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Ubuntu Hacks: Tips & Tools for Exploring, Using, and Tuning Linux 1st Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596527204
ISBN-10: 0596527209
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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.

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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: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #936,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By calvinnme HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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.

UBUNTU HACKS

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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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