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on December 10, 2013
Matthew Helmke does a great job covering all the bases for newer Ubuntu users (introduces the desktop interfaces as well as the command line) to the new features for the more advanced Ubuntu users (virtualization, OpenStack, Juju, etc). This book even covers some of the new capabilities for supporting touch/mobile platforms.

If you want to learn more about Mir, the replacement for X, this book does not cover that. Mir is considered ready for use by testers but is not the default in 13.10 and will not be the default in the new 14.04 LTS.

This 2014 Edition covers both Desktop and Server. If you want to set up a LAMP (Linux Apache MySQL PHP) web server, you're set. There are primer sections for Perl, PHP, and Python. It also covers Nginx, FTP server, email server, PostgreSQL, NoSQL, etc.

This is an excellent reference for the home user, network professional, or tinkerer.
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on March 8, 2014
This is a really great manual, not a Betty Crocker cookbook of Ubuntu! This the only supplement to the Ubuntu website I needed to get me back into Linux.

Windows XPocalypse encourages this return after 20+ years (Actually 25 years for Unix and version 2 for Linux) so I'm a bit rusty. It is sort of like coming home from a long trip and finding that your family has completely refurnished the house, thrown out the junk and added a home entertainment center. I needed a good guide and this is the perfect one.

The book is written in the traditional manner of its predecessors. It well organized and there are visible (but not tactile) gray chapter number marker tabs on the page margins. Organization is in Parts/Chapters/Subchapters, with tips and notes highlighted.

As the author says on page 3 "This book varies in its coverage from deep to shallow over its wide range of topics. This is intentional." As a reader I really like this a lot. There are sufficient headings, subheadings and other cues so that readers can either add or subtract from their reading depending on their level of need for detail. You see that same style of book organization in a lot of the old FORTRAN and DOS tutorial books, but for some reason it seems to have gotten lost by some writers in this ADHD century.

Here are the major parts of the book:
Contents at a Glance
Table of Contents
Part-I Installation and configuration
Part-II Desktop Ubuntu
Part-III System administration
Part-IV Ubuntu as a server
Part-V Programming Linux

My comment about the Ubuntu DVD installation process:

Part I, also called Getting Started has two chapters. Chapter 1 is Installing Ubuntu and Post-Installation Configuration, Chapter 2 is Background information and resources. I skimmed chapter 2 first. I would strongly recommend reading page 42-47 first, which is information regarding resources, online support and the Ubuntu community. When I installed Ubuntu on my laptop I used online support from my soon-to-be-defunct Windows XP desktop then switched to reading online support from the Ubuntu laptop, but not everyone has the luxury of two computers. Which is the reason for reading about online support and making such decisions before starting the installation.

The enclosed DVD contains the current release 13.10. The DVD will work in demo mode or will install, showing the same instruction screens as the website tutorial. If the reader is using it to upgrade 12.04 or a previous release or wants to upgrade from 13.10 to 14.04 the book won't necessarily help but all the needed info is right there for you on the Ubuntu website. I plan on upgrading this spring because 14.04 will be a long term support release like 12.04 was, but 13.10 will be transiently supported.
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on March 21, 2014
The book is well written and authoritative. I'm well grounded in UNIX and Linux, and I'm returning to Linux after an absence of about 5 years. I'm new to the Ubuntu distribution. I think this book will be very helpful to newcomers and seasoned veterans alike. Matthew Helmke has a very relaxed writing style that I find easy to read.

The big surprise for me was the insight into the Ubuntu software development and management processes.

Well done!
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on June 3, 2014
I think this is a good summary of the more important things about Ubuntu. It doesn't go into the depth I wished for. for instance, the Unity GUI is so weird for the standard Windows user (talking about Windows up to version 7 here) that more material on this would be necessary. Unity is the first thing you see about Ubuntu Linux and it is hard to master so I think there should be more material on this.
Other things are touched but then not handled in depth quoting that it would be too much material to cover in the book. I think the book should leave out some of the more obscure aspects and rather focus on a more in depth approach of the more important things.
Still it is a good overview for a total newcommer like myself.
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on January 8, 2014
Huge tome. Very thorough. The first time user should have no problems with it. I'm not a rank beginner, but I am a novice and it's good reading.
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on May 23, 2014
I purchased the 2013 edition but a new one comes out each year which is nearly identical, and I figure no one is looking at the 2013 edition reviews anymore so I'll copy/paste here what I wrote for that one:
I am often disappointed with technical books but this one is very nice. Very clearly and nicely written, and thorough. Even when some details on a topic are missing, this is indicated, so you can know what to search for elsewhere in case you need to. I installed Ubuntu on a Mac partition so I have it along with OSX on the same computer, and obviously the book does not cover something unusual like that, but this book was still very helpful for my install, along with the Mac-specific stuff I found on the web. An excellent reference not just for Ubuntu but Linux in general, especially Debian on which Ubuntu is based. Sure, all the info is on the web but I found it much more efficient to find what I need in this well-organized book, plus I can mark this up, etc. It is good for both beginners and more advanced users. It is also nice that they keep it up to date with the (usually) minor changes that occur with new Ubuntu releases, but it means there are not many reviews per edition, so maybe look at reviews also for earlier editions if you are undecided about whether or not to get this book.
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on April 28, 2014
This book will introduce you to Linux Ubuntu and walk you through a progressively deeper understanding of this excellent operating system. Includes a DVD to install Ubuntu 13.10 and an offer to receive Ubuntu 14.04 (currently released as of April 18, 2014). After using MS Windows for 20 years I am very happy to switch completely to Ubuntu and the open source system. This book makes all that possible. Highly recommended, even though it is a bit pricey, it is worth every penny if you are thinking about making the change from MS Windows to Ubuntu.
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on May 16, 2014
I generally "invest" in every new edition of this franchise and have never been disappointed for having a current desk reference for the latest release of Ubuntu. I only give it a four because it is it is not a complete desk reference, even on the current version of Ubuntu and I supplement it with other books as well. The other thing I like is the availability of updates on the release of 14.04 from the publisher.
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on July 28, 2014
Good book. FYI, on some (all?) versions of PC Kindle, the "-" (hyphen/dash) character does not render. Without a little experimentation or pre-existing knowledge, this can be vexing. If a command doesn't work, try googling it (e.g. "apt get" == "apt-get", "sudo i" == "sudo -i", etc)
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on August 4, 2014
I highly recommend this book because it covers steps that are not covered by online web pages or man pages. I'm not new to being a Linux user, but I'm new to being a Linux admin. I found all online sources to be woefully lacking in completeness, and users unwilling to give me complete steps. This book covers those gaps by explaining things simply, in easy steps, and a clear layout.

Normally I read 5-10 different web pages to try and fix my problem before I post a question on a forum, but all those pages failed, and when I read this book, it was because the web pages were incomplete, unprofessional and sloppy. This book really helps.
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