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Ubuntu Hacks: Tips & Tools for Exploring, Using, and Tuning Linux [Paperback]

by Jonathan Oxer, Kyle Rankin, Bill Childers
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 24, 2006 0596527209 978-0596527204 1
Ubuntu Linux--the most popular Linux distribution on the planet--preserves the spirit embodied in the ancient African word "ubuntu," which means both "humanity to others" and "I am what I am because of who we all are." Ubuntu won the "Linux Journal" Reader's Choice Award for best Linux distribution and is consistently the top-ranked Linux variant on DistroWatch.com. The reason this distribution is so widely popular is that Ubuntu is designed to be useful, usable, customizable, and always available for free worldwide.

Ubuntu Hacks is your one-stop source for all of the community knowledge you need to get the most out of Ubuntu: a collection of 100 tips and tools to help new and experienced Linux users install, configure, and customize Ubuntu. With this set of hacks, you can get Ubuntu Linux working exactly the way you need it to. Learn how to: Install and test-drive Ubuntu Linux. Keep your system running smoothly Turn Ubuntu into a multimedia powerhouse: rip and burn discs, watch videos, listen to music, and more Take Ubuntu on the road with Wi-Fi wireless networking, Bluetooth, etc. Hook up multiple displays and enable your video card's 3-D acceleration Run Ubuntu with virtualization technology such as Xen and VMware Tighten your system's security Set up an Ubuntu-powered server

Ubuntu Hacks will not only show you how to get everything working just right, you will also have a great time doing it as you explore the powerful features lurking within Ubuntu.

""Put in a nutshell, this book is a collection of around 100 tips and tricks which the authors choose to call hacks, which explain how to accomplish various tasks in Ubuntu Linux. The so called hacks range from downright ordinary to the other end of the spectrum of doing specialised things...More over, each and every tip in this book has been tested by the authors on the latest version of Ubuntu (Dapper Drake) and is guaranteed to work. In writing this book, it is clear that the authors have put in a lot of hard work in covering all facets of configuring this popular Linux distribution which makes this book a worth while buy.""
-- Ravi Kumar, Slashdot.org

Frequently Bought Together

Ubuntu Hacks: Tips & Tools for Exploring, Using, and Tuning Linux + Linux Server Hacks, Volume Two: Tips & Tools for Connecting, Monitoring, and Troubleshooting
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jonathan Oxer is the founder and technical director of Internet Vision Technologies in Australia, as well as the past president of Linux Australia, the national organization for Linux users, developers, and vendors.

Kyle Rankin is a system administrator who enjoys troubleshooting, problem solving, and system recovery. He is also the author of Knoppix Hacks, Knoppix Pocket Reference, Linux Multimedia Hacks, and Ubuntu Hacks for O'Reilly Media. He has been using Linux in many different forms since 1998, and has used live CDs to demo Linux and troubleshoot machines -- from DemoLinux to the LinuxCare bootable toolbox to Knoppix.

Bill Childers is Director of Enterprise Systems for Quinstreet, Inc. He's been working with Linux and Unix since before it was cool, and previously worked for Sun Microsystems and Set Engineering.

Product Details

  • Series: Hacks
  • Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (June 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596527209
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596527204
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #967,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
75 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for Ubuntu users of all skill levels July 13, 2006
Ubuntu is a predominantly desktop-oriented Linux distribution based on Debian GNU/Linux. Its name comes from the South African concept of ubuntu-- which is roughly, "humanity towards others". The first release of Ubuntu, the Warty Warthog, was released in autumn 2004, and each release has maintained a level of usability that makes it a joy to use. This book is like all others I have encountered in this series - it has something for every level of user from beginner to expert. You can read it from beginning to end or pick and choose the parts you are interested in. My favorite section was the one on security, since there is a real lack of information on that subject as it pertains to Ubuntu. I see no table of contents is shown, so I review this book in the context of the table of contents:

1. Getting Started
This chapter shows you how to get started with Ubuntu including all of the information you need to install Ubuntu on your system, how to get started with the Linux command line, set up your printer, file a bug report, and more.
1. Test-Drive Ubuntu
2. Get Help
3. Make Live CD Data Persistent
4. Customize the Ubuntu Live CD
5. Install Ubuntu
6. Dual-Boot Ubuntu and Windows
7. Move Your Windows Data to Ubuntu
8. Install Ubuntu on a Mac
9. Set Up Your Printer
10. Install Ubuntu on an External Drive
11. Install from a Network Boot Server
12. Submit a Bug Report
13. Use the Command Line
14. Get Productive with Applications

2. The Linux Desktop
This chapter helps you work with the GNOME and KDE desktop environments for Linux, and also helps you find out about a few others that are out there.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ubuntu Hacks = Everything Hacks March 11, 2007
I wrote this review originally for the Tucson Computer Society Magazine in October 2006. Since then I used many hacks successfully.

Getting access non-free programs requires changing the repository (hack #60).

Installing Java (hack #18) went smoothly and exactly as stated using apt-get. This is great as several people on the mailing list reported problems doing this. I felt this might be an ordeal, but it was easy.

Multimedia plug-ins (hack #28) required some extra searching as some packages were no longer in the repositories and substitutes had to be found. Some extra work was required but that's Linux. Many of the hacks were this way.

Package management (hacks #54-#66) were very helpful not only in Ubuntu but with Debian. Several more of the hacks apply to other Linux distributions as well as Ubuntu.

All-in-all, the more I use this book, the more valuable it becomes.


The back cover of UBUNTU HACKS states the book is "your one-stop source for all of the community knowledge you need to get the most out of Ubuntu," an eye-catching statement. I sure need some of this knowledge. Although the title is UBUNTU HACKS and deals with Ubuntu and GNOME desktop, most hacks apply to other Ubuntu family members. I find this helpful as I use Kubuntu with KDE instead of Ubuntu.

I experimented with Ubuntu/Kubuntu Linux distributions since Ubuntu 5.04 released April, 2005 (Ubuntu versions are numbered by the year and month of release). Ubuntu is the original member of a family of Linux distributions consisting of Ubuntu, Kubuntu, XUbuntu, and EdUbuntu.

The picture of the tuning fork on the front cover is dramatic. The book, 6" wide by 9" tall by 1" thick, contains about 450 pages.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book for Ubuntu users August 17, 2006
As a new Ubuntu linux user (about 1 year experience) I found this book to be extremely useful.

I like the way that is setup with 100 hacks so that you can skip to the hack (solution) that you are looking for without reading the whole book. The hacks are also linked like dependencies on a package install so that if you are trying to get hack #25 to work but you skipped ahead to get there, the book tells me "hey, you need to do hack #18 for this work." That is extremely useful for newbies like me.

I also like how each hack has one of 3 difficulty ratings: beginner, moderate, or expert. It keeps me from getting in over my head. It would also be useful to experts because they could skip over the beginner hacks and get to the hacks of moderate and expert difficulty.

I wish that the book came with an Ubuntu CD and a .pdf or ebook version.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Find out what the experinced people know July 9, 2006
Not surprisingly, this is another lovely addition to the successful 'Hacks' series.

Like the others, 'Ubuntu Hacks' consists of a series of pointers on how to perform useful and usually non-trivial tasks ranging from beginner level through to expert. As you would expect novice users can get more from the book than experienced users, but there is still likely to be plenty to interest people of any skill level.

This book does not suffer from too broad a topic range, as several from the series do. Since it limits coverage to using the Ubuntu Linux distribution, it reduces the number of topics that are not relevant. It is also a very good source for finding out what else is available, so you gain from not only what is presented directly but will be able to use these to accelerate your own knowledge.

This book highlights one of the problems with the 'Hacks' series. 'Ubuntu Hacks' is noticeably larger than other books I have seen from the series, and while the volume is necessary to cover some of the advanced topics I felt that limiting the book to one hundred hacks made some entries very long indeed.

Overall it is a great book, particularly for those of beginner to intermediate level. You can learn Ubuntu by accident, or you can get a real head start using this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Linux Book
Nice Ubuntu book and I use some of the things in it once in awhile. You really don't have to do a lot of this stuff with the shell anymore unless you want to try it old school. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Nochangeleft
5.0 out of 5 stars Great linux reference
I love anything that O'Reilly puts out typically, and this was no exception. The hacks, of course, aren't what most people would think of hacks, but they are very neat tricks that... Read more
Published on April 15, 2011 by RememberWhenItRained
4.0 out of 5 stars Why 4 and not 5 stars ?
Firstly let me say that I'm a beginner with Ubuntu and therefore it may change the way I received the book. Read more
Published on October 6, 2010 by Roserio
4.0 out of 5 stars Cool hacks
The book is really good, but very much in need of an update. The material is written about Ubuntu Dapper. Ubuntu Lucid, the current release, is eight releases later.
Published on September 3, 2010 by Hugh D. Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Used Books
Everyone should look at the "used" books instead of new.
The books are in great shape and at a fraction of the price.
This book was no exception. Read more
Published on July 6, 2010 by Techie57
5.0 out of 5 stars ubuntu hacks
It is Oreilly which if your new means well written to the point . I like the dummy series which are good reads on what can be a mind numbing topic and I do this stuff for a living. Read more
Published on October 6, 2008 by Kenneth D. Ward
5.0 out of 5 stars A Favorite Computer Book - Highly Recommended for Techies & Newbies
There are numerous reasons to recommend this book, but it looks like many reviewers have covered the material. Read more
Published on September 4, 2008 by Graham D. Lincoln
2.0 out of 5 stars Good, but out-of-date
Information presented is solid for an older distribution, but is not relevant for v8.04. Ubuntu has made significant changes in the installation , partitioning, and setup areas -... Read more
Published on May 29, 2008 by K. Crocker
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book
Well worth the money. This book is clear, informative, accurate, and well-written. Used in conjunction with "The Official Ubuntu Book", someone new to Ubuntu Linux will be up and... Read more
Published on April 15, 2008 by Stanley Mortel
4.0 out of 5 stars You don't need to wait for the 2nd Edition.
"Ubuntu Hacks" shows its age, but still packs a lot of useful information. The authors chose to base their hacks on the 6. Read more
Published on March 5, 2008 by kristau
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The ideas could be applied to pretty much any Linux distro, but the book focuses on Ubuntu so the example commands assume you're running an Ubuntu system. Since Ubuntu is based on Debian you'll probably find that most of the hacks can be applied to Debian and its other derivatives fairly... Read more
Apr 25, 2006 by Jonathan Oxer |  See all 2 posts
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