GNU/Linux Desktop Survival Guide
by Graham Williams
There are many ways of obtaining GNU/Linux and we only cover the most common approaches. Chapter 5 provides an overview of installing Ubuntu with detailed examples for a number of hardware platforms. We record a selection of actual installations of Debian and Ubuntu in Chapter 38, and these actual examples may be of assistance in installing on your particular computer. Chapter 6 is a brief introduction to some of the essential GNU/Linux utilities that you are likely to come across soon.
The Debian packaging system used to manage (and take all of the hard work out of maintaining) packages is described in Chapter 3.4. Once you have completed an install of Ubuntu (which may take an hour or so depending on network connectivity) you will have a system ready to use with all of the applications you have come to expect from a computer. On a more technical level Chapter 42 shows how simple it is to compile your own kernel to suit your hardware requirements, if you wanted or needed to. It is not so common today but in the 1990's we would often compile our own kernels to support our specific hardware.
The remaining alphabetical chapters cover the Desktop Environment and Ubuntu GNU/Linux administration.
All of the major classes of desktop tools are covered, including word processing, spreadsheets, personal information management, graphics, databases and, of course, games. Also included are chapters covering some of the tools for developers, including emacs and glade. The aim is to set you well on the road to using these tools at a level that is sufficient for many users. Of course, each tool itself deserves, and often has available for it, a book or extensive manuals.
The administration chapters cover very many different topics that let you tune your GNU/Linux system to suit your needs. Not everything here is relevant to everybody, but it brings together many recipes for many of the typical tasks that users sometimes need to know about, again without going into exhaustive detail (which is available elsewhere if you need it or are interested).
So sit back and cherish the liberty of free software and become part of the community that is making computers and the applications they run a benefit to society world wide, rather than a costly privilege.
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