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Ubuntu Kung Fu: Tips, Tricks, Hints, and Hacks [Paperback]

by Keir Thomas
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 30, 2008 1934356220 978-1934356227 1

Ubuntu's rise to power has been rapid, historic and well-deserved. It's the best Linux distribution ever, but most people only use a fraction of its power. Award-winning Linux author Keir Thomas gets down and dirty with Ubuntu to provide over 300 concise tips that enhance productivity, avoid annoyances, and simply get the most from Ubuntu. You'll find many unique tips here that can't be found anywhere else. You'll also get a crash course in Ubuntu's flavor of system administration. Whether you're new to Linux or an old hand, you'll find tips to make your day easier.

Ubuntu builds on a solid base of Debian Linux to create an award-winning operating system that's light-years ahead of its competitors. Ubuntu consistently tops lists of the most popular Linuxes amongst professionals and enthusiasts; Dell recently embraced Ubuntu in its product lines after a user survey indicated overwhelming public support.

Ubuntu Kung Fu provides hints, hacks, tweaks and tricks for every level of user. Guaranteed to be free of the usual dross that fills tips books, Ubuntu Kung Fu is written to be entertaining and, above all, readable. Its 300+ concise tips utilize and exploit hidden or lesser-known features to boost day-to-day productivity. You'll also find tips on tweaking Ubuntu, wrangling the system into shape, optimizing, enhancing security, and lots more. Learn what extraordinary things can be done with Ubuntu.

Written with the migrating Windows or Mac OS X user in mind, Ubuntu Kung Fu avoids the usual Linux/Unix folklore that can send most of us to sleep. The tips have one aim--to produce results as quickly as possible, in an environment where the reader can polish their skills as they read. This is the Linux book for the rest of us.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Keir Thomas has been writing about computers for nearly two decades and is the author of the best-selling Mac Kung Fu and Ubuntu Kung Fu, also from Pragmatic Bookshelf. The author of more than ten books, which have been read by more than a million people and translated into many languages, Keir formerly edited computer magazines. He lives in England with two cats.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf; 1 edition (September 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934356220
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934356227
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,057,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Become a Ubuntu Kung Fu master! November 16, 2008
The book was written for version 8.04 of Ubuntu, but will work great with 8.10 too! While reading and reviewing the book, you ought to have a machine nearby to test the hacks and hints. They are absolutely amazing. There are over 300 tips in the book, and each is a gem in its own right. The tips range rom optimizing the speed of your machine, to GUI hacks, hardware, messing with media, security enhancements, and system administration.

The table of contents is really great too! First it list each hack/tip in order of the book, then it shows you the tips organized into groups of topics, system admin, security, etc. Also each tip has information on getting to the next tips that are related.

Truly this book is for anyone who is using Ubuntu who hasn't been working with the code directly and would like to know more about the OS and what it can do.

Just after reading the first few tips I was able to reduce the boot times on my laptop from minute and twenty seconds to under thirty seconds. I was also able to accurately graph the results of these changes by installing and using bootchart, a tip from the Ubuntu Kung Fu book.

If you are looking for a good book to help you enhance your understanding of Linux and Ubuntu, this is the book, get it now at Amazon, or from the Pragmatic Bookshelf.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get your black belt in Ubuntu Kung Fu! January 5, 2009
As I've noted elsewhere (see below), I've been a sucker for "Tips & Tricks" and "Annoyances" books for many years. Keir Thomas's book is, for me, a best-of-breed entry in this genre. He tackles user-level (not coder) problems and perspective, and brings Ubuntu Linux advice, techniques and tips not found elsewhere.

The book is organized into only three chapters: After an introductory chapter, one finds "2 An Ubuntu Administration Crash Course" to be a cogent and useful primer, one of the best of this sort I've found so far. The focus here is on helping with the transition from Windows to Linux/Ubuntu, and it succeeds as a quick orientation for the less experienced "system non-administrator."

The meat is all in "3 The Tips", of which there are exactly 315. One can indeed "start reading them anywhere," as they're arranged in purely random order. But there's much of value here -- I found well over 120 that I had to highlight, either for immediate application to my Ubuntu system, or to return to later. That's not a bad return on investment!

Minor grousing about the order of tip presentation aside, I think this book is nearly an exemplar of its kind, and I highly recommend it to anyone who has become, or is becoming, an Ubuntu Linux user and enthusiast. It usefully helps bridge the gap between the Microsoft Windows experience and the not-so-different world of the Linux desktop. It provides ample practical help and knowledge to advance your productive use of Ubuntu Linux.

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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book! November 25, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ubuntu Kung Fu: Tips, Tricks, Hints, and Hacks

I have read a lot of linux books over the years, and this is one of the first that I really enjoyed. It is set up for both newbie and guru alike, crammed with tips and tricks, arranged in a way that you can just browse and pick, or use it kinda like a Ubuntu cookbook, if you will.

I ended up reading it cover to cover, picking and choosing my favorites and immediately implementing them upon my linux machines, and marking my favorites for my next install.

I definitely recommend this book for both novice and expert alike, it is a breath of fresh air when compared to those linux books that seem obsessed with the installation of linux and tend to forget about the neat stuff...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for any ubuntu user April 6, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm really impressed with this book. It doesn't go through a long overview of the desktop, the apps, the history of Ubuntu, or how to install Ubuntu. Sure, it does go into those subjects a little bit but it manly is a book full of tips and hacks. It is organized in a way that you can just look at the index find a tip that interests you then just read that tip, you don't have to read cover to cover if you don't want to.

Bottom line: If you use Ubuntu you should consider buying this book. Whether you are a beginner or advance user, with 315 tips I'm sure you will find some helpful tips! I personally found this book made Ubuntu more fun! besides there is a cute kitten on the cover, that should be a good reason to buy this book :)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ubuntu Kung Fu is excellent October 29, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book has a lot of little known "short cuts" that make Ubuntu a lot more useful. Ubuntu has been the most user friendly Linux system ever presented. This book makes it much more this way.

Loved the cover.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read and reference! October 19, 2009
Let me first level-set on my Linux experience and skills..... I am a relative beginner to Ubuntu. I've been using it for about 18 months and I'm on the third version since I started. I am a Windows Sys Admin by profession, but Ubuntu is what I use at home and outside of work.

The first thing I should say about "Ubuntu Kung Fu", is that it really was a pleasant surprise. This book is loaded with tips, tricks and hacks. While I read it cover to cover, you don't have to - it is an excellent collection of practical tips and is going on my desk for future reference. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced Ubuntu user, there are 315 very useful, well detailed shortcuts, hacks and little-known facts presented for easy reading.

I dog-eared many pages and have already implemented a few, and they worked just as described! Many have been marked for use on my next Ubuntu install. I definitely recommend this book - there is value for users at all levels. The author's style is light, thoughtful and well researched. I highly recommend "Ubuntu Kung Fu" for anyone interested in wanting to get more out of Ubuntu and their computer.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Nerd stuff
Very helpful, After buying a used & newly fully loaded tower for $20.00 with Ubuntu software, I am very happy I bought this book. A lot of info. Always rereading for advice.
Published 4 months ago by Ms Jan
3.0 out of 5 stars A lot of Linux books copying one another
There appears to be a mass-production of Linux books all copying one another.
I didn't find very many useful tips hints or hacks.
Published 13 months ago by dw
3.0 out of 5 stars Ask Felgall - Book Review
I was somewhat disappointed in the selection of the tips presented in this book. While there are a number of really useful tips that will help you to get more out Ubuntu in the... Read more
Published on December 12, 2011 by Stephen Chapman
5.0 out of 5 stars great ubuntu book!
As an experienced linux user I thought this might be too basic but I've got to say I've learned my way around Ubuntu thanks to this book. Read more
Published on September 3, 2009 by Strom
4.0 out of 5 stars The book that helps
Title: Ubuntu Kung Fu Tips, Tricks, Hints, and Hacks
Author(s): Keir Thomas
Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Inc. Read more
Published on May 8, 2009 by Aras Memisyazici
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Imformative and Interesting
I bought this book to try and get more information that isn't commonly known. I found alot of tips and hints that make Ubuntu, and Linux, a little more interesting. Read more
Published on February 3, 2009 by Thunderbird
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad.
From description, sounded like there would be a little more linux education. Mostly, it was just tweaking around with Ubuntu's bells and whistles.
Published on January 30, 2009 by Jason L. Morris
5.0 out of 5 stars Ubuntu Kung-Fu
Taught me things about Ubuntu that I never knew. I now run Ubuntu as a primary operating system thanks to Kier Thomas
Published on December 18, 2008 by Rescue51
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple Tips and Tricks!
If you are an ubuntu non-geek, then this is the simple way to learn all that you need to know. Just flip to a page and you are up and running. Read more
Published on December 12, 2008 by M. Zyon Mccalley-scott
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