This book is designed as a handbook for the user. Though administrative tools are covered, the emphasis is on what a user would need to know to perform basic tasks. The emphasis here is on what users will face when first starting Ubuntu, covering topics like installation, applications, software management, the GNOME and KDE desktops, shell commands, and both the Ubuntu administration and network tools. Desktops are examined in detail, including configuration options. Applications are reviewed. This book is very much a handbook to Ubuntu 8.04 desktop, with all the latest features of interest to end users.
Part 1 focuses on getting started, covering Ubuntu information and resources, Ubuntu Live CD/DVDs, installing and setting up Ubuntu, and basic use of the desktop.
Part 2 keys in on applications and software management. Repositories and their use are covered in detail. Then office, multimedia, mail, and Web applications are examined. It includes coverage of the PulseAudio sound interface.
Part 3 covers the two major desktops, GNOME and KDE, in detail discussing features like panels, applets, and file managers. In addition, the shell interface is also explored, with its command editing, directory navigation, and shell operations capabilities.
Part 4 deals with administration topics, first discussing system tools like the GNOME system monitor and the Disk Usage Analyzer. Then a detailed chapter on Ubuntu system administration tools for managing users and printers is presented, along with service management and the Wine Windows emulator for running Windows applications directly. The network connections chapter covers a variety of network tasks, including manual configuration of network connections, Wireless connections, Firewalls, and Windows access.