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Official Ubuntu Book, The (4th Edition)

 
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Author/s: Benjamin Mako Hill, Matthew Helmke, and Corey Burger
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Review by: Campbell Ritchie
Rating: 7 horseshoes

Always read the contents before buying a book: try here for this book. This is a quick introduction to Ubuntu, complete with DVD, now in its 4th edition.

The book is written is a crystal-clear style, very fast and easy to read. It is a robust paperback, with clear type, good page layout and has a large index. I greatly enjoyed reading it, and learned a lot. Some of the screenshots, though well-printed, have small print on. I think I found two significant misprints in appendix A, and a 3rd insignificant typo elsewhere.

It starts with the history of Linux and the Ubuntu project, and much of its latter part is about the Ubuntu community. It tells readers how to join, both by using the forums, and by contributing to Ubuntu. We also read about different but related operating systems, e.g. Kubuntu. The central part is about how to run and install Ubuntu, reaching into server use and some problems.

I felt the book would have benefited from more detail in the how-to pages. Maybe this is impracticable; there are lots of links to websites likely to be helpful. Or maybe this book would appeal more to beginners with more hand-holding and detail in the early stages. And maybe the experienced user would like more details too.

But for a wide-ranging introduction to Ubuntu, where you to Google when the information appears scanty, go for it!
 
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