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Ubuntu for Non-Geeks: A Pain-Free, Get-Things-Done Guide

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  61 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
The Ubuntu Linux distribution makes Linux easy, and Ubuntu for Non-Geeks makes it even easier. Full of tips, tricks, and helpful pointers, this pain-free guide is perfect for those interested in—but nervous about—switching to the Linux operating system.

This revised and expanded fourth edition is packed with new material that covers all the latest features of Ubuntu 10.04,
Paperback, 496 pages
Published July 15th 2010 by No Starch Press (first published August 15th 2006)
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Feb 07, 2014 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
Considering myself a Linux-user rather than a power-user or even a Linux-Geek, I thought, I could pick up some tricks from this book. But to make it short: I was disappointed. At first I thought that maybe I just wasn't part of the target audience and that the book was a little bit mislabelled with "Ubuntu for the computer illiterate" being a more appropriate title. The authors describe at length all the useless stuff on how to make your system as unusable as possible with changed colours, fonts ...more
Mar 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Walked me through my very first experience with Linux, which I ended up with on both my laptop and desktop. Especially valuable was the included Ubuntu 6.06 LiveCD: imagine buying a ~$30 book about Windows and getting a Windows install disk for free!
The writing style is casual but not uninformative, and the projects-based approach is a good way to ease into the book and operating system. It's pretty comprehensive for the average desktop user, covering the initial setup and installation (ridicul
May 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a a handy book to own if you are starting out with Ubuntu Linux. As Linux can be quite different from Windows, this book is a great help in getting a serviceable installation up and running.

If you want to do more advance stuff like setup a web server etc, then this book probably isnt the best place to start, but if you need to setup email, play music, create documents etc, this book is well worth picking up!
Nov 18, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: computer
Useful and practical. I pull it out occasionally when I have trouble. Probably more useful then most manuals, for those of us who are not professional computer administrators. Takes the deep magic out of using Linux. Linux is not quite 'out-of-the-box' works, but this helps through the hiccups.

(I can't imagine giving a computer manual more than three stars. It would need serious originality for that. This serves its purpose well. No more or less.)
Sep 18, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tech
I started going through the book to check if I can suggest this to a few friends who tried but gave up on using Ubuntu instead of Windows. Although I read a 5 year old version which seems a bit dated now with Ubuntu getting better and better day by day, I would say that this is a very well written introduction to get someone started with the basic setup of Ubuntu and understand how to do non-programming stuff. I think it will also give people more motivation to explore Ubuntu further.
Mike S
Dec 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: First time Ubuntu users
Shelves: computers
I like this book because it is a great introduction to Ubuntu. Unfortunately it was written for Feisty Fawn distro, but after installing Gutsy Gibbon 7.10 I found the book very helpful. If you are an Ubuntu beginner as I am this is a great first book to get you going. It includes using the Terminal Command Line Interface (CLI) similar to using DOS commands, as well as how to download software (all free), how to install a firewall, set up users and permissions, set up a network, etc.
May 01, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: computing
I picked this up as a quick guide to getting Ubuntu up and running. As a computer programmer I found this pitched at about the right level that I could skim through sections picking out what I needed to know quickly for the installation / configuration.

I think the post installation sections I found more useful, especially the ones describing popular linux apps.

This book is great for anyone with a little IT knowledge who's maybe installed Windows once or twice and fancies trying linux.
Josh Livingroom
May 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book allowed me to say goodbye to crappy ass windows 7 and start running my laptop with ubuntu. now its like i have a brand new computer that actually works. its fast and dependable and grants me access to all kinds of super rad free software. ubuntu makes me happy. good resource book.

PS: open source is better then open sores.
This was a handy guide that helped me get through the initial steps of getting MS Windows off my home computer and switching to Ubuntu OS instead. Because Ubuntu gets a major update every six months, it's actually a little out of date, but I learned a lot and will keep it on my shelf for future referral and problem solving.
Apr 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Does axactly what it says on the tin.
But if you have internet access you can find all this out on forums etc.
Lets you know how to add and tweak a bunch of stuff on Ubuntu...or you could just use Mint or Pinguy.
Like all of these guides it does go out of date fairly quickly due to new releases, but it's based on the last LTS version.
Dan Hahn
This was a pretty important book for getting me started using Ubuntu-Linux... The chapter about customizing the desktop showed me how to have fun configuring my computer to look different from everyone else's.
Oct 15, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: linux
A few good tips and projects. Would be very good for someone who is interested in Ubuntu but hasn't played around with it at all. I did learn about a couple of interesting applications to install so it was worth the read.
Mar 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Keeping up with the updates for Ubantu is rough which is why I was willing to go along iwth the 8.04 version while clearly we are somewhere in the 9s Regardless, I learned alot. I like the exercises that the author included in the book and he explained Bash better than the Dummies book.
Jan 25, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The title says it all, it's really meant for non-geeks. Nonetheless it's an easy read and I believe for those people new to linux it's the perfect beginning.
Jan 02, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: computer, library
3 stars only because the software version talk about is out of date. Get the latest one (3rd edition) and it's an excellent resources.
Jan 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: computer
Good step-by-step how-to learning guide that helps you through using ubuntu like you did with windows & mac os.
Sep 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a great book for anyone wanting to learn the basics of Ubuntu Linux but I'm afraid it may be a bit out of date on the GUI side of things.
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