Ubuntu is one of the most popular Linux distributions. Perhaps more important for me: It the distribution I use, both on the server where I host this blog and on my work PC where I host my test server with Ubuntu and Apache. And – what can I say – it simply is a great setup and a wonderful combination: Relatively easy to get started with, very stable, quite safe, and extremely easy to maintain.
So over the years I have more and more become one of the many developers that recommend people get started with Linux and Ubuntu. For a number of reasons: Lots of good, free or low priced software, no need to pay a huge corporation fat fees for upgrading your operating system or office package (I use LibreOffice and am very pleased with it), and a large, vibrant community of people that produce good software and answer questions online. I could also add that it is fast and starts up much faster than Windows.
Ubuntu Unleashed 2013 Edition is the newest version of one of the best and most popular books on Ubuntu out there. If you want to get started with Linux, this book alone is an excellent reason for choosing Ubuntu over other distributions: It has all you need to get started! It covers 12.10 (called Quantal Quetzal) as well as the forthcoming Ubuntu 13.04 (scheduled for April 2013). 12.10 is actually distributed on a DVD with the book, along with a promise of a free upgrade kit to 13.04 if the book is purchased before June 30, 2013. Not bad!
The author of Ubuntu Unleashed, former Ubuntu Forum administrator Matthew Helmke covers all you need to know about Ubuntu 12.10/13.04 installation, configuration, productivity, multimedia, development, system administration, server operations, networking, virtualization, security, DevOps, and more—including intermediate-to-advanced techniques you won’t find in any other book.
The book covers installation of the operating system along with productivity and multimedia applications. It also covers System Administration and running Ubuntu as a server. And the final part of the book even helps you getting started with Linux if you really want to dig under the hood of this very powerful operating system. And all of the chapters have links and references, so you go as far and as deep as you want whether you want to pursue multimedia apps or to become an expert on Linux.
Even though I have used Ubuntu a bit over the years, I found this book to be very useful. I would say that based on my experience with it, Ubuntu Unleashed is a book that is useful to beginners and intermediate users. Personally, I found chapter 18 about «Securing Your Machines» quite useful and instructive. Also, it is very comprehensive and thorough – for instance, there are even chapters on getting started with Perl and Python in this book – and therefore very useful as a reference manual as well.
Armed with this book, a beginner ought to be able to not only get started, but actually develop quite a lot before the need for another, more advanced and specialized text arises. You cannot go wrong with Ubuntu Unleashed!