5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 3 May 2011
A well written and illustrated book, and a very useful reference for a Linux novice, and anyone wanting to go a bit further with programming. An interesting little bit of Linux history is included, plus some good reference information at the back, however from my perspective I would have preferred a bit less on programming and more on Linux/Ubuntu basics. For example, I downloaded/installed a programme which I subsequently didn't like, but didn't know how to remove it. It is in fact very simple, and if I'd paid more attention when installing it, I would have known what to do, but an `uninstalling' reference in the index and a brief sentence in the text, would have been helpful. Also there is nothing about using `Wine' to run the occasional windows programme. (Perhaps this is frowned upon.) The disk accompanying the book is Ubuntu 10.04 - not the latest version, but one that has long term support.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 5 May 2011
I have played with linux before, I once managed to get World of Warcraft running in WINE (think windows emulator for linux), but never really had a clue about linux, google and ubuntu forums got a lot of use by me, this was back in 2009 when I built my desktop. After a while, I bit the bullet and spent my money to feed Microsoft's share price and went back to windows.
Back in 2003, I had a play with SUSE linux, but the internet setup got the better of me and again I went back to windows.
Now, I have just got a shiny new Xbox 360, an addiction to forza and feel its time to go back to linux. Windows went in a blaze of anger, and this book let me down. Windows 7 puts in a silly little partition that upsets the ubuntu installation if you want some control over dual booting to preserve windows. I couldn't find a way round it and after some google power and messing around in windows where I failed to remove the system recovery partition, I found myself in ubuntu installation and removed windows 7 off my pc, causing ubuntu to install like a dream. This is a book for basics, and going from windows 7 to linux is not an uncommon experiment and feel the book should cover this stupid microsoft partition milarky.
I would have liked to dual boot, but section 6 on page 15 is lacking due to ubuntu and windows differences over the 100mb partition on my main hard drive.(This is why I want to put linux on my pc, microsoft does things like random 100mb problems and makes it very hard for you to correct it. Another word of warning, if you want to dual boot, on a blank hard drive, put windows on first as windows just eats linux instalation boot records and it makes it hard to boot back into linux. Another reason for me to start buying linux books..........)
Next problem was the new ubuntu I got off the net, 11.04 natty. This causes problems with its new unity interface. Go to apps, find the login screen app and change one of the drop down boxes to ubuntu classic and now the ubuntu version is very like the one described in the book and unity is banished. I could have used the included cd, but publishing times and the march of progress mean it is a little out of date now at version 10.04.1. Not a big problem, it will still work.
It pays to really read the book and not just skim it. The command line line interface caused myself problems due to it being case sensitive. I had to read the responsible section in the book carefully to find it, a problem caused by me!
The book itself covers alot of the programs that come free with linux, it devotes 2 chapters to media software like mp3 players, camera and disk burning. It covers office programs as well. This is good for newbies, it shows how to install them. Installation of software is so different from windows, so it is good to have it covered in the book.
This is a book for beginners, the depth is not that great but it provides enough info to get you going. To be honest, I found a lot of information out that is covered by the book by just playing, but when I get stuck, the book is there and only let me down when it came to partition problems with windows.
I liked the way the book ran through the basics of python programming over 7 pages, teaching the basics and then said if you want to know more, go to this website.
The more I think about this book, the better I find it. It does cover everything well enough to get you to become an ubuntu user, able to carry out most tasks by normal people. It gives a taste of everything linux flavoured and encourages the open source community.
I am aware I have waffled, but in part it is to cover the problems I ran into to try and help others, and will wrap this up by saying 5 stars for new comers to ubuntu, anyone one with experience, look else where. It would be harsh to take a star off for the partition problem, hmmm a review of windows coming up, i'll deduct it there :)
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Just installed Unbuntu on a cheapo PC I built and having no knowledge of Linux found this book to be very good.
I would consider myself to be an advanced Windows user but an absolute novice when it comes to Linux and was pleasantly surprised at how quick, easy and painless the installation went - totally unlike configuring a new Windows PC!!
I basically skipped the first five chapters as these cover the installation of Unbuntu (which is also included with the book), connecting to the internet and running some of the inbuilt programs (office equivalent progs, mp3 / video players) most of which I had done / didn't need or were pretty self-explanatory anyway. After chapter 5 things start to ramp up (don't worry, it goes slowly) with introductions to the command line, file system, system administration, setting up a web server and programming. The appendices are great reference pages just in case you can't quite remember what you need to type to perform a certain command or what a particular term means.
The book is a really nice hardback guide with lots of colour screen-shots and examples to guide you through the processes, like it's title suggests it will get you started and give you a good grounding in Linux but by no means is a comprehensive guide if you want to get into the really heavy stuff.
My only criticism is that it is rather large to keep on your desk but this does allow for more screen shots and decent sized text. You could easily buy it and only use it for the first 5 chapters if you have no interest in what happens in the background of Linux but for those wanting a little more information/insight I would say it rates as invaluable at this price.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 July 2013
This book is an excellent way to get to grips with Linux and Ubuntu in particular, some of it is a little basic but if you have no prior knowledge then thats exactly what you want!
on 2 June 2013
This book was recommended in the letters page of a magazine (though the magazine piece did point out that this book does not use the latest version of Ubuntu as its reference). Never the less, I thought that the major difference would be only in the user interface, and so it has proved. This book has helped a newbie (me) find his way around.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 23 May 2012
I had never tried Linux before, and thanks to this book and the CD that comes with it I was able to remove Wndows Vista & load this version of Linux on a very old laptop that hardly worked under Windows, and it became almost the fastest PC in the house. This book is quite easy to follow. The only "difficult" part is to get the PC to read from the CD rom before looking at the hard disk. This is all explained in the book. Since then I have tried and used all sorts of other versions of Linux, but I keep coming back to this book as a source of reference. Very good.