Creates, edits, and manages network devices Manages software and updates Configures local and network printers Manages users and groups Provides one-click access to system updates Works with and configure connected disks Configures Ubuntu to use one of many languages Manages system services

Creates and manage shared directories with Samba and NFS

Sets system language

Configures mouse type and features

Monitors system activity to aid troubleshooting and maintenance

Ubuntu includes Internet programs such as Mozilla's open source web browser, Firefox, along with productivity applications such as Ximian's Evolution (a mail, contact, and calendaring client) and (a Microsoft-compatible open source office suite). You'll find all these and many more applications on this book's DVD.

Other major features are the inclusion of the latest GNU gcc compiler system, supporting C/C+ + language program development. You also get the newest version of the Apache web server, and the Common Unix Printing System (CUPS), which supports more than a thousand different printers.

Ubuntu is slated for upgrades at least twice a year, according to the Ubuntu Community. In reality, however, work never ceases on the distribution because of open source developers supplying Ubuntu with software package upgrades, security updates, and bug fixes. Ubuntu's free, online upgrade system is available via the Internet. With the power of Debian, direct upgrades between different versions of Ubuntu are supported. Typically, you should expect to be able to upgrade to a version that is two releases ahead of the one you are running, so you should not need to worry about upgrading until at least version 7.04 is released! Ubuntu 6.06, also known as the Dapper Drake, has had some extra polish added to it and a commitment to provide support for a full 5 years, something of a rarity in the Linux distribution community.

As a Ubuntu user, you can obtain the latest software for your system at any time using a variety of commands and software management tools:

synaptic The powerful graphical front end to apt-get, synaptic enables you to easily browse and quickly install any required software from the Ubuntu/Debian repositories.

apt-get The command-line tool favored by Debian purists, apt-get is extremely fast and very versatile, allowing easy upgrades between distributions.

dpkg The Debian package management tool, which works at a lower level than apt-get.

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