One thing I love about Linux is the rapid development and frequent updates that allow me to run the latest versions of all my favorite software packages. My favorite distributions make it simple to always have the latest and greatest. In fact the distros themselves roll out new version regularly and I am always excited to see what new packages and features will be included. For book publishers this must be a little less exciting. Anything tied to a specific product that is under active development is going to quickly be behind the times. Mark Sobell’s A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux managed to avoid the worst of this by providing a lot of information that is useful for any Linux user running any distro. But still things move forward and almost exactly a year later we have A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux 2nd ed.. I was very pleased with the first edition and I think they’ve managed to really improve what was already a solid resource.
The Ubuntu Pocket Guide by Keir Thomas can be purchased in dead tree form or downloaded for free as a pdf. Clicking on the title or cover pic will take you right to the page where you can get it. This page has the table of contents as well as a little more info. on the book. While I am not an Ubuntu user personally (Fedora is my preferred distro) I know there are a lot of them out there.
When I first started working with Linux just a short 10 years or so ago, it was a little more difficult than now to get going. I remember the difficulty I had, wrestling with my first Slackware install and getting all the floppies together to get the packages that I needed. Today, a person who has never set on eyes on Linux before can have it installed on it’s own system or alongside another OS in almost no time with a very nice graphical installer walking them through the process. I also remember the hours I spent looking for the little piece of knowledge that I needed to conquer my next problem. Now, someone new to the community has a vast array of resources available on the web, or if they are inclined to begin with Ubuntu, they can literally find almost every single thing they will need in the single volume of Mark Sobell’s “A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux.”