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Review: Ubuntu Unleased 2010 Edition: Covering 9.10 and 10.4 Print E-mail
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Source: LinuxSecurity Contributors - Posted by Benjamin D. Thomas   
Book Reviews Compiling a reference book of more than 800 pages, plus a complete DVD distributed with the book, is a huge project, even for four experienced Linux veterans such as those that wrote Ubuntu Unleased: 2010 Edition.

Title: Review: Ubuntu Unleased 2010 Edition: Covering 9.10 and 10.4
Author: Andrew Hudson, Paul Hudson, Matthew Helmke, Ryan Troy
ISBN: 9978-0-672-33109-1
Reviewer: Dave Wreski <dwreski@guardiandigital.com>
Review Score: 3.5 of 5 Penguins
Publisher: Prentice Hall Professional (informit.com/sams)
Sample Chapter: What Is the Command Line?

Within this volume is every topic imaginable, as it pertains to Ubuntu, as well as being applicable to Linux in general. This book is well suited to individuals interested in configuring Linux for their home use, or introducing it into their small office workplace, and havenít necessarily worked with Linux or the command-line in the past.

While the diligent user could probably find the information contained within this book individually by scouring the Internet, this reference is written by seasoned authors in their fifth revision of the information, and include a DVD packed with information and a guarantee that it will remain current. Itís a very interesting time for newcomers the Linux -- no longer is it the case that Linux is restricted to being in the server room. This book shows you how to install Linux on a home computer in a snap, without having to understand complex topics and without fear of getting stuck without printing or modem support after the install.

The book starts out with the installation, showing the graphical interface that is used during the the process, then describes the GNOME and KDE desktop environments, and the multitudes of applications that are available for them. If you intend on installing Ubuntu on your desktop and using it to listen to music, create a new website with graphics and the latest web technologies, then this book is already a great value.

If you go beyond that, into using Ubuntu to configure a whole web, email or file sharing system, then this book will provide a complete reference for getting started, and showing you the most effective ways to avoid the pitfalls commonly associated with the sophisticated applications included with Ubuntu. The best feature about this book is its utility. While aimed at more of a beginner audience, this book is a great place to go to learn about how to get started configuring Samba to share files and printers with Windows hosts, and gives you 25 pages worth of information on configuring printers and file shares, setting up permissions, using both the numerous command-line and graphical tools, as well as what to do if you get stuck. Configuring your workstation as a client is a breeze, requiring only a few mouse clicks in the same way one would do such as task from within Windows.

Ubuntu Unleased 2010 also covers quite a bit on security, including building a disaster back-up plan, performing a basic security audit of your system, steps to take to keep the system updated, understanding and using Secure Shell for encrypted file transfers and secure remote access, and enabling a basic firewall.

Later in the book, an entire chapter is devoted to proxy services using squid, a program that provides an abstraction layer between the client and the server, protecting you from any threats posed by the server side through access control lists and other methods, as well as taking advantage of caching performance improvements and other benefits. Ubuntu Unleased 2010 provides a great starting point for those wishing to experiment with performance tuning, including cursory and basic tips on memory, database, and filesystem topics. The final chapters of the book cover more advanced topics, such as perl and python programming, web programming using PHP, command-line shell programming, as well as database administration with a concentration on using MySQL.

The chapter on MySQL begins with a well-organized overview of relational databases, some basic syntax commands such as INSERT and SELECT, and a list of common database commands.

Itís clear that the authors are experienced Linux administrators and seasoned authors. The organization of the material and scope of coverage makes this a valuable resource book for those interested in getting started with Linux after considering it for some time, and also have the resources of the Internet next to them to keep updated with the extremely fast-paced nature of improvements with Ubuntu.

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