Review: The Official Ubuntu Book
Source: LinuxSecurity Contributors - Posted by Benjamin D. Thomas   
Book Reviews If you haven’t used Linux before, are new to Ubuntu, or would like a quick update on the latest in open source advancements for the desktop, then The Official Ubuntu Book is a great place to start. Authored by a group of some of the most experienced open source administrators and developers, this 400-page user guide details everything you need to know about how to make the most of your Ubuntu, Kubuntu (Ubuntu with KDE), and Xubuntu (Ubuntu with Xfce) computer.

Title: Review: Official Ubuntu Book
Author: Benjamin Mako Hill, Matthew Helmke, Corey Burger
ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-0137081301
Reviewer: Dave Wreski <dwreski@guardiandigital.com>
Review Score: 4.2 of 5 Penguins
Publisher: Prentice Hall Professional
Sample Chapter: Chapter Three: Using Ubuntu on the Desktop

Available for standard PCs, more advanced and current 64-bit computers, as well as for the ARM platform, typically found in cell phones and smaller devices, and this book details all of them. The first chapter discusses the basic philosophy, design goals, and background on open source and Linux, and the role that it plays with Ubuntu. More experienced users would probably skim or skip entirely these first few pages.

The second chapter takes the reader through downloading and installation from DVD or USB key. Installation is a breeze, and this book takes the administrator through every step – disk partitioning, dual booting with other operating systems, and setting up basic networking. Chapter three provides a basic overview to the Ubuntu desktop and its applications – email, web browsing, managing files and users, software upgrades, document management using OpenOffice, graphics management using the GIMP and others, and a great overview of multimedia applications. Burning music CDROMs, watching videos, and playing DVDs are also covered.

Chapter four begins a more in-depth coverage of how to be productive with an Ubuntu system. Configuring printers, software and security updates, and other administrative functions are outlined. Creating backups, managing and creating new users, and other typical administrative tasks are covered. Adding new applications using the Ubuntu Software Center is perhaps one of the most powerful aspects of Ubuntu – access to thousands of applications, easily installed and configured through this simple package management system.

Rounding out the chapter is a brief discussion of Wine, the suite of applications that can be used to natively run Windows binaries.

Chapter five briefly outlines configuring Ubuntu as a server, and provides an introduction to the command-line. Installing packages using apt, and some basic tips on Linux security are mentioned. More advanced systems would certainly benefit from a more in-depth discussion and background on computer security. Virtualization and cloud computing are explained, although no real details on implementation are provided here.

Completing the hands-on sections of the book is information on desktop publishing and graphics management, and some basic usage examples for GIMP and Scribus.

The Ubuntu community is a strong and fast-growing group that consists of user forums, comprehensive online documentation, developer summits, and numerous teams dedicated to fostering further development of Ubuntu. Translation efforts, bug reporting, advocacy, and end-user support are required staples in any open source community, and pointers are provided to these key resources.

Remaining chapters discuss the other Ubuntu projects, including Kubuntu, Ubuntu on netbooks and a handful of other Ubuntu derivatives.

This fifth edition of The Official Ubuntu Book is the definitive user guide for getting started with Ubuntu and its unique community support, access to unlimited applications, outstanding hardware support, and rapid product development. This book is a must-have for the Linux beginner, or anyone who wants a hassle-free Ubuntu installation and an overview of all that Ubuntu has to offer.

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