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Ubuntu Unleashed 2008 Edition: Covering 8.04 and 8.10 (4th Edition) [Kindle Edition]

Andrew Hudson , Paul Hudson
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Ubuntu Unleashed 2008 Edition presents comprehensive coverage of the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution. Windows users, Mac users, and Linux enthusiasts have been increasingly turning to Ubuntu for a user-friendly, easy-to-use Linux distribution.

This book provides detailed information on installing, using, and administering Ubuntu. You will learn how to set up a workstation or a server, and you will find complete details on Ubuntu’s easy-to-use desktop and productivity software.

Ubuntu Unleashed 2008 Edition includes a range of coverage: From the software you need in your everyday work, such as the productivity suite, to how to configure your Linux desktop to run smoothly using multiple printers, shell scripts, and more.

For the hardcore Linux enthusiast, there is complete coverage of the X Window system, Linux programming, web server administration, and network administration.

Includes a DVD with a full Ubuntu Linux distribution, plus a free upgrade to Ubuntu Linux 8.10 once it is released

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Andrew Hudson is a freelance journalist who specializes in writing about Linux. He has significant experience in Red Hat and Debian-based Linux distributions and deployments and can often be found sitting at his keyboard tweaking various settings and config files just for the hell of it. He lives in Wiltshire, which is a county of England, along with his wife, Bernice, and their son, John. Andrew does not like Emacs. He can be reached at


Paul Hudson is a recognized expert in open-source technologies. He is also a professional developer and full-time journalist for Future Publishing. His articles have appeared in Mac Format, PC Answers, PC Format, PC Plus, and Linux Format. Paul is passionate about free software in all its forms and uses a mix of Linux and BSD to power his desktops and servers. Paul likes Emacs. Paul can be contacted through




Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.



Welcome to Ubuntu Unleashed, 2008 Edition! This book covers the free Linux distribution named Ubuntu and includes a fully functional and complete operating system produced by the Ubuntu Community, sponsored by Canonical Software. This book covers Ubuntu version 8.04 LTS, commonly known as the Hardy Heron.

Ubuntu directly descends from one of the oldest and most revered Linux distributions ever: Debian. Those of you who know nothing about Linux will likely not have heard of Debian; it is enough to know that it is considered to be one of the most stable and secure Linux distributions currently available. Ubuntu benefits directly from many contributions from free software developers across the world.

If you are new to Linux, you have made a great decision by choosing this book. Sams Publishing's Unleashed books offer an in-depth look at their subject, taking in both beginner and advanced users and moving them to a new level of knowledge and expertise. Ubuntu is a fast-changing distribution that can be updated at least twice a year. We have tracked the development of Ubuntu from early on to make sure that the information in this book mirrors closely the development of the distribution. A full copy of Ubuntu is included on the enclosed disc, making it possible for you to install Linux in less than an hour! No longer an upstart, Linux now has an enviable position in today's modern computing world. It can be found on machines as diverse as mobile phones and wristwatches, all the way up to supercomputers—in fact, Linux currently runs on more than half of the world's top 500 supercomputers.

Do not let the reputation of Linux discourage you, however. Most people who have heard of Linux think that it is found only on servers, looking after websites and email. Nothing could be further from the truth because Linux is making huge inroads in to the desktop market, too. Corporations are realizing the benefits of running a stable and powerful operating system that is easy to maintain and easy to secure. Add to that the hundreds of improvements in usability, and Linux becomes an attractive proposition that tempts many CIOs. The best part is that as large Linux vendors improve Linux, the majority of those improvements make it into freely available distributions, allowing you to benefit from the additions and refinements made. You can put Ubuntu to work today and be assured of a great user experience.

This book provides all the information that you need to get up and running with Ubuntu. It even tells you how to keep Ubuntu running in top shape and how to adapt Ubuntu to changes in your own needs. You can use Ubuntu at home, in the workplace, or, with permission, at your school or college. In fact, you might want to poke around your school's computer rooms: You will probably find that someone has already beaten you to the punch—Linux is commonly found in academic institutions. Feel free to make as many copies of the software as you want; because Ubuntu is freely distributable all over the world, no copyright lawyers are going to pound on your door.

After an introduction to Linux and Ubuntu, you will find out how to get started with Ubuntu, including installation and initial configuration. We also take you through installing software, managing users, and other common administrative tasks. For the more technically minded, we also cover some starting steps in programming across several languages—why not pick one and try it out? Throughout this book, you will also find information about multimedia applications, digital graphics, and even gaming (for after-hours when you are finished tinkering). After you make it through this book, you will be well equipped with the knowledge needed to use Linux successfully. We do assume that you are at least familiar with an operating system already (even if it is not with Linux) and have some basic computer knowledge.


Software licensing is an important issue for all computer users and can entail moral, legal, and financial considerations. Many consumers think that purchasing a copy of a commercial or proprietary operating system, productivity application, utility, or game conveys ownership, but this is not true. In the majority of cases, the end user license agreement (EULA) included with a commercial software package states that you have paid only for the right to use the software according to specific terms. This generally means you may not examine, make copies, share, resell, or transfer ownership of the software package. More onerous software licenses enforce terms that preclude you from distributing or publishing comparative performance reviews of the software. Even more insidious licensing schemes (and supporting legislation, especially in the United States) contain provisions allowing onsite auditing of the software's use!

This is not the case with the software included with this book. You are entirely free to make copies, share them with friends, and install the software on as many computers as you want—we encourage you to purchase additional copies of this book to give as gifts, however. Be sure to read the README file on the disc included with this book for important information regarding the included software and disk contents. After you install Ubuntu, go to to find a copy of the GNU GPL. You will see that the GPL provides unrestricted freedom to use, duplicate, share, study, modify, improve, and even sell the software.

You can put your copy of Ubuntu to work right away in your home or at your place of business without worrying about software licensing, per-seat workstation or client licenses, software auditing, royalty payments, or any other type of payments to third parties. However, be aware that although much of the software included with Ubuntu is licensed under the GPL, some packages on this book's disc are licensed under other terms. There is a variety of related software licenses, and many software packages fall under a broad definition known as open source. Some of these include the Artistic License, the BSD License, the Mozilla Public License, and the Q Public License.

For additional information about the various GNU software licenses, browse to For a definition of open-source and licensing guidelines, along with links to the terms of nearly three dozen open-source licenses, browse to

Who This Book Is For

This book is for anyone searching for guidance on using Ubuntu and primarily focuses on Intel-based PC platforms. Although the contents are aimed at intermediate to advanced users, even new users with a bit of computer savvy will benefit from the advice, tips, tricks, traps, and techniques presented in each chapter. Pointers to more detailed or related information are also provided at the end of each chapter.

If you are new to Linux, you might need to learn some new computer skills, such as how to research your computer's hardware, how to partition a hard drive, and (occasionally) how to use a command line. This book helps you learn these skills and shows you how to learn more about your computer, Linux, and the software included with Ubuntu. System administrators with experience using other operating systems can use the information in this book to install, set up, and run common Linux software services, such as the Network File System (NFS), a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server, and a web server (using Apache, among others).

What This Book Contains

Ubuntu Unleashed is organized into seven parts, covering installation and configuration, Ubuntu on the desktop, system administration, programming and housekeeping, and a reference section. A disc containing the entire distribution is included so that you have everything you need to get started. This book starts by covering the initial and essential tasks required to get Ubuntu installed and running on a target system.

If you are new to Linux, and more specifically Ubuntu, first read the chapters in Part I, "Installation and Configuration." You will get valuable information on the following:

  • Detailed steps that walk you through installation

  • Critical advice on key configuration steps to fully install and configure Linux to work with your system's subsystems or peripherals, such as pointers, keyboards, modems, USB devices and power management

  • Initial steps needed by new users transitioning from other computing environments

  • Working with GNOME, the default desktop environment for Ubuntu

Part II, "Desktop Ubuntu," is aimed at users who want to get productive with Ubuntu and covers the following:

  • Discovering the many productivity applications that come with Ubuntu

  • Surfing the Internet and working with email and newsgroups

  • Using Ubuntu to listen to music and watch video

  • Using Ubuntu to download and manipulate images from digital cameras

  • Setting up local printers for Ubuntu

  • Understanding the current state of gaming for Linux

Moving beyond the productivity and desktop areas of Ubuntu, Part III, "System Administration," covers the following:

  • Managing users and groups

  • Automating tasks and using shell scripts

  • Monitoring system resources and availability

  • Backup strategies and software

  • Network connectivity, including sharing folders and securing the network

  • Internet connectivity via dial-up and broadband connections

Part IV, "Ubuntu as a Server" gives you the information y...

Product Details

  • File Size: 10405 KB
  • Print Length: 864 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Sams Publishing; 4 edition (July 10, 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001ANYDP4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,487,371 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Misinformed and out of touch August 14, 2008
The book contains lots of misinformation and long outdated notions, and approaches things in a way that doesn't make sense either for Ubuntu novices or those experienced with Linux.

E.g. on pages 30 and 31 it indicates that Ubuntu 8.04 doesn't enable Universe and Multiverse by default, which has not been true for a while.

E.g. In its introduction to Python on page 561 it says "Although PHP is fundamentally similar to Java and Perl, Python is closer to C and Modula-3, and so might look unfamiliar at first." Java and PHP are light-years apart, and saying Python is closer to C is bizarre.

The section on backups recommends tape drives for many classes of user - a slow, expensive and long outdated technology.

It wastes people's time talking about telnet.

Most everywhere I look, there is misinformation. I'm going to stop looking now.

I won this book in a raffle, and plan to recycle it rather than confusing someone else by giving it away.
There are much better Ubuntu books out there by folks that actually work on the distribution, like the "Official Ubuntu Book" (3rd Edition) by Benjamin Mako Hill, Corey Burger, Jonathan Jesse, and Jono Bacon.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not for ubuntu August 3, 2008
I hate this book. I own the first and the second edition which covers ubuntu 7.04.

I think they took their fedora unleashed book and replaced all instances of "fedora" with "ubuntu" and published the result as ubuntu unleashed.

The book contains things which are not true or simple for ubuntu. For example it talks about /etc/inittab but there is no such a folder in ubuntu. They are not even aware that there is a graphical application to install graphic drivers. The music player they referred to was Beep Media Player (nothing wrong with it as an audio player per se) which isn't even installed on Ubuntu by default. The list goes on.

So that book may be a good fedora book but it is not a good ubuntu book.

May be they fixed things in later editions, I have not seen them. But there are definetely better ubuntu books out there.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much of a mish-mash August 30, 2008
First off, this book is not for beginners.
Second, the information is not in any order and has a cobbled-together format which is annoying and even confusing; so much so that I even returned it.
I agree with the criticisms given in the other reviews so no need to repeat all that.
If you're an absolute beginner with Ubuntu, Marcel Gagne's book: "Moving to Ubuntu Linux" is very good, but not great.
A very good book that's more advanced is William Von Hagen's: "ubuntu Linux bible" - but he's coming out with an updated version in 2/09, so you could wait for that.
I just got into using the Ubuntu OS and have to say I like it a lot, but you still have to use the command line for some things and I have yet to see any book that explains it in easy to understand terms.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This book should never have been published. December 18, 2008
Well, it did get me started with Ubuntu UNIX, but it is full or errors, completely inconsistent. They reference examples that do not exist, for instance see page 346; " entry from the previous example" - huh? It is full of typo's. They talk about features in Ubuntu that I have never been able to find, even their description of the install process, with their own disk does not match what actually happens. They tell you things like rm will delete a directory! See page 681 "deleting files and directories with rm". No one could ever hope to learn networking with their cobbled together chapter on it. It makes me feel somewhat better seeing the other reviews here, I thought I was going crazy trying to learn from this REALLY BAD book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Free Upgrade October 19, 2008
By Bruce
In regards to the claim that you will get a Free Upgrade to 8.10 when its released, it must be said that the statement is misleading. The only time that you would pay for Ubuntu or any Linux distro is if:

A. You decided to donate to the cause
B. You didn't what to make your own install cd by downloading the FREE iso image and burning it to a cd and decided to buy a copy from some of the websites online that sell copys for an extremely low price.

I just wanted to clear up that one small point.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Useful Book and DVD for Programmers August 5, 2008
I was having trouble configuring my Ubuntu installation for programming C and this book and DVD provided me with all the resources that I needed to fix my problems. The book provided the needed information and the DVD provided the needed software packages. I could not have been happier with this combination. I wish that I had had this book before I setup my Ubuntu system!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Do not believe the "Free DVD" offer April 15, 2009
I purchased this book in 2008. It has been a descent reference, not spectacular.

The reason for the one-star rating is this: the book clearly states on the front cover, the back cover, the spine, the inside back cover, and probably other places that when version 8.10 is released that a "free upgrade kit" will be sent "by mail" to registered customers. I registered the book and the publisher has confirmed it. Version 8.10 was released in October 2008. Starting in January 2009 I began inquiring when I might expect my upgrade kit. I have been trying for over 3 months to get the upgrade kit and I keep getting empty promises that it will be shipped very soon. Excuse me but 9.04 should be released this month. Are you planning on shipping version 8.10 after 9.04 is released? What a waste.

Save your money, buy a cheaper book. I wonder what Ubuntu Unleashed 2009 will promise and not fulfill...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A good book but the publisher . . .
This wrap-up of all Ubuntu features and softwares is well written. You'll find answers to most of your questions. Good work from Andrew and Paul Hudson. Read more
Published on December 24, 2008 by Jean Pierre Dagenais
4.0 out of 5 stars Ubuntu Unleashed by Andrew Hudson
SO far, the book is very informative overall. Some areas, Andrew is very specific and other areas, he does not tell how to get there or where the screenshot is from. Read more
Published on November 11, 2008 by Ofelia Castellanos
5.0 out of 5 stars A comprehensive coverage of all the professional details
College-level and serious programming collections will find UBUNTU UNLEASHED 2008 EDITION an excellent acquisition, presenting a fine coverage of Ubuntu Linux for Windows, Max and... Read more
Published on October 12, 2008 by Midwest Book Review
5.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to Ubuntu
Starts off with the basics like installing the software. Gets into fun stuff and good tips for making this OS work for you. Read more
Published on September 29, 2008 by Nate P
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT
Extremely informative and well written. I would recommend "Ubuntu Unleashed" to anyone interested in obtaining more in-depth information about Ubuntu Linux. Read more
Published on September 13, 2008 by William G. Harvey
1.0 out of 5 stars Covers 8.10? Hasn't been released yet?
Ubuntu 8.10 isn't released yet, how can the book cover Ubuntu 8.10? As the name of 8.10 the intrepid ibex revers to is released in october (10) of 2008. Read more
Published on July 17, 2008 by Jonathan Jesse
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