The standard method of distributing Ubuntu as a full operating system is as an ISO image, which you can burn to disc and boot from. If you need to look into what's in an ISO image you have a number of choices. The first is to right-click the image file and select Open with "Archive Manager". The slight issue with this approach is that opening larger ISO files (DVD-ROM images, for example) can take some time, as can
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extracting files. A better way is to mount the ISO image just like you an actual disk. To do so, open a terminal window and type the following (this assumes the file ubuntu.iso is in your /home folder):
$ sudo mkdir /media/ISO
$ sudo mount -o loop -/ubuntu.iso /media/ISO
Note that the first command creates a mount point and doesn't need to be typed in future. Once the ISO image is mounted, an icon for it will automatically appear on the desktop.
To unmount the image, type sudo umount /media/ISO in the terminal window.
To learn how to create your own ISO backup images of virtually any physical CD/DVD, see Tip 203, on page 239.
■ improve Ubuntu's Microsoft Office 2007 file support
You might be aware of the scandal surrounding Microsoft's new Office 2007 file formats (also supported in Microsoft Office 2008 on the Apple Mac). Luckily, few people are actually using the file format right now, and the older .doc, .xls etc file formats remain dominant. OpenOffice.org comes with the ability to open Office 2007 files but not save them, and to be truthful it isn't very good at importing (at least not at the time of writing).
But there's a simple solution. The OpenOffice Ninja website offers the odf-converter-integrator package, which seamlessly converts files to and from Office 2007 format, and integrates fully with OpenOffice.org so you can save and load files. You can download the Ubuntu package from http://katana.oooninja.com/w/odf-converter-integrator/download (select the "Ubuntu i386" version). Download to the desktop. To install, open a terminal window and type the following (ensure all OpenOffice.org applications are closed): $ sudo apt-get install 1ibgif4 1ibungif4g
$ sudo dpkg -i ~/Desktop/odf-converter-integrator-choco1ate_0.1.4-1. i386.deb
Obviously you should replace the filename on the dpkg line with that which you downloaded, because it's very likely the version number will
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have changed. Ensure you update the package frequently because the converter software is still being developed and improves all the time.
To configure OpenOffice.org to always save in Microsoft Office file formats, see Tip 249, on page 288. ■■■■■
For reasons best known to Ubuntu developers, the version of the vim text editor that runs if you type vi at the command-prompt isn't setup in the most user-friendly way. [Backspac^ won't work, while the cursor keys aren't assigned properly and will cause letters to appear in INSERT mode. This can make editing difficult unless you're used to the specific vim keyboard shortcuts. To make vim act more like it should, you can install a better version using Synaptic—just search for and install the vim package (the package that supplies vim out of the box is vim-common). Configuration is automatic and typing either vi or vim will start the improved version.
To install a GUI version of vim, see Tip 181, on page 220.
I wanted to install Ubuntu alongside OS X on my Apple Macbook. I tried to use BootCamp but it threw up an error about unmovable files and suggested I blank the hard disk and start again. I was a tad too busy to do that so I booted Ubuntu in live distro mode (insert the CD and hold down Q when booting), and clicked System ^ Administration ^ Partition Editor. Then I resized the OS X HFS partition there. Of course, as with any repartitioning process, you should back up your data first. I also created the new ext3 partition using Partition Manager (remember that you shouldn't create a swap partition because it confuses BootCamp) and then ran the installer from within live distro mode. The only other thing I had to remember was to set GRUB to install to /dev/sda at the end, rather than (hd0,0), which is default. Following this I could boot Ubuntu by holding down Alt during the boot chime and selecting
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Get around partitioning errors if using BootCamp on Macs
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Windows (see Tip 124 for a way of getting around this incorrect boot label).
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