What This Book Contains

Ubuntu Unleashed is organized into six parts, covering installation and configuration, Ubuntu on the desktop, system administration, programming and housekeeping, and a reference section. A disc containing the entire distribution is included so that you have everything you need to get started. This book starts by covering the initial and essential tasks required to get Ubuntu installed and running on a target system.

If you are new to Linux, and more specifically Ubuntu, first read the chapters in Part I, "Installation and Configuration." You will get valuable information on the following:

• An overview of Ubuntu and Linux and their roles in various computing environments

• Planning for an installation by examining hardware requirements and the need for organizing how the system is installed

• Detailed steps that walk you through various types of installations

• Critical advice on key configuration steps to fully install and configure Linux to work with your system's subsystems or peripherals, such as pointers, keyboards, modems, USB devices, power management, andfor laptop usersPCMCIA devices

• Initial steps needed by new users transitioning from other computing environments

• Configuration and use of the X Window System, the graphical interface for Linux

Part II, "Desktop Ubuntu," is aimed at users who want to get productive with Ubuntu and covers the following:

• Becoming familiar with the X Window System and looking at GNOME and KDE

• Discovering the many productivity applications that come with Ubuntu

• Surfing the Internet and working with email and newsgroups

• Using Ubuntu to listen to music and watch video

• Using Ubuntu to download and manipulate images from digital cameras

• Setting up local printers for Ubuntu

• Understanding the current state of gaming for Linux

Moving beyond the productivity and desktop areas of Ubuntu, Part III, "System Administration," covers the following:

• Managing users and groups

• Automating tasks and using shell scripts

• Monitoring system resources and availability

• Backup strategies and software

• Network connectivity, including sharing folders and securing the network

• Internet connectivity via dial-up and broadband connections

• Building and deploying web servers

• Database creation, management, and manipulation

• File and print servers

• Using FTP for serving files across the Internet and local networks

• Building and deploying email servers using Postfix and managing mailing lists

• Creating remote access gateways and services

• Configuring DNS for your network

• Using LDAP for storing information on users and security

• Configuring a local news server

Part IV, "Programming Linux," provides a great introduction to how you can extend Ubuntu capabilities even further using the development tools supplied with it. This part covers the following:

• Programming in Perl, using variables and scripting

• An introduction to the Python language

• Writing PHP scripts and linking them to databases

• C and C++ programming tools available with Ubuntu and how to use the GNU C Compiler (gcc)

Part V, "Ubuntu Housekeeping," looks at some of the more advanced skills you need to keep your system running in perfect condition, including the following:

• Securing your machine against attack from outsiders and viruses

• Performance tuning

• Command-line masterclass

• Kernel and module management and compilation

An extensive reference in Part VI, "Appendix," gives you scope to explore in even more depth some of the topics covered in this book.

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