtopic)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 6 years ago | (#21187473)

Remember that Mac that was released that didn't even have a manual? That's what the goal should be.

Btw, if I were immature, I would say something like this:

-Craig seems to be planning to take a *wide stance* on Hairy Hardon. Narf!

-Hey, this is Ubuntu, so if you buy the book online, does that mean the book will have instructions inside on how to open the package, which people will refer to when you ask for help on how to get it open?

-"Chapter 2 dives into installing Ubuntu from either the Live CD or the Alternative installation CD" Wait, I thought the Live CD *was* the install CD. At least that's one of the two inconsistent explanations they give to newbies.

-Doesn't selling copyrighted works go against the Free as in Freedom philosophy?
But luckily I'm not immature enough to do that.

Re:Supposed to be easy to use... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21187633)

> Remember that Mac that was released that didn't even have a manual? That's what the goal should be.

What? Keeping the users completely in the dark?

Kidding yourself that you'll never need documentation?

Making the system hostile to experts and 3rd party support personel (paid or voluntary)?

Omitting the manual is just hubris.

Re:Supposed to be easy to use... (1)

CheeseTroll (696413) | more than 6 years ago | (#21188483)

Not to mention the fact that there's a wee bit more functionality in any Linux distribution (or any modern OS, for that matter) than the original Mac. MacPaint, MacDraw, MacWrite - no, you really don't need a manual to futz around with those.

I know, the gpp was meant to be humorous, but I'm in analytical-mode and just can't stop myself!

Re:Supposed to be easy to use... (5, Insightful)

famicommie (1118707) | more than 6 years ago | (#21187821)

Remember that Mac that was released that didn't even have a manual? That's what the goal should be.
I agree whole heartedly. Ubuntu is "GNU/Linux for Human Beings", something I personally translate to mean "accessible to everyone regardless of experience or expertise". At my recommendation, two of my friends have installed Ubuntu and have since begun using it as their primary OS. It's been about nine months so far, and between the two of them I get at most one support call a month. What I don't like about your statement is that it infers that the existence of an official Ubuntu book necessarily means Ubuntu is not accessible to everyone. That is a very silly jump of logic. Ubuntu is pretty easy for almost anyone to pick up and run. This book is for users who don't just want a whizbang Word Processing Internet Browsing Machine but want to learn about some of the underlying dynamics of the system and it's applicable uses. My grandmother is mostly uninterested in enabling filesharing, but I am sure that there are hobbyists out there who would like a reliable guide to set up a LTSP network and put the OS to more complicated uses than sharing pictures of cats with friends. The Mac, like Ubuntu, offers both ease of use and a powerful underlying system. Sure, your grandma might be content with performing simple tasks, but there IS a terminal available for the geeks out there. Simplicity and power are not mutually exclusive.

Re:Supposed to be easy to use... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21190645)

What I don't like about your statement is that it infers that the existence of an official Ubuntu book necessarily means Ubuntu is not accessible to everyone.

As a simple statement, it implies books are not accessible to everyone.

As a marginally more sophisticated statement, it implies that a book should not be necessary with Ubuntu.

It may not be - the interface is very good, and there is an awful lot of information in Help files locally on the computer and Online. Online is arguably not part of the computer, but I've noticed the truly un-savvy often have a hard time distinguishing between the two these days.

However books are a familiar and thus reassuring tool for the new user. They have a splendid advantage of a physical geography of bookmarks, folded corners, and page count, and a linear process & consistent author voice to assure you that you're not just on the right path, but you haven't missed a hyper-cul-de-sac along the way. This is a Very Good Thing for someone faced with the Large Unknown that is a new computer. Suddenly terra incognita has a map showing a beginning and an end.

And to really put this cliche jibe in the grave, there is a further sidetrack implication that a book infers study & mastering of complex knowledge. Poppycock. This isn't O'Reilly's Understanding The Linux Kernel. Books cater to a vast range of audiences, right down to See Spot Run and The Unauthorized Biography of Britney Spears.

(Wow, I've been AC for ten years. Happy Halloween, y'all.)

Re:Supposed to be easy to use... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21187909)

I had problems with Windows 3.0 crashing, can I bitch about that incessantly to this day?

Re:Supposed to be easy to use... (1)

Veinor (871770) | more than 6 years ago | (#21188029)

-"Chapter 2 dives into installing Ubuntu from either the Live CD or the Alternative installation CD" Wait, I thought the Live CD *was* the install CD. At least that's one of the two inconsistent explanations they give to newbies.
Both of them are installation. The other is just alternative, hence the name. Not sure on the difference.

Re:Supposed to be easy to use... (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 6 years ago | (#21188345)

Not sure on the difference.

the alt CD lacks the liveCD's nice GUI installer and provides some advanced installation options that aren't available through the liveCD.

also useful if you can't get the liveCD to work for some reason, usually esoteric graphics hardware.

Re:Supposed to be easy to use... (1)

modecx (130548) | more than 6 years ago | (#21189149)

Huh, I was wondering that myself. The liveCD wants 384MB RAM to boot. I wanted to put Ubuntu on two of my old computers, so I could give one to a family member. Ubuntu detected the swap drive on the one that had a 2004 installation of Debian and only 256MB RAM, so it booted, eventually. That one is a 400Mhz PII, and worked reasonably once booted. I guess the alt image can work on a machine with 128 MB RAM, and no preexisting swap partition, but I wasn't clear on what was so alternate about it before now. Good info, thanks.

Re:Supposed to be easy to use... (1)

jimcooncat (605197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21189301)

Use the alternate install CD for low memory systems, too. 256 MB and below, that means you.

Re:Supposed to be easy to use... (2, Informative)

mackyrae (999347) | more than 6 years ago | (#21188075)

There's the live install cd AND the alternate install cd. The alternate install cd uses the ncurses Debian-Installer and offers more advanced options for more advanced users.

Re:Supposed to be easy to use... (-1, Troll)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 6 years ago | (#21188313)

Nope. Many people here claimed that by having an install CD, I necessarily must have the Live CD.

Btw, I think the concept of "advanced options for advanced users" is ill-defined for Ubuntu. In the past, people have told me that on a dual boot:

-Pressing F8 and selected a secondary hard drive is "too complicated for most people" while
-Installing a flaky bootloader that you need a second computer and CD burner, plus command-line familiarity, to diagnose on failure, but allows you one less keystroke on bootup, is appropriate for beginners. (Remember, grub is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. If they have removed that statement from later versions, I want a gold-plated apology.)

Go fig.

Re:Supposed to be easy to use... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21188461)

For those who are tuning in late, UbuntuDupe had a problem installing Ubuntu. But what makes him unique is he still dwells on it more than two years later!

Re:Supposed to be easy to use... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21188577)

I'm a MOTU, want to let you in on a secret: We actually found out what his configuration was and we actually make sure Ubuntu is always broken on it.

Re:Supposed to be easy to use... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#21188727)

And I'm guessing a different package selection too, I figure the text installer itself can't eat that much so there's got to be more reasons not to have it as a boot option on the normal CD...

Re:Supposed to be easy to use... (1)

mackyrae (999347) | more than 6 years ago | (#21188889)

The text installer uses apt to install everything, like Debian-Installer does. The GUI installer pretty much just copies an image to the hard drive then modifies the xorg.conf and a couple settings like language and adds the user.

Re:Supposed to be easy to use... (1)

LiquidMind (150126) | more than 6 years ago | (#21189885)

Madam (if that even applies), I find your comment hard to believe, mostly because i see your signature as totally paradoxical.
Please either fix your sig or start commenting about other made-up things, such as unicorns or the tooth fairy.

Re:Supposed to be easy to use... (1)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 6 years ago | (#21187787)

Well, the book covers:
* the history of Ubuntu
* how the Ubuntu community is structured
* how to contribute to Ubuntu
* How to set up things far outside the ordinary usages "easy to use" would be intended to hit, like LTSP
* and more!

Re:Supposed to be easy to use... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21188471)

As vee say in the Netherlands: "Where's my Clippy?" ...

Re:Supposed to be easy to use... (4, Funny)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 6 years ago | (#21187881)

So why does it need a book?

So you have something to do in the restroom?

Re:Supposed to be easy to use... (2, Funny)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 6 years ago | (#21188103)

I don't know. I have always found paperback a bit too ruff for my tastes. Plus there is the problem with getting the pages out Once out, they never seem to flush down the toilet right either.

In all seriousness... (1)

kwabbles (259554) | more than 6 years ago | (#21188137)

I can't tell you how many epiphanies I've had while on the can reading an O'Reilly book.

But not in all seriousness...
Someone come up with a punch line for that one.

Re:Supposed to be easy to use... (1)

bigbadunix (662724) | more than 6 years ago | (#21190065)

Send a copy to Larry Craig, please.

Why you need an Ubunghole book (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21190283)

Chapter one tells you all the features Ubuntu has which are just like Windows.
Chapter two tells you how to get all your hardware set up, which would automagically happen under Windows.
Chapter three tells you how to set up your machine to actually work, which would automagically happen under Windows.
Chapter four tells you how to install applications, which is far easier under Windows.
Chapter five tells you how much better Ubuntu is than Windows.
Chapter six tells you how to try to emulate Windows, so you can get actually useful applications working.
Chapter seven tells you how to fix all Ubuntu's problems by formatting the drive and installing Windows.

I love Ubuntu. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21187451)

It just screws up the resolution when I use my GeForce 7600 GT.

Re:I love Ubuntu. (5, Informative)

AmaDaden (794446) | more than 6 years ago | (#21187559)

Something new to 7.10 or gusty gibbon is a xorg configuration utility that should be able to help you out.

Re:I love Ubuntu. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21187755)

Really? Does it work when there's no UI because Ubuntu decided to use a refresh rate that's out of range of the monitor?

And, for added fun, does it work when you can't access the console because Ubuntu managed to corrupt the video memory that contains the console font, so trying to fix it via the command-line is a non-starter?

Really, you'd think that in 2007 Linux would be able to use the ability to query monitors about acceptable refresh rates that's existed for the past, oh, 15 years or more. But apparently not.

Re:I love Ubuntu. (1)

AmaDaden (794446) | more than 6 years ago | (#21187883)

Yeah I've been there. It's why the xorg app in 7.10 makes me happy. Shit like this should not be an issue. I love Linux and all that I can do with it but xorg is still a problem and for no reason that I can see. I remember hearing somewhere that they are planing to include something that prevents this kind of mess in the next release; But I can't remember what it was or where I herd about it. Well anyway...Your gonna need a live CD to at least get a working command line. If it's a 7.10 Ubuntu CD you might be able to run the app from it.

Re:I love Ubuntu. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21188183)

This WAS the Live CD, that's what made this so amazingly frustrating! Apparently there is no way to get the Ubuntu Live CD to boot to a command line. Believe me, I tried. It will always boot to X. The problem was, once xorg started, the console font was obliterated and the refresh rate was out of range.

I wanted to delay starting the X server so I could manually configure it to use a refresh rate that WAS in range. Unfortunately I never was able to stop it from starting the X server.

The second most frustrating thing was that, even in Ubuntu's "safe" mode, it still caused the same damn problem! Apparently the "safe" mode uses VESA drivers versus auto-detect, but it DOES NOT use a "safe" video mode or a "safe" refresh rate.

Ultimately I gave up on that computer. Apparently the graphics card/monitor combo just will not work with Ubuntu. (nVidia card, Dell monitor, for the curious.)

Re:I love Ubuntu. (1)

Vorpix (60341) | more than 6 years ago | (#21188677)

try installing ubuntu server or the ubuntu alternate intall cd.

with ubuntu server you just get a command line as your finished product. if you want a graphical interface you can install it easily enough "apt-get install xubuntu-desktop"... which if that still gives you problems, you can manually edit xorg.conf. and of course, you can choose a kernel besides server if you so desire.

it's quite easy to use these alternatives, you should give them a try before totally giving up on Ubuntu.

Re:I love Ubuntu. (-1, Troll)

weierstrass (669421) | more than 6 years ago | (#21188201)

Perhaps you would think that someone who's as big a smart-ass as you would have learnt by now how to change/add a single parameter in a file called, very confusingly, /etc/xorg.conf, and even maybe figured out how to do so on the command line in single-user mode.

No? You haven't? Fuck off back to being Vista's gimp then.

Re:I love Ubuntu. (3, Interesting)

miro f (944325) | more than 6 years ago | (#21189623)

actually there's also a new "failsafe graphics mode" which is supposed to make sure you always get a gui no matter how much you bork your xorg.conf

dunno how well it works though, I never really had any issues like that...

Re:I love Ubuntu. (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 6 years ago | (#21188021)

Ah, the "Screens and Graphics" tool. It works OK if you have just one monitor. If you have multiple monitors, this thing is sure to give you crashtacular results. The Ubuntu forums are full of dual-head crash questions for 7.10 that have never been answered.

You have been warned.

Re:I love Ubuntu. (1)

AmaDaden (794446) | more than 6 years ago | (#21188095)

Well that's depressing. I was hoping that I could finally stop mucking around in the xorg config file. At least the tool is a start. Is their any Linux distro that has something like that that works right?

Re:I love Ubuntu. (1)

Zaiff Urgulbunger (591514) | more than 6 years ago | (#21189005)

I suspect the Ubuntu folks pushed a number of things into 7.10 when normally they would've waited for a bit more stability, but if they didn't do this, then the next LTS (long term support) release 8.04 would not be able to include them. Specifically, I'm talking about Compiz.

My own feeling is that 7.10 hasn't been the most stable Ubuntu release! But I *do* expect 8.04 to be solid.

Re:I love Ubuntu. (1)

ketilwaa (1095727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21188505)

Works fine for me with the same type of card. Only problem was a well known bug that has /etc/usplash.conf to some weird resolution, thus giving me a black screen in stead of usplash. Changing those values to something my monitor accepted fixed that.

Re:I love Ubuntu. (1)

NullProg (70833) | more than 6 years ago | (#21190449)

It just screws up the resolution when I use my GeForce 7600 GT.

Are you sure its Ubuntu? I had the same problem two weeks ago with xUbuntu and a no-name el-cheapo monitor. I cast an incantation and then replaced the monitor with a spare SAMSUNG and now have resolution goodness.

BTW,
You should be posting on the Ubuntu forums http://ubuntuforums.org/ [ubuntuforums.org] , not slashdot.

Enjoy,

Idea for a promo (5, Funny)

Huntr (951770) | more than 6 years ago | (#21187457)

Buy the book, get a free hard drive. [slashdot.org]

Kidding!

Re:Idea for a promo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21187521)

Not just a hard drive, but a hot, smokin' hard drive!

I will get it then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21190019)

As long as they don't give me a pack bathroom tiles [slashdot.org] instead.

Ubbbunnnntuuuuu (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21187489)

Ubbbunnnntuuuuu

Happy Halloween +1 Seditious (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21187491)

Support Democracy: Ship The Thug [whitehouse.org] to Gitmo

Cheers,
K Trout

it is NOT comprised of (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21187565)

Idiots. The first sentence has a pretentious grammatical mistake.

The book is _composed_ of 10 chapters.

The book _comprises_ 10 chapters.

The book is not _comprised of_ 10 chapters.

Damn fools.

Mod parent flamebait (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21188383)

This isn't a simple grammatical correction - it's an opinion. [blogspot.com]

Generally, criticizing someone on Slashdot as harshly as the parent did, using terms such as "idiots" and "damn fools" (which I suspect should be "damned fools", unless it's an imperative sentence), on a matter of disagreement of opinion is modded as flamebait (e.g., "What the fuck kind of idiot would use AJAX?").

Re:it is NOT comprised of (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21188431)

From the American Heritage Dictionary:
comprise
USAGE NOTE The traditional rule states that the whole comprises the parts and the parts compose the whole. In strict usage: The Union comprises 50 states. Fifty states compose (or constitute or make up) the Union. Even though careful writers often maintain this distinction, comprise is increasingly used in place of compose, especially in the passive: The Union is comprised of 50 states. Our surveys show that opposition to this usage is abating. In the 1960s, 53 percent of the Usage Panel found this usage unacceptable; in 1996, only 35 percent objected.

I feel your pain (2, Interesting)

The Monster (227884) | more than 6 years ago | (#21188825)

I wouldn't object were it not for the fact that this new sense of "comprise" has a meaning in direct opposition to the older sense. That threatens to deprive the word of any meaning other than "Here's one thing, and a group of things that together make up the one thing, but I'm not going to tell you which is which; you can just try to figure it out by context!"

That and I'm of the opinion that people really don't understand the word, but it sounds more intelligent than "compose", so they try to sound smarter than they really are (and in the process end up sounding stupid).

Shouldst it not be ' Thou Fool' ? (5, Funny)

tehdaemon (753808) | more than 6 years ago | (#21188567)

Wot ye not that human speech doest alter from year to year, and generation to generation? Wherefore then art thou distraught over 'comprised'? Pray then, do not let thine fondness of the past nor desire to linger therein prove a thorn in the side of thine fellow man, nor an hindrance to his future.

T

Re:Shouldst it not be ' Thou Fool' ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21189265)

Someone mod this way the hell up.

Finally - an antisocial way to approach Ubuntu! (4, Funny)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 6 years ago | (#21187611)

The success of the Ubuntu project is due in no small part to the people who spend their time participating with other Ubuntu users. Reading the book not only gives a sense of what Ubuntu is about, but also shows how open and inviting these users are.


Finally - this book provides an antisocial way to approach Ubuntu.

just a thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21187731)

When you go to the trouble of buying a copy of the Ubuntu guide you might as well expect a customised ubuntu live cd complete with maybe a few text files and some sort of desktop guide for the more annoying things for grandma to figure out on her own explained in greater detail.

Ubuntu Books (2, Informative)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#21187965)

There are so many ubuntu books [amazon.com] available - it's really quite an indication of how popular this distro has become. Though the same measuring stick would show that fedora [amazon.com] has more material out there. It has been around longer though.
 
I work with Red Hat in my job, so I stick with Fedora but I'm seeing more folks around here running Ubuntu on their desktops.

Re:Ubuntu Books (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21189243)

I work with Red Hat in my job, so I stick with Fedora but I'm seeing more folks around here running Ubuntu on their desktops.

I work w/ Red Hat on my Job, so I stick w/ CentOS :)

Re:Ubuntu Books (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#21190781)

Yeah - I could go that route - or Oracle's version. But I think Fedora works very nicely as a desktop distro, and I get to play around with newer features that I would never have on my servers. So I have a similar architecture and tools, but on what feels to me, a more desktop friendly setup.

I dislike Ubuntu (1, Offtopic)

zukinux (1094199) | more than 6 years ago | (#21188173)

I know it sound weird, but I just can't handle Ubuntu, It's so user-friendly it's lame! I mean, why would I want an auto-mount for my cd-rom?!
If I wanted all that I would have used Windows at first place, I mean, If you're a user which came to Linux to look for alternative, Ubuntu is for you, but if you came to look for something better then Windows, the last thing on earth I would suggest is Ubuntu (I'd suggest Slackware, which is my favorite). That's why also I don't there's a need for Ubuntu handbook, I mean, it's all GUIish (jesus!).

I hope I will not get -1 flamebait cause that's what I really thing (plus, my karma now is terrible, and I'm doing my best to fix it, don't make me sad :(, that's really my opinion.).
Happy 10Th Slashdot birthday!

Re:I dislike Ubuntu (-1, Flamebait)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 6 years ago | (#21188527)

I almost granted your wish (to mod you flamebait...slashdot mod requests are often reversed), but want to just tell you you're a prick and a troll. Just because you can't get out of 1982 and work in a windowed operating system doesn't mean that you need to proclaim you backwardness to everyone. I like the command line too. I learned programming on the 6502 and, yes, I coded in machine directly. I've even compiled a slackware kernel a couple of years ago - it didn't work, but hey, the default kernel wouldn't boot on that old Dell either. It's a shame you couldn't add anything useful to the discussion, though you managed to drag me in to this useless post, too.

By the way - I have yet to come across a reason why I wouldn't want to mount a CD-ROM drive at boot. I'm sure there's a good reason out there. Okay, no, I'm not sure there's a _good_ reason, but somebody has probably found at least poor reason - other than sheer lazyness - to not mount CD drive on a machine. (and don't complain about small memory footprints...why would you have a CD-ROM drive connected _and_ not mount it?).

Re:I dislike Ubuntu (0)

compro01 (777531) | more than 6 years ago | (#21188617)

i like Slack as a learning tool (first linux distro i ever used), but i grew up using a GUI, and while i can use the command line pretty well, i still like GUI tools for most tasks, but the command line is still the easiest/most efficient way to do many things, and even a GUI app can be very complex . if you tell me that PCB program i learned to use last year doesn't need a manual, I'd say you need a psych exam and the same goes for any other reasonably complex GUI app. GUI does not automatically imply simplicity or easy-to-use-ness.

Re:I dislike Ubuntu (1)

notamisfit (995619) | more than 6 years ago | (#21188883)

If auto-mount isn't a desirable feature, then why did Pat go to so much trouble to get HAL working for Slack 12? Have to agree about Ubuntu, though. I graduated to FreeBSD some time ago, and never really looked back.

Re:I dislike Ubuntu (2, Insightful)

plasticsquirrel (637166) | more than 6 years ago | (#21189085)

If your biggest complaint about Ubuntu is that it mounts CD's for you, then you should really be complaining about every GUI-oriented distribution in the last 10+ years. Slackware is great for learning Linux (6-7 years on my desktop), but Ubuntu is unique in that it gets out of the way of the user. No Slackware /etc files to edit, and no SuSE big clunky icons and huge taskbars to get in your way. And if you think that people wanting a simple, eloquent operating system should go with Windows, then you're pretty out of touch with reality.

Re:I dislike Ubuntu -- You got me all wrong (0, Flamebait)

zukinux (1094199) | more than 6 years ago | (#21189325)

I didn't mean that friendliness is bad, but it's too much at Ubuntu.
I.e, Cd-rom auto mount isn't the best example, but let's say : why do I need to GUI'ly configure my ip?! that is 100% wrong! a Linux user which doesn't know how to use ifconfig shouldn't be using Linux (or atleast he should be able to know how to use the "man" ifconfig, in-order to know what to do)
Same for the following commands : useradd, su, cd, & [job], fg, bg, kill, killall, man, info, vi (or any other text editor - GUI is acceptable as-well here), ls, ln, tar, chmod, chown, grep, cat, mount, dmesg, more, less, head, tail, cp, rm, ps, pwd, lsmod, lspci, lsof, route, ifconfig, its own pkgtool/rpm/apt/..;
Yes, that's right, some of those commands are quite more then a newbie at his first day, but man, I expect someone who's coming to linux to atleast know how to use the man command, afterwards, all those are easy, and the upcoming will be challenged by the user.
A new Ubuntu user which comes to forums and ask questions like "what does -t do in ls command" without even looking for the manual, is what I fear from. An OS should be GUIish, but not to over react with it, a user should know how to disable things running from rc.d (or /etc/init.d), a user should know how to chmod -x stuff, to understand the "/" directory base, and what things belong where.
Most of the new users which are coming to Ubuntu doesn't know, and doesn't want to learn all the above stuff, and then they flood linux forums with silly questions without looking them up first. So what I'm saying is, if you want more control of your system, without looking for menus all the time, use something else but Ubuntu.

Re:I dislike Ubuntu (1)

oddfox (685475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21190255)

Don't get me wrong, I really like Slackware and used it as my primary distro until migrating to Gentoo, but your complaint being leveled at Ubuntu for being so user-friendly proves a few points. First it proves that Ubuntu is achieving, at least partially, its goal of creating a highly accessible distribution that works notably well for a wide range of users, from newcomers to experienced vets alike. The second thing it proves is that you are absolutely the wrong person to be asking for a distribution recommendation from. Most people interested in Ubuntu would rather die than go through the pain (Yes, the pain) of making Slackware work the way you want it to, up to and including keeping current with package or even distribution updates. Slapt-get and swaret come close to remedying this but until they're supported by Patrick himself I want to use them about as much as I want to use paludis instead of portage on Gentoo, which is to say I don't trust those programs to keep my system up-to-date and stable.

P.S. -- All your complaints about the "GUIish" nature of a distribution that goes the distance in providing a usable and appealing environment to get your work done in are the definition of petty. Someone could very easily make Ubuntu behave like your beloved no-hand-holding Slackware, and the reverse cannot be said. The auto-mounting is, AFAIK, default HAL behavior, and most users find it very helpful, unlike how it works in Windows-land where autorun can quickly cause software to not work correctly or annoy users to death. I just wish that less people would moan and groan about GUI tools making their way into distributions, with cries of "LAMENESSWIND0ZEIZATIONKILLITWITHTIRE!". If you don't like a system working with you instead of working against you, that's fine, but don't go and make it out to be like you couldn't make it work the way you want it to. Come on, someone who uses Slackware as their primary distro should be well aware that the sky is the limit with how customizable the whole system (Linux) is.

Good use of english (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21188301)

Ubuntu has come quickly from being the new kid on the block with the Warty Warthog release (4.10) to the most recent release Gutsy Gibbon (7.10). In that three year span....


WTF does this even mean? How is a three year span quick?

Re:Good use of english (3, Funny)

fbjon (692006) | more than 6 years ago | (#21189437)

Once upon a time, it took three years for a Debian release...

Re:Good use of english (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 6 years ago | (#21189461)

How is a three year span quick?
How many years have most operating systems and Linux distributions been around? For that matter, how many years does it usually take Microsoft to release a single new version of Windows?

Full text of book (3, Funny)

garbletext (669861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21188663)

The official Ubuntu Book, by Mark Shutleworth. Chapter One: RTFM! The End.

Re:Full text of book (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21190715)

The official Ubuntu Book, by Mark Shutleworth. Chapter One: RTFM! The End.

It is TFM !@#

I bought this book a few months ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21188941)

Partly because it seemed like the quickest way to get a Linux disc (crap 'net connection).

And I was disappointed.

I already have a pretty good idea what the Ubuntu community looks like. I know what Linux is, Slashdot is a better source for thoughts on free software, so those parts of the book were redundant. What I *wanted* to know was how to *use* the damn thing - not just to run Firefox, but properly.

Where's the command line reference? Where do I go to find a C compiler? How do I control the use of disc partitions? These, and others, are among the questions that this book leaves unanswered. Pretty basic stuff, I'd thought.

Trouble is, it's trying to treat me like a Windows user. That's not an entirely invalid assumption; but it's treating me as if I don't *want* to be anything but a Windows user. That's just silly.

community (3, Insightful)

rasputin465 (1032646) | more than 6 years ago | (#21189901)

...the community from which Ubuntu is derived.

And by "community" you mean "debian".

Kudos (2, Interesting)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 6 years ago | (#21190413)

Just wanted to say kudos to Mako for this book and his work for both Debian and Ubuntu. You're doing a fine job!
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