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A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux with DVDby Mark G. Sobell
Whether you are an end user, a system administrator, or a little of both, this book explains with step-by-step examples how to get the most out of an Ubuntu Linux system. In 27 chapters, this book takes you from installing an Ubuntu system through understanding its inner workings to setting up secure servers that run on the system.
This book is designed for a wide range of readers. It does not require you to have programming experience, although having some experience using a general-purpose computer, such as a Windows, Macintosh, UNIX, or another Linux system is certainly helpful. This book is appropriate for
A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux® gives you a broad understanding of many facets of Linux, from installing Ubuntu Linux through using and customizing it. No matter what your background, this book provides the knowledge you need to get on with your work. You will come away from this book understanding how to use Linux, and this book will remain a valuable reference for years to come.
If you read A Practical Guide to Linux® Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming, you will notice some overlap between that book and the one you are reading now. The first chapter, the chapters on the utilities and the filesystem, and the appendix on regular expressions are very similar in the two books, as are the three chapters on the Bourne Again Shell (bash). Chapters that appear in this book but do not appear in A Practical Guide to Linux® Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming include Chapters 2 and 3 (installation), Chapters 4 and 8 (Ubuntu Linux and the GUI), Chapter 10 (networking), all of the chapters in Part IV (system administration) and Part V (servers), and Appendix C (security).
While this book explains how to use Linux from a graphical interface and from the command line (a textual interface), A Practical Guide to Linux® Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming works exclusively with the command line. It includes full chapters on the vi and emacs editors, as well as chapters on the gawk pattern processing language and the sed stream editor. In addition, it has a command reference section that provides extensive examples of the use of more than 80 of the most important Linux utilities. You can use these utilities to solve problems without resorting to programming in C.
This Book Includes Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon (7.10) on a Live/Install DVD
This book includes a live/install DVD that holds the Gutsy Gibbon (7.10) release of Ubuntu Linux. You can use this DVD to run a live Ubuntu session that displays the GNOME desktop without making any changes to your computer: Boot from the DVD, run an Ubuntu live session, and log off. Your system remains untouched: When you reboot, it is exactly as it was before you ran the Ubuntu live session. Alternatively, you can install Ubuntu from the live session. Chapter 2 helps you get ready to install Ubuntu. Chapter 3 provides step-by-step instructions for installing Ubuntu from this DVD. This book guides you through learning about, using, and administrating an Ubuntu Linux session.
The included DVD incorporates all the features of the live/install Desktop CD as well as the Alternate and Server CDs. It also includes all software packages supported by Ubuntu. You can use it to perform a graphical or textual (command line) installation of either a graphical or a textual Ubuntu system. If you do not have an Internet connection, you can use the DVD as a software repository and install any supported software packages from it.
Features of This Book
This book is designed and organized so you can get the most out of it in the shortest amount of time. You do not have to read this book straight through in page order. Instead, once you are comfortable using Linux, you can use this book as a reference: Look up a topic of interest in the table of contents or index and read about it. Or think of the book as a catalog of Linux topics: Flip through the pages until a topic catches your eye. The book includes many pointers to Web sites where you can get additional information: Consider the Internet an extension of this book.
A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux® is structured with the following features:
Key Topics Covered in This Book
This book contains a lot of information. This section distills and summarizes its contents. In addition, “Details” (starting on page xli) describes what each chapter covers. Finally, the table of contents provides more detail.
Working with Ubuntu Linux
Clients and Servers
Chapter 1 presents a brief history of Linux and explains some of the features that make it a cutting-edge operating system. The “Conventions Used in This Book” (page 17) section details the typefaces and terminology this book uses.
Part I, “Installing Ubuntu Linux,” discusses how to install Ubuntu Linux. Chapter 2 presents an overview of the process of installing Ubuntu Linux, including hardware requirements, downloading and burning a CD or DVD, and planning the layout of the hard disk. Chapter 3 is a step-by-step guide to installing Ubuntu Linux from a CD or DVD, using the graphical or textual installer. It also shows how to set up the X Window System and customize your desktop (GUI).
Part II, “Getting Started with Ubuntu Linux,” familiarizes you with Ubuntu Linux, covering logging in, the GUI, utilities, the filesystem, and the shell. Chapter 4 introduces desktop features, including the Top and Bottom panels and the Main menu; explains how to use the Nautilus File Browser to manage files, run programs, and connect to FTP and HTTP servers; covers finding documentation, dealing with login problems, and using the window manager; and presents some suggestions on where to find documentation, including manuals, tutorials, software notes, and HOWTOs. Chapter 5 introduces the shell command line interface, describes more than 30 useful utilities, and presents a tutorial on the vim text editor. Chapter 6 discusses the Linux hierarchical filesystem, covering files, filenames, pathnames, working with directories, access permissions, and hard and symbolic links. Chapter 7 introduces the Bourne Again Shell (bash) and discusses command line arguments and options, redirecting input to and output from commands, running programs in the background, and using the shell to generate and expand filenames.
TIP: Experienced users may want to skim Part IIIf you have used a UNIX or Linux system before, you may want to skim or skip some or all of the chapters in Part II. Part I has two sections that all readers should take a look at: “Conventions Used in This Book” (page 17), which explains the typographic and layout conventions used in this book, and “Where to Find Documentation” (page 124), which points out both local and remote sources of Linux and Ubuntu documentation.
Part III, “Digging into Ubuntu Linux,” goes into more detail about working with the system. Chapter 8 discusses the GUI (desktop) and includes a section on how to run a graphical program on a remote system and have the display appear locally. The section on GNOME describes several GNOME utilities, including the new Deskbar applet, and goes into more depth about the Nautilus File Browser. Chapter 9 extends the bash coverage from Chapter 7, explaining how to redirect error output, avoid overwriting files, and work with job control, processes, startup files, important shell builtin commands, parameters, shell variables, and aliases. Chapter 10 explains networks, network security, and the Internet and discusses types of networks, subnets, protocols, addresses, hostnames, and various network utilities. The section on distributed computing describes the client/server model and some of the servers you can use on a network. Chapter 11 goes into greater depth about shell programming using bash, with the discussion enhanced by extensive examples. Details of setting up and using clients and servers are reserved until Part V.
Part IV covers system administration. Chapter 12 discusses core concepts such as the use of sudo, working with root privileges, system operation, chroot jails, TCP wrappers, general information about how to set up a server, DHCP, and PAM. Chapter 13 explains the Linux filesystem, going into detail about types of files, including special and device files; the use of fsck to verify the integrity of and repair filesystems; and the use of tune2fs to change filesystem parameters. Chapter 14 explains how to keep a system up-to-date by downloading software from the Internet and installing it, including examples of using APT programs such as aptitude, apt-get, and apt-cache. It also covers the dpkg software packaging system and the use of some dpkg utilities. Finally, it explains how to use BitTorrent from the command line to download files. Chapter 15 explains how to set up the CUPS printing system so you can print on both local and remote systems. Chapter 16 details customizing and building a Linux kernel. Chapter 17 covers additional administration tasks, including setting up user accounts, backing up files, scheduling automated tasks, tracking disk usage, and solving general problems. Chapter 18 explains how to set up a local area network (LAN), including both hardware (including wireless) and software configuration.
Part V goes into detail about setting up and running servers and connecting to them with clients. Where appropriate, these chapters include JumpStart sections that get you off to a quick start in using clients and setting up servers. The chapters in Part V cover the following clients/servers:
Part VI includes appendixes on regular expressions, helpful Web sites, system security, and free software. This part also includes an extensive glossary with more than 500 entries plus a comprehensive index.
The authors home page (www.sobell.com) contains downloadable listings of the longer programs from this book as well as pointers to many interesting and useful Linux sites on the World Wide Web, a list of corrections to the book, answers to even-numbered exercises, and a solicitation for corrections, comments, and suggestions.
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