|The Official Ubuntu Book|
|author||Benjamin Mako Hill, Jono Bacon, et. al|
|summary||An excellent way to get introduced to the Ubuntu distribution and community|
Included with the book is the Ubuntu 7.04 release (Feisty Fawn) on DVD. This is a solid release, and was current at the time the book was published. It still has 12 months active support even in light of the recent 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) release, and should give those looking to try Ubuntu an excellent starting point.
The biggest issue facing a book like The Official Ubuntu Book is determining a target audience. Ubuntu appeals to a wide range of people; from the newest newbie to the hardened UNIX aficionado. Making a book that speaks to both is no easy task. Fortunately, The Book does an admirable job of providing enough to keep both parties interested. New Ubuntu users will find lots of information about how to get things accomplished in Ubuntu, while seasoned UNIX user will find enough information to see what th differences are between Ubuntu and other Linux distributions. Both will find a great introduction to participating with the rest of the Ubuntu community in the later chapters of the book. Any user of Ubuntu would be well served in reviewing those chapters fora sense of what opportunities exist, and how best to participate in the community given their talents and skills. True, the chapters describing specific applications lack much depth, but the omission can be forgiven in light of the shear amount of material covered. Just learning how to navigate what is provided on the live CD could fill a tome the size of this book, leaving no room to discuss the more about the community. The Official Ubuntu Book balances between both extremes, and provides plenty of information about both the Ubuntu distribution, and the community.
The success of the Ubuntu project is due in no small part to the people who spend their time participating with other Ubuntu users. Reading the book not only gives a sense of what Ubuntu is about, but also shows how open and inviting these users are. It may not be the best tutorial for the new Linux user, but it is an excellent book for those who want to take the next step and be a part of putting together and supporting a large Linux distribution. The Official Ubuntu Book captures the spirit of the Ubuntu community well, and brings the excitement in a palpable form to the reader. I can recommend this book to new users of Ubuntu with only the caution that they may need to find other resources to learn the many new programs that ship with Ubuntu. However, I can also highly recommend this book to anyone who has even a passing interest in getting involved with the Ubuntu project, both new and experienced. The Official Ubuntu Book, much like the Ubuntu project, is an ambitious undertaking, and similarly we all benefit from their hard work.
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