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Hacking Ubuntu: Serious Hacks Mods and Customizations (ExtremeTech) 1st Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470108727
ISBN-10: 047010872X
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"I'm Ubuntu. Want to be friends?"

You've just gotta love Ubuntu; it's an irresistible package of usability, security, and support features. But a power user like you is just itching to teach it some new tricks. Show it how to play nicely with other systems. Develop its multitasking and communication skills. Free its inner video nd graphics talents. And make sure that when it ventures into the wild and wooly world of wireless, it keeps its doors locked.

Here's how to do all that and more.

Things you can do with Ubuntu

Step-by-step directions for all this and lots of other fun stuff

  • Create an awesome interface
  • Fine-tune Firefox®

  • Expand your desktop across monitors or other computers

  • Add VoIP and instant messaging

  • Discover the joys of emulators

  • Focus on cameras and scanners

  • Customize application windows

  • Configure wireless networks

  • Boost boot-up efficiency

  • Tune kernel parameters

About the Author

Neal Krawetz, PhD, has been active in the security community for more than 15 years. He is skilled in computer forensics, profiling, cryptography and cryptanalysis, artificial intelligence, and software solutions, and often assists law enforcement. Neal enjoys a novel hobby—he collects operating systems. He's currently running RedHat, Ubuntu, Mac OS X, OpenBSD, Microsoft Windows, OS/2, Solaris, and HP-UX, among others.
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Product Details

  • Series: ExtremeTech (Book 44)
  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (April 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047010872X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470108727
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,859,380 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Neal Krawetz holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Texas A&M University and a Bachelors degree in Computer and Information Science from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Dr. Krawetz has a strong background in software research and development; computer security, forensics, and profiling; artificial intelligence, networking, and operating systems. His work experience spans small startup companies, academic and university environments, and large Fortune-100 corporations.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book along with the Ubuntu Linux Bible. While I appreciate the latter, I consult the former regularly. In fact, this is the quickest I've ever consumed a technical book. "Hacking Ubuntu" is a great practical guide with excellent sample commands and scripts which don't just point you to a possible fix but actually resolve the problem. For example, I installed Xubuntu 7.04 on a Vaio laptop. When I went to configure my WLAN connections, my only displayed encryption option was WEP. I have WPA-PSK configured on my router. I flipped thru the book to the wireless network section and quickly saw the solution to getting WPA configured for each of the 2 NICs in my laptop (an integrated Intel and add-on D-Link).

More importantly, Krawetz includes the code you need to enable WPA support each time you boot the PC. While I might have been able to ferret all this out via hours of searching Google and Ubuntu forums, Krawetz's thoughtful presentation provided me with the necessary fix in 5 minutes. I was also able to use the sample code to write a short script to re-establish the LAN connection when I bring the laptop out of hibernation.

The rest of the book is equally helpful; it's chockful of practical tips. This book makes the difference between installing and muddling thru Ubuntu and installing, tweaking and making your Ubuntu install your own. Highly recommend for any Ubuntu user.
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Format: Paperback
At the time I started to read Hacking Ubuntu, I had a fully functioning Gentoo system at home running on a desktop and a partially functioning Gentoo system running on an old laptop. When I finished reading Hacking Ubuntu, I have a fully functioning Kubuntu system on my desktop and two functioning Edubuntu systems on a couple of laptops. Needless to say I am a convert.

After spending many frustrating nights trying to get Gentoo installed on the laptop I decided to give Krawetz's book a chance. Following the information in the first chapter of the book, I installed Edubuntu on my desktop and laptop without any problems. I have gone through the book several times during the last week. I will now be rereading the book with an eye towards tuning system performance and security.

What I liked most about the information in the book is the practical nature of the layout. The four sections logically follow one another and basically mimic the journey most of us have had when using Linux: installation, setup, tuning, and security. Another aspect of the book that I enjoyed was the humor. I have read too many of these informational geek books that lacked or approximated a sense of humor. The humor in "Hacking" is genuine and greatly appreciated.

As an experienced HP-UX administrator, I recommend the book for the information on the various tools and utilities that are applicable across operating systems. Part IV, Securing Your System, has advice that is almost completely agnostic with respect to a particular operating system and easily translates from Ubuntu to Gentoo to HP-UX or even to Windows.

Finally, I highly recommend this book to anyone with a desire to explore Ubuntu in greater detail.
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I recently wrote up a list of my recommended Linux texts, and I was obliged to add "Hacking Ubuntu."[...]
With "Hacking," I was expecting something like "how to turn your Ubuntu box into TiVo." Instead, Neal's book has provided a slew of scripts and configurations of the most useful customizations that I've never even thought about. Who would have dreamed up a way to change the background color of the desktop based on CPU usage?

One of the reasons that I'm so impressed by the book, is that while it requires some Linux technical skills, it balances complexity with utility. It's the sort of book that makes it really interesting and useful to be working with Ubuntu. I owe Dr. Krawetz a big thank you.
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This book is a gem. Most other Linux books are heavy with theory but don't get you where you need to go. By contrast, this book is chock full of really practical mods (hacks) that are easy to do, yet provide great enhancements to the usability and security of your new Ubuntu system. If you're new to Ubuntu, get this book!
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By D. Barkan on August 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
Well explained , easy to use and above all useful. This books helped me to switch to Ubuntu Linux which is now my main operating system. Without this book I am not sure I could have done it.
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The popularity of Ubuntu has given rise to a deluge of Ubuntu books. Most are of an introductory nature; this is one of the few that rises to the level of a system administrator's needs.

The choice of content is excellent and, perhaps more importantly, the narrative is effective in building a cohesive understanding of the software systems that comprise Ubuntu. In this, it is clear that this book has benefited from having a single, expert author following a rational path of exposition.
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Good, solid information above and beyond what you can pick up anywhere on the net. The problem with any DIY guide, from cookbooks to construction manuals, is that there isn't the opportunity (or the need) to utilize all the different recipes. Having said that, this book is well worth you time.
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