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A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux

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

Book Reviews 171

r3lody writes "Finding a single book that encompasses what you want to learn can be difficult. Most cover a few portions of a subject in depth and skim over (or omit) others. Other books will cover each topic at about the same level: high enough to give an impression of what can be done, but not with enough depth to do it without a lot of effort. In A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux, Mark G. Sobell has created a single volume that gives the reader enough information to effectively install, configure and run workstations and servers using Ubuntu Linux. He has come the closest I have seen to containing all of the necessary information without being too shallow. Granted, to include everything you would want to know about Ubuntu Linux would take several books of this size, but this particular one provides most users the best bang for the buck. A DVD with the Gutsy Gibbon release of Ubuntu in a directly bootable form is included with the book." Read below for the rest of Ray's review.With over two decades of experience related to Unix and Linux, Mark G. Sobell has authored almost two dozen books on the subject. I had previously read and reviewed his book A Practical Guide to Red Hat Linux: Fedora Core and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (Second Edition) and found it the highest quality book I had yet read on Linux. This, his latest book, bears many similarities to the other text, including its high quality. The overall structure is like that of a textbook, providing a summary and exercises at the end of each chapter, as well as copious cross-references.

A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux is broken up into five parts containing 27 chapters in all. After providing the now obligatory history of Linux and the GPL, Part I uses two chapters to provide an overview of, and step-by-step instructions for, installing Linux. The overview provides information about the process including how to try Linux with the Live DVD supplied, planning your hard disk layout, acquiring a newer version of Ubuntu, and the install process in general. The step-by-step chapter goes into great detail on each step of the process, using both the graphical and textual installation paths. It also throws in additional detail on how to configure the X server.

Now that you have Linux in a runnable form, Part II provides higher-level information that shows newer Linux users what they can do. Four chapters serve to introduce basic Linux to the user. Topics include how to update, install and remove program packages, how to use the command line (and some basic utilities such as cat, ls, more, less, etc.), how the filesystem is laid out, shell concepts such as pipes and job control, and where to find additional documentation.

Part III uses another four chapters to dive deeper into the Bourne Again Shell (BASH), the GUIs, and networking. First the X Window System is described, followed by the GNOME and KDE desktops. BASH is covered in two separate chapters, inexplicably separated by the chapter on networking. The first BASH chapter provides the reader with information on startup files, command history, redirection, etc. The other BASH chapter goes into depth regarding programming BASH scripts. The intervening networking chapter provides a basic understanding of network protocols and some utilities such as ping, traceroute, host and dig.

Up to this point, Mark has been showing the user how to use Ubuntu Linux with little modification. Starting with Part IV, he describes how to perform the more common configuration tasks. Using seven chapters and over 200 pages, Part IV provides a great deal of detail regarding system administration. Starting with some core concepts (running as root, sudo, startup scripts, wrappers, recovery mode, etc.), Mark then leads the reader into the nooks and crannies of the filesystem. The following chapter shows how to add and remove applications using apt, aptitude, dpkg, wget and BitTorrent. Printing using CUPS is given its own chapter next, as is the (at least to me) daunting task of rebuilding the system kernel. The last two chapters in Part IV cover the miscellaneous administration tasks of adding, changing, and deleting users and groups, backing up and restoring files, managing the various logs, and setting up your network connections (both wired and wireless).

The final section, Part V, uses nine chapters to go into depth on set up various servers and use their clients. OpenSSH, FTP, exim4 (for mail), NIS, NFS, Samba, DNS/BIND, the firewall (firestarter and iptables), and finally Apache. Each of the chapters provides Jumpstart sections to help you install and configure each server quickly, and enough detail to handle the more common configuration changes.

There are five appendices covering regular expressions, where to get help, general security considerations, the Free Software Definition, and a bullet list of major items added to the 2.4 kernel to form the 2.6 kernel. These are followed by a fairly comprehensive glossary and index.

Overall, A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux by Mark G. Sobell provides all of the information a beginner to intermediate user of Linux would need to be productive. The inclusion of the Live DVD of the Gutsy Gibbon release of Ubuntu makes it easy for the user to test-drive Linux without affecting his installed OS. I have no doubts that you will consider this book money well spent.

You can purchase A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux 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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A book? (1, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943356)

I thought the point of Ubuntu is that you don't need a book to use it. Everything should be easy to figure out, and if it's not there are forums.

Re:A book? (3, Funny)

Trigun (685027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943400)

The first chapter is about where the name comes from.

The next three are defending their choice.

Installation comes in at chapter 18.

The rest of the chapters are self fellating, or taking potshots at Gentoo.

Re:A book? (3, Informative)

Digi-John (692918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943430)

1. Insert disc and hit "Enter" until things stop happening
2. Clean drool from keyboard
3. Post on Ubuntu forums

Re:A book? (0, Troll)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944586)

4. Get laughed at for having an ATI video card.
5. Install Windows again since Ubuntu doesn't support ATI cards.

Re:A book? (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945006)

since Ubuntu doesn't support ATI cards.
You know, I'd heard that too, but since then, I've successfully installed and run Ubuntu Studio on several systems with ATI video.

Please understand that there are some of us that don't get too exercised over running proprietary video drivers. Maybe that makes us traitors to the "cause" but we just want to get our work done.

Re:A book? (3, Interesting)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945368)

I have a Radeon 9200. I'd run any Ubuntu driver that's available, but there aren't any. Obviously, if I'm willing to run a Windows driver, I'm willing to put up with a proprietary driver. I use my computer for work. I don't have any games installed on either my work or home machines.

The forum response was, "lol get a better video card". I'm done with buying video cards. That's the extent of the support I got. On /., I got the response ATI is a bunch of amateurs and it's all their fault.

I installed the proprietary drivers, the auto-loading GPL equivalent, etc. Nobody wanted to help or explain. I gave up.

The best part was how when you tested the settings, it would display as "fine" then when you'd apply the new settings, you would get a blank screen and you'd have to reboot.

Other than that, I liked Ubuntu. It detected a lot more than Win2k did, and the setup was really easy. Having said that, I'm done. Linux fails me every time I try it. (Just for the record, I've successfully set up servers using Linux before, and those have worked. I can use a command line just fine, thank you.)

Re:A book? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945012)

That's rather a shock considering the 64-bit Gutsy machine sitting
next to me is running an ATI Video card. This machine has been running
some version of Ubuntu since it was originally built.

        Please try again.

Re:A book? (1)

roggg (1184871) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945158)

1. Insert disc and hit "Enter" until things stop happening
2. Clean drool from keyboard
3. Post on Ubuntu forums
Out of curiosity, when will I be able to get Broadcom wireless working on my laptop by hitting "enter"? Wake me when we get there okay?

Re:A book? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22943540)

I thought the point of Ubuntu is that you don't need a book to use it. Everything should be easy to figure out, and if it's not there are forums.


I thought the point of Macs were that you didn't need a book to use them...


Basically, if it exists, there's going to be a book about it, no matter how easy it's supposed to be (I've seen books about how to use youtube)

Re:A book? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22944020)

I've seen books about how to use youtube
I bought that book. The only problem is I'm not sure how to cull the necessary information out of it. Geez, I wish someone could help me out. Hey, I know - maybe someone could post a video on YouTube.

Re:A book? (1)

JazzmanSA80 (1230658) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945236)

Maybe someone could write a book about it!

Re:A book? (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943614)

to "use" it, correct. typical tasks (defined as stuff that "typical users" tend to do ;)) are highly accessible and a manual shouldn't be needed.

however, to USE it, anything with a depth greater than that of a parking lot puddle needs a manual.

ubuntu is nice in the fact that you can largely start by dipping your toes in the shallow end and move out from there (or not) as one wishes. while at a point one may want to move to a "deeper" distro, you've gained the experience and general know-how needed to comfortably make that jump, rather than having to jump into unknown waters right away.

Re:A book? (2, Interesting)

wonnage (1206966) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943700)

Unfortunately, for any nontrivial problem the forums just send you in circles. Ubuntu is easy to use - if you don't do anything. As soon as you do something out of the ordinary, it's back to the commandline. For example, the version of gstreamer-ffmpeg in the repositories right now chokes on h264 files. Your average user has no idea why this happens, they just think, "oh, ubuntu is slower than windows". In reality, you can go download the newest release and compile from source, but it's not just a simple ./configure && make && make install either. That said, it's not unusual for a book to exist. There's books for OSX and Windows too. Books save you the trouble of having to wade through the low signal-to-noise ratio that is ubuntuforums.

Fight ./configure && make && make (4, Insightful)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944768)

End users should ever EVER do ./configure && make && make install. We really need to fight that mentality, its unacceptable. There should be packages, RPM or DEB or both, of EVERYTHING, and if a bug is discovered; there needs to be a new packages ASAP. ./configure && make && make install of end users really needs to stop. For good.

Now, ./configure && make && make install for developers as a stage in developers should be mandatory. And a baseline SPEC for the production of package for any given application or library. We are in the fight for our future people, and Microsoft is going at us like a sack of doorknobs, End users should NOT be doing ./configure && make && make install.

Re:Fight ./configure && make && ma (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945182)

Thank you for saying this. I've been using computers since DOS 3.3 so I'm comfortable with the command line, but other than a short tryst with Slackware in the early 1990s I haven't really gotten into Linux. I'm sure that once you've done /configure make and install enough times it is fairly intuitive. However coming from a world where all that was required to get a program to install was to run the associated .com or .exe file, it seems pretty cryptic and clunky to have to feed source into gcc and wait for the system to compile your program for you. And if it fails to compile... oh boy... I don't have the patience for that crap anymore. I'll go back to what works and wait another year to see if the "Year of the Linux desktop" has finally arrived or not. ;)

Re:Fight ./configure && make && ma (1)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945298)

I would never ever advocate the concept of running a program from an application vendor to install a program. That gave us our adware industry. DOS and Windows's methods are bad too.

Re:Fight ./configure && make && ma (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945504)

I guess we all pick our poisons. I've never had a box compromised in fifteen plus years and I've been running vendor supplied installation programs all along. Sometimes I think Linux users like going through the make/install process simply because it lets them feel involved with what is going on.

Re:A book? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945052)

Why compile from source?

Just run a non-gstreamer movie player.

The only reason I even know about this problem is the fact that you
are whining about it on Slashdot and I have been running Ubuntu
since 6.06.

This isn't Windows where if the "one true app" has a problem
you're screwed.

Try a solution that's not unecessarily complicated.

Re:A book? (1)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943762)

The book business is very, very lucrative, and don't even get started on school books. Find a weird subject on wikipedia (use the "random" feature), then look it up on Amazon. Chances are there's a book about it, regardless of how irrelevant, simple, or plain stupid the subject is.

Like the other fellow wrote, I've seen books about MySpace, orkut, and Roulette strategy (whatever that is).

Re:A book? (5, Funny)

Trigun (685027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943948)

The book business is very, very lucrative, and don't even get started on school books. Find a weird subject on wikipedia (use the "random" feature), then look it up on Amazon. Chances are there's a book about it, regardless of how irrelevant, simple, or plain stupid the subject is.

I just got a new hobby.

Lateral Consonant: [wikipedia.org] Check [amazon.com]
1672 Gezelle: [wikipedia.org] Check [amazon.com]
Palala River: [wikipedia.org] Check [amazon.com]

Re:A book? (1)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944052)

Ah, but the point of any new technology product is to allow "experts" to publish books about it. Most people believe that the technical publishing industry was created in order to provide support for new technologies, but in fact new technology is created in order to provide more topics on which to write books.

It's a little-known fact that the earliest versions of Unix actually included an incredibly intuitive interface that actually made it possible for 90 year old grandmothers to go from novice to kernel hacker in less than 5 minutes. However, a (very) young Tim O'Reilly convinced Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie to re-develop it, scrapping the previous interface in favor of a command line that was so cryptic that he could actually make millions of dollars just by publishing books about how to use it.

Re:A book? (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945226)

I think you're trying to be funny? I know it can seem like you say it is at times. The technical publishing industry is there so that people don't have to bug their friends or go "learn it" themselves. For every person out there who can "just do it" because it's "so simple", there are ten or hundred who don't really have any clue how to get the job done.

Re:A book? (1)

pugugly (152978) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944156)

To *use* it sure.

My *mom* is using Ubuntu, and doing pretty well at it, thanks for your concern.

On the other hand, to be able to use it to it's full potential - that's different - a good guide gives you answers to questions you didn't think to ask. My mom in perfectly capable of doing lots of things, once she has a concept that, well, oh . . . you can *do* that. Doesn't mean she'll think to ask me that, or remember to ask me that next time she see's me.

For that - yeah, I'm looking for a good book.

Pug

Re:A book? (1)

MrNougat (927651) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944214)

I would love to have a desk reference, and not have to parse through forum searches that don't turn up the result I'm looking for, or are smattered with smug disregard for people who ask questions, or which are heavily laden with questioners who can barely compose a sentence.

Of course, this book should be available as a PDF for free.

Re:A book? (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944350)

I have never understood why the organizations that release operating systems don't buy the license to a couple of good books such as these and release them free online for everyone. I would think it would get you more market share than advertising budgets.

Re:A book? (1)

spxero (782496) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945086)

Got any links to back that up?

I have had nothing but help from the folks on the IRC channels, and although I have yet to post in a forum, the tone of the messages have overwhelmingly been positive. However, my experience is limited to Ubuntu and Debian, so I cannot comment on other distributions.

If you're looking for help with Ubuntu, ubuntuguide.org is always a good reference. That, or the IRC channels if you want to speak to someone hands on. Last time I had trouble I went on there and got my LVM fixed within twenty minutes. It probably would have been faster, but the person on the other end was helping three other people at the same time, so the wait was understandable.

I agree that the OS should come with a certain set of instructions, but for the most part, a Google search will turn up any forum reference to the problem, especially if you put part of the error code in the search string.

Re:A book? (1)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944238)

A DVD with the Gutsy Gibbon release of Ubuntu in a directly bootable form is included with the book.
Wow, absolutely free! And let me guess, the user is greeted by a friendly looking free steak-knives wallpaper on logging in?

Re:A book? (1)

pyrr (1170465) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944364)

A good point, I also thought the point of Windows and Mac OS X was that they're easy and intuitive. Yet there are shelves of books on each of them.

While I do have a technical background and found all the answers I needed either intuitively or on the forums, there are those folks who just want a book for the shelf. Books are a security blanket, the reasonably comprehensive reference that will be there for you to look at even if the computer stops booting. Many people aren't used to having accessible and official up-to-date online documentation to refer to and a forum to ask questions on if that fails. That new way of getting help is part of the k/ubuntu experience.

Re:A book? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22944458)

As a linux newbie, I purchased the book and have found it useful. While most of the info is definitely online or on the forums, it beats searching through the forums with (sometimes) erroneous info. It also serves as an introduction to some OS applications that the new user may or may not be familiar with, and would find useful (samba, thunderbird, amanda, WINE, etc)

Re:A book? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944974)

I thought the point of Ubuntu is that you don't need a book to use it.
That's silly. There are few things in the technical world that a good book can't make better.

Tell you what, go to Amazon or Google Books and search for "OS X". There are thousands of books about an operating system that is universally hailed for its user-friendliness.

Hatta, I'm sure you're a nice guy and all, but you gotta think these things through before you blurt them out.

Re:A book? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22945586)

meh. linux is for communists. Hitler used linux.

Don't underestimate the value of a plain unix book (5, Informative)

uigrad_2000 (398500) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943404)

Often, someone who is new to linux looks for all the books they can find with "linux" in the name.

Generally, if you are new to unix in general, you should get a good unix reference. I'd suggest Unix Power Tools by O'Reilly.

If you are an experienced unix user, and want to learn the specifics of Ubuntu linux, then this book seems very useful. It has both the gory details of the inner workings, and a guide to some of the application candy you may install for home use.

Re:Don't underestimate the value of a plain unix b (3, Funny)

N1ck0 (803359) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943664)

I'm just waiting for Prentice Hall to publish 'A Practical Guide To Practical Guides'.

I wonder if they give their writers a Practical Guide To Writing Practical Guides

Re:Don't underestimate the value of a plain unix b (1)

N1ck0 (803359) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943710)

Of course here is a book many people would find much more [monkeybagel.com] useful.

Re:Don't underestimate the value of a plain unix b (2, Funny)

sootman (158191) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944146)

I'm hoping for The Complete Idiot's Missing Manual to Teach Yourself Practical Guides in 24 Hours Unleashed.

Re:Don't underestimate the value of a plain unix b (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944532)

I got mine used from an Amazon reseller on an eBay link on Google Shopping.

Okay, I lied. I snarfed it using Limewire (which I got using Kazaa).

Re:Don't underestimate the value of a plain unix b (1)

cencithomas (721581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944538)

"I'm hoping for The Complete Idiot's Missing Manual to Teach Yourself Practical Guides in 24 Hours Unleashed..."


...For Dummies. ;)

Re:Don't underestimate the value of a plain unix b (1)

fluffman86 (1006119) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944806)

I'm hoping for The Complete Idiot's Missing Manual to Teach Yourself Practical Guides in 24 Hours Unleashed for Dummies
Fixed that for you. ;-)

Shell coverage in the Sobell book (2, Insightful)

dmarti (6587) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943780)

This new book has a pretty solid intro to shell scripting, enough to get you started, along with some other basics such as Apache configuration and something that's vital for new users who actually want to use their Linux box on real projects: ssh. (Here's another review [linuxworld.com] of the same title, which I wrote.)

Re:Don't underestimate the value of a plain unix b (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944092)

Agreed. Or, I'd love to see a book like this with things divided into big chunks, clearly separated--maybe with a different background color or something: "This is UNIX stuff that has been around for five/ten/thirty years and will work on any distro (or OS X or Solaris)" and "This is stuff that's particular to Ubuntu."

In any case, I love how permanent this stuff is. It's not quite a general UNIX book, but I still find myself turning to my decade-old horsey book [google.com] from time to time.

Sobell's Unix books (1)

lamona (743288) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944280)

Sobell did a great book on Unix [amazon.com] that went through a few editions and that I still keep on my shelf although it is a bit outdated. I'm looking forward to the Ubuntu one.

Re:Don't underestimate the value of a plain unix b (1)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944406)

When I was looking to learn more about how to use linux a little while after I'd started doing so I asked on the Fedora forum what they would recommend and someone sent me a link to a really great online book which contained so much information of such high quality that I felt like I really learned loads. It's also really easy going for complete n00bs, but I suspect that if I went back I'd still learn new things and have new interesting stuff to look at... you can check it out at http://rute.2038bug.com/index.html.gz [2038bug.com]

If you want a good unix/linux book I honestly don't think there is a better place to start (although some of the information seemed a little out of date (like modems being based on sound waves and hard drives being measured in MBs...) UNIX is UNIX, even if we now have slightly shiny-er linux wrappers)

Re:Don't underestimate the value of a plain unix b (1)

ffflala (793437) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944618)

Generally, if you are new to unix in general, you should get a good unix reference.

Great suggestion. While Unix Power Tools is a fantastic reference book, something much narrower in scope (and much shorter) like Sams Teach Yourself UNIX in 10 Minutes can be a great help for those absolutely new to the command line.

Ubuntu (3, Interesting)

flynt (248848) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943432)

Every few years, I take a stab at installing whatever 'user friendly' distro of Linux exists at the time. I actually just installed Ubuntu 7.10 on a laptop of mine two nights ago. Overall, the experience is much improved. Actually, drastically improved over my last attempt several years ago. My wireless card just worked, which used to be the main hassle (I know why.).

The only problem I now have is with dual monitor support. It seems like a hodge-podge of ideas, nowhere very clearly defined. I don't know if I need Xinemara, TwinView, or both? I've tried countless combinations of "vsync to blank" (3 different locations), setting the vertical refresh rate (3 different values depending on where I look), none of which are 60 hz. There are many lockups while trying to change these settings through the nvidia driver settings.

I realize none of this is Ubuntu's fault, per se. Still, my multiple monitors works flawlessly in Windows without any fuss. It just seems obvious what to do there for me.

So while there have been great strides, I am excited to see the continual improvement in areas like these.

I did keep Ubuntu on the laptop and plan on using it, just with only one monitor for now.

Re:Ubuntu (1)

brunascle (994197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943510)

if you have an nvidia card (and are willing to use the closed source driver), you can use the nvidia-settings program. it's great for managing resolution and multiple monitors.

Re:Ubuntu (1)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943574)

ATi has a similar thing in the upcoming Ubuntu 8.04.

Re:Ubuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22943626)

Thanks, and Y=yes, that's what I was trying. Unfortunately, I did not find it 'great'. It consistently freezes the whole OS when I click the "apply" button to set my dual monitor settings. (Although it is nice for everything else).

Also, my main problem is that the 24" LCD screen I have hooked up to the laptop shows slight tearing of the windows when using compiz.

You can actually see a vertical line slowly making its way down the screen. I just now use Function+F8 to redirect output to my big screen, and that works fine.

Re:Ubuntu (2, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943586)

Linux Distros Still need a lot of polishing up. Open Source Software really needs a Good QA Department or group to check the software and enough authority to tell the developers this stinks do it again. The overall problem with Linux Distros is not Lack of good Ideas or Bad Coding. Just not a Good connection between the both and giving a good Big Picture Application. Person A is so focused on Making te CD Buring Software he has no care what Person B is doing for the File System Browser, which doesn't care what Person C is doing for the Windows Manager... While Person D and E are fighing over who has the best Screen Pager.... It is not that any one component is nessarly bad. But the fact that they don't work together well or feel right together that the sum of designs are lacking.

Re:Ubuntu (1)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943682)

Seems you haven't used a recent distro, really. In, for example, Ubuntu, the CD Burning Software, File System Browser, and Windows Manager certainly work more consistently together than on your average Windows desktop with its hodge-podge of UI styles. The OEM versions of Roxio and Nero, for example, certainly are no pinnacles of UI design and integration.

Re:Ubuntu (1)

flowsnake (1051494) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943760)

With open source, everyone has the authority to tell developers that their work "stinks" (though a more careful choice of words would be a good idea and be more productive!). The community is the QA department. If something sucks then it will sooner or later be fixed or replaced.

If something is broken, file a bug report. Mail the developers. Submit a patch. Talk about the problem on forums. Many options exist! If you really feel strongly enough about something and can't fix it yourself, hire someone to fix it for you and submit the patches back to the community.

Re:Ubuntu (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945106)

If you don't like something, complain to the relevant developer.

He might actually listen.

Re:Ubuntu (2, Interesting)

mrraven (129238) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943612)

I had the opposite experience my Dell D400 with crappy intel graphics will drive a 20 inch widescreen LCD under Ubuntu and not under XP. Too bad I can't run my crucial Adobe apps under Linux. And no Wine isn't the answer it really slows down productivity for me for example to not have a save dialog with clean access to the whole file system, not to mention instability of Adobe apps under wine.
I know it's not the fault of Linux developers that Adobe hasn't ported it's apps and that Microsoft has a closed API, but it still hurts and makes Ubuntu pretty much crippled for real work doing web design. As a web browsing and development OS it's excellent.

Re:Ubuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22943784)

You need Adobe applications for "real web design"? Seriously?

Re:Ubuntu (1)

Slashdot Suxxors (1207082) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944318)

All real web devs use Dreamweaver. Everyone knows that.

Re:Ubuntu (1)

mrraven (129238) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944822)

Yep Dreamweaver. Yes I know that doesn't make me a hard core coder, I am a visual person, you know the sort of art nerd that hangs out at http://colorblender.com/ [colorblender.com]

And yes we do have a purpose and that is making readable easy to navigate web sites something hard core coding skills does not guarantee.

Re:Ubuntu (3, Informative)

dvice_null (981029) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943628)

You won't always get help as some problems are just too difficult to solve from remote location, but in most cases you get help and save yourself several hours of work if you just ask. So I strongly suggest you to ask help (if you already have not) as solving your problem in here is much harder than it is in a forum dedicated to solve your problems with Ubuntu:

http://ubuntuforums.org/forumdisplay.php?f=132 [ubuntuforums.org]

Re:Ubuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22943708)

Every few years, I take a stab at installing whatever 'user friendly' distro of Linux exists at the time. I actually just installed Ubuntu 7.10 on a laptop of mine two nights ago. Overall, the experience is much improved.
Ubuntu. All the power of Debian. All the gay of a mac.

Re:Ubuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22943888)

Perhaps you were thinking of gaybuntu?

No, actually, you weren't thinking at all.

Re:Ubuntu (1)

stuporglue (1167677) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943834)

The only problem I now have is with dual monitor support. It seems like a hodge-podge of ideas, nowhere very clearly defined. I don't know if I need Xinemara, TwinView, or both? I've tried countless combinations of "vsync to blank" (3 different locations), setting the vertical refresh rate (3 different values depending on where I look), none of which are 60 hz. There are many lockups while trying to change these settings through the nvidia driver settings.

I realize none of this is Ubuntu's fault, per se. Still, my multiple monitors works flawlessly in Windows without any fuss. It just seems obvious what to do there for me.

If you happen to have an Nvidia card, get it working with the proprietary Nvidia driver on one screen first, then it's the same as Windows to get the second one set up.


The command you want is nvidia-settings, and you need to run it as admin (ie. with sudo)


For non Nvidia cards, I don't know that there's an easy setup tool.

Re:Ubuntu (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945458)

xrandr. Use version 1.2 or later, and you can have multiple monitors switching pretty easily. I have a T61 with an X3100 in it... it's not fast, but it's certainly no slouch. I have Fn+F7 set up to cycle between Laptop Only, Presentation (1024x768 on both outputs) and multi-monitor, which is the automatic resolution of all connected displays (1440x900 on the laptop, and 1024x768 on my currently connected CRT). The only change I had to make was to put "Virtual 2720 1024" into my xorg.conf file so that the virtual size of the displays was large enough to accommodate all the various options.

Check here [thinkwiki.org] for some basic info. There was another place on the 'net that had a more detailed script [thinkwiki.org] you could set for the ACPI event, which I used as a base for mine (I did little things like making an xdialog pop up saying what mode the laptop switched into and so on).

Re:Ubuntu (1)

jamincollins (599712) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943844)

As a few others have indicated, how multi-monitor setups are configured largely depends on which video card you have. This isn't to say that there isn't a standard way to configure multiple displays in Xorg. However, when either an ATI or Nvidia card is used, their binary drivers tend to provide better support for the card and additional options with regard to multiple displays.

If you let us know which card you have, I'm sure that someone here can assist you with configuring it.

Re:Ubuntu (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944016)

The real trick is when you have 2 different cards from different vendors. I'm not sure you can do that without hacking your xorg.conf still.

Re:Ubuntu (1)

knewter (62953) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944222)

Yeah, in 8.04 dual monitor support for the most part Just Works. Me, I tended to (pre-8.4) do a ctrl+alt+backspace after plugging in a CRT. In more recent ATI/nvidia drivers, it's also just on-the-fly switching via a GUI these days.

Re:Ubuntu (1)

theaceoffire (1053556) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944824)

"Still, my multiple monitors works flawlessly in Windows"

You mean, work flawlessly after you installed your video card driver and monitor driver.
Drivers that may or may not support linux.

Don't worry though, Ubuntu 8.04 will have "Bulletproof X" which will make things loads easier I believe. Better support for multiple monitors and video cards too I believe.

Driver problems (1)

Mr EdgEy (983285) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945122)

This is mainly because the video driver manuf's couldn't give two shits about user friendliness on Linux.

But yeah, Ubuntu has made great strides. The installer is arguably more user friendly than Windows - and once you're up and running it's essentially the same with less bugs :)

Problems with Linux now, and for a few years now, have been with "obscure" hardware (dual monitor support is hardly joe sixpack, though it should be more user friendly). Which is a massive problem that won't be fixed until manufacturers decide Linux is worth coding for. With Vista looking the way it is, perhaps soon that will happen. Wouldn't count on it just yet though.

Re:Ubuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22945250)

"Still, my multiple monitors works flawlessly in Windows without any fuss..."

Hardly. Try having Window XP on a laptop with a docking station connected with two monitors. It is HELL! Every time I remove it from the docking station and reconnect, I spend 10 minutes reconfiguring the resolution of the monitors and who is #1 and #2. It is a POS.

Why Gutsy? (3, Insightful)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943508)

Considering that Hardy will be coming out in a few weeks, and will be supported for 3-5 years as opposed to 18 months, wouldn't it have been a smarter idea to write a book on 8.04 Hardy Heron instead?

Re:Why Gutsy? (1)

Fri13 (963421) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943624)

Isn't it bretty much same what distribution is used when same book can be used with small changed for other's too. At least, i dont find any reason that Ubuntu tutorials wont work on Mandriva or Fedora, unless there is lots of apt command copy-paste like Ubuntu needs when comparing it to Mandriva what is more click click.

Re:Why Gutsy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22943636)

The book is about Ubuntu in general, not 7.10 in particular. Most of the content will remain valid when 8.04 is released, and will remain valid when later editions are released.

It's a 1200-page book and I suspect it took a fair while to write it. With Ubuntu's 6-month release cycle there will inevitably be a new version along soon no matter which version is targetted by a given book. At some point the book just has to be shipped, as the 'perfect time' simply never arrives.

Re:Why Gutsy? (1)

the4thdimension (1151939) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943656)

I imagine the subtle differences will be transparent to a new user. Much will be the same in Hardy as it was in Gutsy. Perhaps it would have made more sense to wait for Hardy in the interest of the long run, but when you want to sell things, time could be of the essence.

Re:Why Gutsy? (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944076)

If I wanted to sell something that related to another product, I'd consider the planned obsolescence of that product before timeliness.

Think of it economically:
Window of profitability of book on normal release: 18 months
Window of profitability of book on LTS release: at least 3 years

Considering the time and expense involved in writing and publishing a book, it makes far more sense to make the "profitability window" as large as possible rather than trying to get the product on the shelves as soon as you can.

Re:Why Gutsy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22944298)

True, but aren't the users of LTS releases unlikely to be the casual users who require this type of book?

Re:Why Gutsy? (1)

the4thdimension (1151939) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944322)

This is based on the assumption your readers will know(or care)about the difference. If you write a book about basic Windows functionality and you write it for Windows 2000, chances are someone with Windows XP may get your book and the difference will be relatively transparent. Related, if we sell a book and call it "Basics to Using Ubuntu Linux" then its likely any newbie with any version will buy it and get plenty of value. If we sell a book called "Basics to Using Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon Linux", not only is it less likely that people will buy it because the name is long, but because they will be relatively unsure of the version they even have.

Re:Why Gutsy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22943698)

He most likely started work on the book right when Gutsy came out and had a publishing deadline to meet to get paid. I'm sure we will see a lot of Hardy books coming out with in a few weeks or at release since it will be a LTS release.

Re:Why Gutsy? (1)

brouski (827510) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943702)

Considering that Hardy will be coming out in a few weeks, and will be supported for 3-5 years as opposed to 18 months, wouldn't it have been a smarter idea to write a book on 8.04 Hardy Heron instead?

And this is why Linux and dead trees seldom mix.

Re:Why Gutsy? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945152)

There are Unix books that predate Linux entirely that are
still relevant and useful when it comes to Linux.

Re:Why Gutsy? (2, Informative)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943714)

# Paperback: 1200 pages # Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR; 1 Pap/Cdr edition (December 28, 2007)

From http://www.amazon.com/Practical-Guide-Ubuntu-Linux-R/dp/013236039X [amazon.com] considering that Ubuntu 7.10 hasn't been out until October of 2007 and when this was published in December it was only out for 2-3 months, that's still 3 months till Hardy stable comes out. This is just a late review of it.

Re:Why Gutsy? (1)

lamona (743288) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944354)

Or update the book for Hardy and sell more copies? Or put an addendum relating to Hardy online? Basically, in software, everything is always changing; even the books are in beta release.

Re:Why Gutsy? (1)

ffflala (793437) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944694)

Probably.

But assuming that the differences between Gutsy and Hardy (at least in the issues addressed by this kind of guide) won't be that great, modifying this for a 2nd edition to cover Hardy will be less effort.

YOU SHUT UP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22943546)

THE LOOT OF BOMBASHARNA

by Lord Dunsany

Things had grown too hot for Shard, captain of pirates, on all the seas that he knew. The ports of Spain were closed to him; they knew him in San Domingo; men winked in Syracuse when he went by; the two Kings of the Sicilies never smiled within an hour of speaking of him; there were huge rewards for his head in every capital city, with pictures of it for identification--and all the pictures were unflattering. Therefore Captain Shard decided that the time had come to tell his men the secret.

Riding off Teneriffe one night, he called them all together. He generously admitted that there were things in the past that might require explanation: the crowns that the Princes of Aragon had sent to their nephews the Kings of the two Americas had certainly never reached their Most Sacred Majesties. Where, men might ask, were the eyes of Captain Stobbud? Who had been burning towns on the Patagonian seaboard? Why should such a ship as theirs choose pearls for cargo? Why so much blood on the decks and so many guns? And where was the Nancy, the Lark, or the Margaret Belle? Such questions as these, he urged, might be asked by the inquisitive, and if counsel for the defence should happen to be a fool, and unacquainted with the ways of the sea, they might become involved in troublesome legal formulae. And Bloody Bill, as they rudely called Mr. Gagg, a member of the crew, looked up at the sky, and said that it was a windy night and looked like hanging. And some of those present thoughtfully stroked their necks while Captain Shard unfolded to them his plan. He said the time was come to quit the Desperate Lark, for she was too well known to the navies of four kingdoms, and a fifth was getting to know her, and others had suspicions. (More cutters than even Captain Shard suspected were already looking for her jolly black flag with its neat skull-and-crossbones in yellow.) There was a little archipelago that he knew of on the wrong side of the Sargasso Sea; there were but thirty islands there, bare, ordinary islands, but one of them floated. He had noticed it years ago, and had gone ashore and never told a soul, but had quietly anchored it with the anchor of his ship to the bottom of the sea, which just there was profoundly deep, and had made the thing the secret of his life, determining to marry and settle down there if it ever became impossible to earn his livelihood in the usual way at sea. When first he saw it it was drifting slowly, with the wind in the tops of the trees; but if the cable had not rusted away, it should be still where he left it, and they would make a rudder and hollow out cabins below, and at night they would hoist sails to the trunks of the trees and sail wherever they liked.

And all the pirates cheered, for they wanted to set their feet on land again somewhere where the hangman would not come and jerk them off it at once; and bold men though they were, it was a strain seeing so many lights coming their way at night. Even then ... ! But it swerved away again and was lost in the mist.

And Captain Shard said that they would need to get provisions first, and he, for one, intended to marry before he settled down; and so they should have one more fight before they left the ship, and sack the sea-coast city of Bombasharna and take from it provisions for several years, while he himself would marry the Queen of the South. And again the pirates cheered, for often they had seen seacoast Bombasharna, and had always envied its opulence from the sea.

So they set all sail, and often altered their course, and dodged and fled from strange lights till dawn appeared, and all day long fled southwards. And by evening they saw the silver spires of slender Bombasharna, a city that was the glory of the coast. And in the midst of it, far away though they were, they saw the palace of the Queen of the South; and it was so full of windows all looking toward the sea, and they were so full of light, both from the sunset that was fading upon the water and from candles that maids were lighting one by one, that it looked far off like a pearl, shimmering still in its haliotis shell, still wet from the sea.

So Captain Shard and his pirates saw it, at evening over the water, and thought of rumours that said that Bombasharna was the loveliest city of the coasts of the world, and that its palace was lovelier even than Bombasharna; but for the Queen of the South rumour had no comparison. Then night came down and hid the silver spires, and Shard slipped on through the gathering darkness until by midnight the piratic ship lay under the seaward battlements.

And at the hour when sick men mostly die, and sentries on lonely ramparts stand to arms, exactly half-an-hour before dawn, Shard, with two rowing boats and half his crew, with craftily muffled oars, landed below the battlements. They were through the gateway of the palace itself before the alarm was sounded, and as soon as they heard the alarm Shard's gunners at sea opened upon the town, and before the sleepy soldiery of Bombasharna knew whether the danger was from the land or the sea, Shard had successfully captured the Queen of the South. They would have looted all day that silver sea-coast city, but there appeared with dawn suspicious topsails just along the horizon. Therefore the captain with his Queen went down to the shore at once and hastily re-embarked and sailed away with what loot they had hurridly got, and with fewer men, for they had to fight a good deal to get back to the boat. They cursed all day the interference of those ominous ships which steadily grew nearer. There were six ships at first, and that night they slipped away from all but two; but all the next day those two were still in sight, and each of them had more guns than the Desperate Lark. All the next night Shard dodged about the sea, but the two ships separated and one kept him in sight, and the next morning it was alone with Shard on the sea, and his archipelago was just in sight, the secret of his life.

And Shard saw he must fight, and a bad fight it was, and yet it suited Shard's purpose, for he had more merry men when the fight began than he needed for his island. And they got it over before any other ship came up; and Shard put all adverse evidence out of the way, and came that night to the islands near the Sargasso Sea.

Long before it was light the survivors of the crew were peering at the sea, and when dawn came there was the island, no bigger than two ships, straining hard at its anchor, with the wind in the tops of the trees.

And then they landed and dug cabins below and raised the anchor out of the deep sea, and soon they made the island what they called shipshape. But the Desperate Lark they sent away empty under full sail to sea, where more nations than Shard suspected were watching for her, and where she was presently captured by an admiral of Spain, who, when he found none of that infamous crew on board to hang by the neck from the yard-arm, grew ill through disappointment.

And Shard on his island offered the Queen of the South the choicest of the old wines of Provence, and for adornment gave her Indian jewels looted from galleons with treasure for Madrid, and spread a table where she dined in the sun, while in some cabin below he bade the least coarse of his mariners sing; yet always she was morose and moody towards him, and often at evening he was heard to say that he wished he knew more about the ways of Queens. So they lived for years, the pirates mostly gambling and drinking below, Captain Shard trying to please the Queen of the South, and she never wholly forgetting Bombasharna. When they needed new provisions they hoisted sails on the trees, and as long as no ship came in sight they scudded before the wind, with the water rippling over the beach of the island; but as soon as they sighted a ship the sails came down, and they became an ordinary uncharted rock.

They mostly moved by night; sometimes they hovered off sea-coast towns as of old, sometimes they boldly entered river-mouths, and even attached themselves for a while to the mainland, whence they would plunder the neighbourhood and escape again to sea. And if a ship was wrecked on their island of a night they said it was all to the good. They grew very crafty in seamanship, and cunning in what they did, for they knew that any news of the Desperate Lark's old crew would bring hangmen from the interior running down to every port.

And no one is known to have found them out or to have annexed their island; but a rumour arose and passed from port to port and every place where sailors meet together, and even survives to this day, of a dangerous uncharted rock anywhere between Plymouth and the Horn, which would suddenly rise in the safest track of ships, and upon which vessels were supposed to have been wrecked, leaving, strangely enough, no evidence of their doom. There was a little speculation about it at first, till it was silenced by the chance remark of a man old with wandering: "It is one of the mysteries that haunt the sea."

And almost Captain Shard and the Queen of the South lived happily ever after, though still at evening those on watch in the trees would see their captain sit with a puzzled air or hear him mutter now and again in a discontented way: "I wish I knew more about the ways of Queens."

Re:YOU SHUT UP (1)

Missing_dc (1074809) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944070)

Interesting, WAY off topic, but not a bad read for a short story.

I am surprised (0, Redundant)

LM741N (258038) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943800)

I thought the whole idea of Linux distros like Ubuntu was that you didn't have to have a book or hundreds of pages of manuals in order to use it. Am I missing something?

Re:I am surprised (1)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943846)

I don't think the purpose of the book was for just a newbie to learn how do everything via the GUI because that is easy. But, if you really want to learn how Ubuntu works I think this book is more geared towards that audience.

Re:I am surprised (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944246)

IME, you can find the answer to just about any question you have with google, forums and man pages.

However, sometimes it is nice to have a reference manual on your bookshelf. When I first installed Linux, I used the "Slackware Linux Essentials" book to help with the install, then pored over another book (I forget the title now) that gave an overview of various services common to Linux distros (Apache, Sendmail, Bind, Samba, etc.) to start my education. *THEN* I started hanging out on forums to fill in all the gaps the books left in my knowledge. You can avoid a lot of flame-the-n00b replies by researching first and asking second ;)

gnath (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22943816)

yhf9ew89 99 9 9 yu yfy yu uy 0 0 0 hfdyu hhyYHIIH 7fy7e77w ak k k sj f jdshk k '; ' ' ' fey us u ihu UH HUH HO feuhfhhhhhh fhsofhaho fhop woppopopopo fyyhhyh

Re:gnath (3, Funny)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944198)

yhf9ew89 99 9 9 yu yfy yu uy 0 0 0 hfdyu hhyYHIIH 7fy7e77w ak k k sj f jdshk k '; ' ' ' fey us u ihu UH HUH HO feuhfhhhhhh fhsofhaho fhop woppopopopo fyyhhyh
Yes, emacs and vi are both available in the Ubuntu repositories.

Re:gnath (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22944630)

nunnuunnununununufduerueuu uirfewq uiuiunununuunununu 5r3saea unuuununnunununu 9880080808dfs avllhjLHJlhJHLLH poooooor

Re:gnath (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945502)

I don't know why this isn't modded up higher. It made me laugh :)

a tale of two extremes (1)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | more than 6 years ago | (#22943838)

A big problem with many books (this does NOT appear to be one of them) is that the information is either way too advanced, or way too simple. You go from a chapter explaining how to move the mouse pointer around the screen directly to a chapter on how to machine code something. Just like modern user interfaces. They're designed for complete and utter idiots, where everything is "smart" and "automatic" yet doesn't do what you want, and then you click on the "Advanced" button to get some control and you get a window that asks you to enter the machine code instructions to accomplish what you want. As with anything computer related, it's either for complete idiots or for expert programmers.

Oddly enough, this info is hard to find (4, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944068)

Most howtos focus on basic installation of the OS and getting around the GUI. No basic administration, no information about installing new apps, no map of the file system so you know where your programs store shit. It's as bad as Microsoft, except that I happen to have lived with MS OSes since '85 and have mostly followed where the keep hiding the useful stuff (i.e. I know it's there, I just have to find the new widget they've hidden it under).

I installed Ubuntu for my daughter, and it worked well. Then I tried to figure out how to install a wireless driver. I gave up and bought a different wireless card that was supported out of the box - it was far easier and cheaper than the hours spent on line. Then I tried to install an application. I was stuck. You either had GUI howtos or you were into forums with power users.

Of course I had to bail on the install - a program I got from school (which she really likes) is windows only. There's no way I'm going to fight with wine on a full-screen DX app that barely plays nice on native software.

If this book really does tell me where everything is stored, and how it runs, and can take me from newbie (old-school CLI apple/ibm/ms) linux to power user that can troubleshoot the OS, I'm in.

Re:Oddly enough, this info is hard to find (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22945084)

You either had GUI howtos or you were into forums with power users.

Mod parent up.

Linux/open source has come a long way from when I first started playing around with it in the '90s. Back then most of the help you ran across was of the "read the source, n00b" variety. "User friendly" distros like Mandrake (back in the day) or Ubuntu did a lot of good extending Linux to the non-elite user.

However, what I see these days is a too-narrow concentration on the novice-friendly line. As soon as you stray from "Aunt Tillie mode", you're dumped into power-user central, with arcane syntax options and a maze of twisty forum posts, all alike.

I think the next frontier in Linux/user interaction is to address this intermediate level chasm. Linux apprentices eventually become Linux journeymen, and it would be nice to have a way to seamlessly transition along the learning curve. The middle-grounders do have some resources currently, but support is threadbare compared to the "utterly clueless" and "master hacker" extremes.

Re:Oddly enough, this info is hard to find (1)

Mr EdgEy (983285) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945294)

First result for "installing programs ubuntu" - http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/installingsoftware [psychocats.net] Right at the top, it links "aunt tillie" users to the GUI version. http://www.monkeyblog.org/ubuntu/installing/ [monkeyblog.org] Synaptic involves _LESS_ interaction than ANY windows installer i've ever seen, AND is more descriptive. It's just "different". Different does not mean unfriendly. Aside from that. I honestly don't see how "apt-get install program" is master hacker like or complex in any way. It fills the "journeyman" void for me. Closer to "master hacker" is downloading the .deb and using dpkg, i would consider that relatively complex. The users that consider apt-get confusing, are the ones that will blank face any step-by-step guide for anything. For those people, synaptic and the GUI exist.

Got the book (2, Informative)

OldChemist (978484) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944154)

I've got it and it is a great book. Anyone who knows Sobell's work would tell you that his stuff is of keeper quality. I think I first ran into one of his Unix books around 1990. Why would you want a book for Ubuntu? If you are a little more into it than the casual user, it will make your life a lot easier in terms of networking, etc., etc. Of course you MIGHT find the info on the web but this will save you a lot of time. If your time is worth $25/hr and this saves you a couple of hours, it's worth it. Someone mentioned that Hardy might be in business longer than 7.1 about which this book is written. If that is true you might want to wait for a version that goes with Hardy, but I doubt that much at the fundamental level will change. Recommended if you are a member of the target audience.

Great idea (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944448)

Kudos to the the guy for writing a book. But honestly ubuntu is so damned easy one is not exactly necessary. But then again neither are all those other "Getting the most out of Windows (version whatever)" books. Nice to see linux getting some shelf space. Even if it is just one space.

After my initial problems with ubuntu (mostly having to do with a buggy BIOS and figuring out I needed to use the "noapic nolapic" commands - now fixed after reflashing my BIOS to a newer version), I have had no complaints. My favorite games run under Wine and/or Cedega in a stable manner. Office is much more than I need. The only thing I miss is multi-monitor support (not DUAL monitor, I am talking 8 or more monitors - I trade stocks and look at a lot of graphs at the same time), but I hear better multi-monitor support is coming in Hardy Heron. I guess if I really wanted to I could play around with the xorg.conf file, but I really don't want to, any more than I would want to edit windows registry keys.

Linux has improved a GREAT deal in terms of user friendliness and being able to do almost anything with simple mouse clicks from the GUI.

The ubuntu forums are quite friendly, and it's not that hard to find the info to say get Evolution working with hotmail, or get ubuntu to play Hollywood encrypted DVD's (although that is laughably illegal in the US even if you bought the DVD). Better yet, download the AVI/DivX file and can claim that you're still only breaking one law.

Anyway I'm getting ahead of myself. This book is a great idea. The inclusion of a CD is a great idea, and hopefully more people will think about linux as an alternative to pirating/being extorted into paying for Windows crapware.

Hibernation and Standby (0)

pinkfloydhomer (999075) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944530)

Or suspend to disk and suspend to RAM. Those two features are extremely important for a laptop user. Coupled with correct detection of lid opening and closing etc. And I have yet to find a linux distro og kernel compilation or software package (uswsusp etc.) that just works on the many laptops I have tried installing linux on. Come on! Laptops are increasingly popular and missing those features is a dealbreaker. It literally was for me. Also for my desktop computer, where I use hibernate and suspend a lot too. I have been running linux for 13 years off and on, but in the last couple of years, I always end up switching back to Windows XP because these features are lacking. Ubuntu (or any other distro) with at least perfect seamless no-hassle suspend to disk or RAM when I close my lid and perfect resume when I open it, would be a godsend for me.

Re:Hibernation and Standby (1)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945312)

Funny, Hardy Heron seems to detect the lid fine on my Macbook Pro. Suspend on close, wake on open.

Obsolete in a year? (2, Insightful)

smolloy (1250188) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944576)

My main problem with all "Linux for Dummies" books is that, although they may be useful to begin with, they become almost entirely obsolete withing one or two major releases of the distro. The stuff that doesn't become obsolete is all stuff you can find in a shell scripting guide.

Forums, despite their low signal:noise, don't have this problem.

My recommendation would be to buy a good shell scripting book and read a few online tutorials on configuring whatever distro you have.

Re:Obsolete in a year? (1)

seandiggity (992657) | more than 6 years ago | (#22945388)

I've helped many friends/family members switch to Ubuntu in the past few years, and having a nice book to read is a great introduction, even just for the few "What is Ubuntu?" "What is Linux?"-type paragraphs. It can also make for a nice gift, and having something to accompany an install CD really helps take some of the fear out of installing a new OS (rather than handing them a CD I burned). That said, I think the advice you give is good for most users with some tech experience and good search/Web literacy.

I'm oddly sort of tempted by this. (1)

seebs (15766) | more than 6 years ago | (#22944880)

I am familiar with a lot of the material in the book, presumably, but I'd like to see what he did for coverage of Ubuntu, especially now that I'm using it fairly regularly.

(Background; I was involved with the Practical Guide for OS X 10.4.)
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