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The Official Ubuntu Book (7th Edition) [Paperback]

by Matthew Helmke, Amber Graner, Kyle Rankin, Benjamin Mako Hill, Jono Bacon
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 1, 2012 0133017605 978-0133017601 7
Ubuntu is a complete, free operating system that emphasizes ease of use, community, and support while enhancing speed, power, and flexibility. It is designed for everyone from computer novices to experts.


This title serves a wide audience: novices who just want to test the waters and give Ubuntu a try, intermediate users, and those who want to take the next step toward becoming power users. It is not intended as a guide to highly technical uses like professional systems administration or programming, although there is some technical material here; the focus is on learning the landscape.


New in this edition is deep coverage of the groundbreaking, user-experience-focused Unity desktop, an innovative new style of human—computer interaction that has undergone extensive development and testing to provide powerful, industry-leading usability.


In addition, you will

  • Learn how to use and customize Ubuntu for home, small business, school, government, and enterprise environments
  • Learn how to quickly update Ubuntu to new release versions with upgraded applications
  • Find up-to-the-minute troubleshooting advice from Ubuntu users worldwide to get the help you need quickly
  • Learn Ubuntu Server installation and administration, including LVM and RAID implementation


The DVD includes the complete Ubuntu Linux operating system for installation on PC platforms. The disk is preconfigured with an outstanding desktop environment for both home and business computing, for novices and advanced users.


Frequently Bought Together

The Official Ubuntu Book (7th Edition) + Training Guide: Configuring Windows 8 (Microsoft Press Training Guide)
Price for both: $62.60

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Matthew Helmke first used Unix in 1987 and has been an Ubuntu user since April 2005. He has been an active member of the Ubuntu community since that time, including leadership roles in the Ubuntu Forums and one of the Ubuntu membership boards. He is also the author of Ubuntu Unleashed (SAMS, 2012), intended for more technical and advanced users.


Amber Graner is an active Ubuntu community member whose path to Ubuntu activism started as she blogged about her transition to Ubuntu in 2009. She contributes to the Ubuntu News Team, Ubuntu Women Project, and much more.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 7 edition (July 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0133017605
  • ISBN-13: 978-0133017601
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #316,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Matthew Helmke is a husband, a father of three, and a writer. He has been a techy person since he got his first computer in 1981, a TRS-80 Color Computer--the original CoCo, the one with the silver case. He first used Unix in 1987 while studying Lisp on a Vax at the university and has been a fan since. When Linux came around, Matthew was thrilled. He has used Ubuntu as his main operating system since 2005.

In addition to writing, Matthew is also a musician who plays the guitar and the bass. He plays in a local band and has played as a studio musician for other artists. He lived in Morocco for 7 years, is an avid and voracious reader, speaks several languages, has worked as an information consultant on topics including culture, language, religion, and computers.

Matthew's main website is at

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
After reading this book I can say that I have a better understanding on how this Ubuntu operating works. The nice thing about this book compared to other books on Ubuntu that cover how to use Ubuntu, is this books covers not only these topics, but goes over why and how Ubuntu came into being and thoroughly teaches the readers how the Ubuntu community runs and operates. I have seen first hand what happens in the Ubuntu community when a new helpful hand joins and speeds up the Ubuntu development. This books helps people know the option to join is available. This book also goes over how to get your app into the Ubuntu Software center, the app where people install software for their Ubuntu system. Basically this book starts out explaining what Ubuntu is, then moves on to installing it, the command line and running it as a server. but the main selling point in the book is the books ability to comprehensibly show how the Ubuntu community works and this is where other books fall short compared to this book. Highly recommend to people wanting to install Ubuntu, and even someone wanting to help make Ubuntu even better.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By carrying the title "official", this book attempts to reflect and represent the whole Ubuntu community. The authors gathered together to create a book that offers a solid grounding to Ubuntu and explains how the many facets and features of Ubuntu work. Their very simple aim is to make the Ubuntu experience even more pleasant for users and I think they succeeded.

The first 5 chapters are an excellent introduction to the history of Ubuntu, installing it, getting starting navigating the rich features, becoming more proficient as a power user, and finally enhancing the basic installation with a wealth of applications. The authors have placed strategic hints and side notes where additional information can be found on-line.

The last 5 chapters start to delve deeper into the feature rich functionality of Ubuntu by exploring customization, mastering the strength of the command line, highlighting derivative groups and projects that focus Ubuntu's specific computational prowess (education, multi-media, light desktops, etc.), and how to tap into the huge Ubuntu community for knowledgeable guidance. These chapters get into some very specific detail that the authors freely admit there isn't enough space to cover and many of the features are quite specialized; taking years to master. These last chapters will take some concentration to read.

This official book achieves another unstated goal of providing assurance to users who don't understand the dedication of the Ubuntu community to meet a regular and predictable software release schedule with easily accessible support for users.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book for Ubuntu beginners..... December 11, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
...of which I am one. It'll get you off the ground and going without a ton of tech-speak to wade through. I do almost all of my document work/browsing/etc. through Google Chrome, so the appeal of a Linux-based OS for me is mostly financial: I like the idea of having an upgradeable OS that won't cost me an arm and a leg to maintain and update every couple of years. I'm in the process of looking into more books that will help me further my knowledge of Linux itself but I've already made my laptop dual-boot Ubuntu and Windows 7, easy as pie. The authors explain concepts clearly, and I'd highly recommend this book for anyone interested in taking a step outside the box (Window? :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ubuntu and Linux, as much as anything, are a philosophy - a way of thinking - which I find very workable and practical. In that respect, it is superior to Windows, in my opinion. This book will get you in touch with all of that, and that is the reason it's a good place to begin. However, it only scratches the surface on the technical stuff.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Reference book August 20, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In robot building I've found that I needed to know some C++. Then I got a BeagleBone Black. It has Linux built in (Angstrom) but I quickly upgraded to Ubuntu. This is the best book I've found so far that not only gives me definition of terms and examples on how to use them but, it also gives you challenges to quiz you.
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