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A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux (3rd Edition) 3rd Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0132542487
ISBN-10: 013254248X
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Editorial Reviews


Praise for Previous Editions of A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux®  


“I am so impressed by how Mark Sobell can approach a complex topic in such an understandable manner. His command examples are especially useful in providing a novice (or even an advanced) administrator with a cookbook on how to accomplish real-world tasks on Linux. He is truly an inspired technical writer!”

–George Vish II, Senior Education Consultant, Hewlett-Packard Company


“Overall, I think it’s a great, comprehensive Ubuntu book that’ll be a valuable resource for people of all technical levels.”

–John Dong, Ubuntu Forum Council Member, Backports Team Leader


“The JumpStart sections really offer a quick way to get things up and running, allowing you to dig into the details of the book later.”

–Scott Mann, Aztek Networks


“This entire book is a real boon to any neophyte who does not have a solid handle on getting their own answers. That group is the one that I think will benefit the most from A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux®. Random access is easy, but reading cover to cover would also give one a nice foundational understanding of getting the most out of their machine and even enough guidance to get their feet wet in the sysadmin world. Anyone thrown into owning an Ubuntu server may find this to be a handy lifeline.”

–JR Peck, Editor, GeekBook.org


“Very well thought out and simplified. [I] would buy another book from this author (Mark Sobell).”

–Greg Dye, Electronic Tech


“Ubuntu is gaining popularity at the rate alcohol did during Prohibition, and it’s great to see a well-known author write a book on the latest and greatest version. Not only does it contain Ubuntu-specific information, but it also touches on general computer-related topics, which will help the average computer user to better understand what’s going on in the background. Great work, Mark!”

–Daniel R. Arfsten, Pro/ENGINEER Drafter/Designer


“I would so love to be able to use this book to teach a class about not just Ubuntu or Linux but about computers in general. It is thorough and well written with good illustrations that explain important concepts for computer usage.”

–Nathan Eckenrode, New York Local Community Team


“I read a lot of Linux technical information every day, but I’m rarely impressed by tech books. I usually prefer online information sources instead. Mark Sobell’s books are a notable exception. They’re clearly written, technically accurate, comprehensive, and actually enjoyable to read.”

–Matthew Miller, Senior Systems Analyst/Administrator, BU Linux Project, Boston University Office of Information Technology


“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.”

–Ray Lodato, Slashdot contributor, www.slashdot.org


“This is well-written, clear, comprehensive information for the Linux user of any type, whether trying Ubuntu on for the first time and wanting to know a little about it, or using the book as a very good reference when doing something more complicated like setting up a server. This book’s value goes well beyond its purchase price and it’ll make a great addition to the Linux section of your bookshelf.”

–Linc Fessenden, Host of The LinuxLink TechShow, tllts.org


“The author has done a very good job at clarifying such a detail-oriented operating system. I have extensive UNIX and Windows experience and this text does an excellent job at bridging the gaps between Linux, Windows, and UNIX. I highly recommend this book to both ‘newbs’ and experienced users. Great job!”

–Mark Polczynski, Information Technology Consultant


“When I first started working with Linux just a short 10 years or so ago, it was a little more difficult than now to get going. . . . Now, someone new to the community has a vast array of resources available on the web, or if they are inclined to begin with Ubuntu, they can literally find almost every single thing they will need in the single volume of Mark Sobell’s A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux®.


“I’m sure this sounds a bit like hyperbole. Everything a person would need to know? Obviously not everything, but this book, weighing in at just under 1200 pages, covers so much so thoroughly that there won’t be much left out. From install to admin, networking, security, shell scripting, package management, and a host of other topics, it is all there. GUI and command line tools are covered. There is not really any wasted space or fluff, just a huge amount of information. There are screen shots when appropriate but they do not take up an inordinate amount of space. This book is information-dense.”

–JR Peck, Editor, GeekBook.org


“Mark G. Sobell’s freshly revised reference work on Ubuntu Linux may be the most impressive computer book I’ve seen in the last 10 years. If you are currently stranded with a pile of abandoned computers on a desert isle, I’m telling you, this is the book.”

–From a review at DesktopLinux.com, http://www.desktoplinux.com/news/NS8801274918.html


Praise for Other Books by Mark G. Sobell


“I currently own one of your books, A Practical Guide to Linux®. I believe this book is one of the most comprehensive and, as the title says, practical guides to Linux I have ever read. I consider myself a novice and I come back to this book over and over again.”

–Albert J. Nguyen


“Thank you for writing a book to help me get away from Windows XP and to never touch Windows Vista. The book is great; I am learning a lot of new concepts and commands. Linux is definitely getting easier to use.”

–James Moritz


“I have been wanting to make the jump to Linux but did not have the guts to do so–until I saw your familiarly titled A Practical Guide to Red Hat® Linux® at the bookstore. I picked up a copy and am eagerly looking forward to regaining my freedom.”

–Carmine Stoffo, Machine and Process Designer to pharmaceutical industry


“I am currently reading A Practical Guide to Red Hat® Linux® and am finally understanding the true power of the command line. I am new to Linux and your book is a treasure.”

–Juan Gonzalez

From the Back Cover

The Most Complete, Easy-to-Follow Guide to Ubuntu Linux 

  • The #1 Ubuntu server resource,fully updated for Ubuntu 10.4 (Lucid Lynx)-the Long Term Support (LTS) release many companies will rely on for years!
  • Updated JumpStartshelp you set up Samba, Apache, Mail, FTP, NIS, OpenSSH, DNS, and other complex servers in minutes
  • Hundreds of up-to-date examples,plus comprehensive indexes that deliver instant access to answers you can trust 

Mark Sobell'sA Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux®, Third Edition,is the most thorough and up-to-date reference to installing, configuring, and working with Ubuntu, and also offers comprehensive coverage of servers—critical for anybody interested in unleashing the full power of Ubuntu.


This edition has been fully updated for Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx), a milestone Long Term Support (LTS) release, which Canonical will support on desktops until 2013 and on servers until 2015.


Sobell walks you through every essential feature and technique, from installing Ubuntu to working with GNOME, Samba,exim4, Apache, DNS, NIS, LDAP,gufw,firestarter,iptables, even Perl scripting. His exceptionally clear explanations demystify everything from networking to security.


You'll find full chapters on running Ubuntu from the command line and desktop (GUI), administrating systems, setting up networks and Internet servers, and much more. Fully updated JumpStart sections help you get complex servers running—often in as little as five minutes.


Sobell draws on his immense Linux knowledge to explain both the “hows and the “whys of Ubuntu. He's taught hundreds of thousands of readers and never forgets what it's like to be new to Linux. Whether you're a user, administrator, or programmer, you'll find everything you need here—now, and for many years to come.


The world's most practical Ubuntu Linux book is now even more useful!


This book delivers

  • Hundreds of easy-to-use Ubuntu examples
  • Important networking coverage, including DNS, NFS, and Cacti
  • Coverage of crucial Ubuntu topics such assudoand the Upstartinitdaemon
  • More detailed, usable coverage of Internet server configuration, including Apache (Web) andexim4(email) servers
  • State-of-the-art security techniques, including up-to-date firewall setup techniques usinggufwandiptables, and a full chapter on OpenSSH
  • A complete introduction to Perl scripting for automated administration
  • Deeper coverage of essential admin tasks-from managing users to CUPS printing, configuring LANs to building a kernel
  • Complete instructions on keeping Ubuntu systems up-to-date usingaptitude, Synaptic, and the Software Sources window
  • And much more...including a 500+ term glossary

Includes DVD!  Get the full version of Lucid Lynx, the latest Ubuntu LTS release!

See all Editorial Reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1320 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 3 edition (August 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 013254248X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0132542487
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #673,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By ireadthere4ino on June 27, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First, I'm glad there are people who take the time to write such a comprehensive book as this. It suited me & helped me understand a lot about using the command line & a lot of the nuisances & idiosyncrasies of Linux & various utilities. By taking the time to patiently read careful & understand each topic I've gained a lot of confidence to use Linux. Although there are a few chapters I haven;t finished, I can now use the book as a good reference when needed. Yes there were some parts that seemed a bit tedious to read, but overall I it's one off those books for me will be paying me back for some time the knowledge I've obtained. IMHO, for more experienced users who might just want to know Ubuntu, I think a command reference or summarized type of book would be better & for the complete new user probably just the Ubuntu Guides are a better place to start. Again thanks to the Author.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James J. Sherin on September 6, 2011
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This is an excellent text and I am using as of this term as the textbook for the class in Linux that I am teaching at the local Community College. The frst book on UNIX that I used twenty-five years ago was written by Sobell. He hasn't lost his touch.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. Fesenden on October 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
I have said before on several occasions that Sobell does really good work. Well, this holds true to my words. This is a big book with some 1250+ pages in it absolutely filled to the brim with useful information. The review on the front cover mentions that the book is "comprehensive" and that just might be understating it a little. This book has practically anything you might want to know about Ubuntu, and references a lot of really helpful general linux and userland program information and it's put together in a very straight forward and understandable way. Having the word "Practical" in the name is also a really good fit as the book offers great walk-throughs on things people will want to do with their Ubuntu install from beginner things like configuring a printer all the way up to things like some perl programming and running your own web server. All in all, this book is not only worth a look, but a keeper. It's a good read and great technical reference.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bob Collins on February 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
While this book provides a great overview of Linux and Unbuntu in particular, its greatest value is as a technical reference for setting up and maintaining a Linux workstation or server. It is not, however, an entry-level book for someone new to computers or completely new to Unix or Linux.

My first experience with Linux was back in the early-mid nineties and I have been in an out of the Linux world several times since. I currently have an application where I need to set up both a workstation and server and felt that I needed an up-to-date reference on the current state of Linux was needed. This book met my needs. Recommended!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on November 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
The third updated edition of A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux offers a fine reference perfect for any Ubuntu Linux computer collection, packing in hundreds of practical applications for Ubuntu with keys to security, Perl scripting, common administration tasks, and more. From keeping Ubuntu systems current to handling configuration issues, this is a solid reference to the latest Ubuntu applications and challenges.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mike on May 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
I've used the 2nd edition and 3rd editions of A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux for the linux courses I had to take in college. The very first few chapters of the book were decent reference material. However, the way the author implimented the material in the book makes it very difficult to follow at times especially in the later chapters on more advanced material such as DNS. For a more advanced user this book might have some use but for someone who is new to Ubuntu Linux or Linux in general I recommend the UNIX and Linux System Administrator Handbook. The material in that book also covers ubuntu often for reference points and I feel the author conveys the material in a way that it makes the reader more or less inclined to keep following along instead of getting bored and confused.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Charles Wilkes on July 17, 2013
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After buying four 800 page Ubuntu books, I finally found Mark Sobell's 'A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux'. It is the best book on the market to learn Ubuntu with. The author helps you to understand how the processes work while giving you clear commands to control them. This is a great combination to learn and practice with. The other books I purchased before this one were complex (sometimes wrong) and read like dictionaries that didn't offer insight or flow. Marks book is a great place for beginning and more experienced Linux operators to start and continue their studies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mamatweli on July 9, 2013
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I loved this book, but by the time I bought I found out that it was for Ubuntu version 10.4 ; but I had version 12.4 installed; and some of the features were a little outdated. However, I still learnt a lot useful sticks from this book.

Thank you for the author, keep up with the great job.

It comes with a installation disk, so If you're OK with installing 10.4 ; I think it should work great.
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