GNU/Linux Desktop Survival Guide
by Graham Williams
20190705 With freedom comes choice and throughout this book you will find many choices. The first choice is the version GNU/Linux! This book itself has migrated through many versions of GNU/Linux. Indeed, the very first version included detailed instructions on setting up a GNU/Linux machine from the very basics, but quickly migrated to some early basic distributions that collected together the basic building blocks. It wasn't long though before the Debian distribution was created (by Ian and named for his wife Deb). With the backing of a commercial entity called Canonical, the most widely used distribution ever, based on Debian, was created, called Ubuntu (named after the African cultural trait of welcoming your neighhbours, and sharing what you have).
This book, in its latest iteration, uses Ubuntu GNU/Linux—the most widely used GNU/Linux distribution and based on the most open Debian GNU/Linux distribution. These distributions have set the standards for a free (as in liberty) software and collaborative development and user environment and indeed ecosystem. Ubuntu is the operating system of choice for many and is readily accessible even on the Microsoft Windows 10 platform, where it is available out of the box through the Windows Subsystem for Linux.
Much of what we share in this book though also applies to the other flavours of Gnu/Linux, including Red Hat. Also, a growing number of the applications (including OpenOffice, AbiWord, The Gimp, Dia and gPhoto, to name just a few) are cross-platform developments and can run natively under Microsoft Windows. The chapters that cover these applications in this book will also generally apply to those versions of the applications.
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