Beginning Ubuntu for Windows and Mac Users

by Nathan Haines

Beginning Ubuntu for Windows and Mac Users

Publisher :

Author : Nathan Haines

ISBN : 9781484206096

Year : 2015

Language: en

File Size : 11.14 MB

Category : Computers Technology

Beginning Ubuntu
for Windows and
Mac Users

Nathan Haines

Beginning Ubuntu for Windows and Mac Users
Copyright © 2015 by Nathan Haines
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ISBN-13 (pbk): 978-1-4842-0609-6
ISBN-13 (electronic): 978-1-4842-0608-9
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Lead Editor: Louise Corrigan
Technical Reviewer: Jess Bermudes
Editorial Board: Steve Anglin, Louise Corrigan, Jonathan Gennick, Robert Hutchinson,
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Douglas Pundick, Ben Renow-Clarke, Gwenan Spearing, Steve Weiss
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For Alexander, who eats everything, will try anything, and is constantly learning.

Contents at a Glance
About the Authorxv
About the Technical Reviewerxvii

1: Installing Ubuntu 1

2: Getting Started with Ubuntu 51

3: Productivity at Home and Work 79

4: Enjoying Media and Other Entertainment 119

5: Command-Line Tricks and Applications 149

6: Power User Tools 179

A: Ubuntu Releases 203

B: The Future of Ubuntu 205
Index 211


About the Authorxv
About the Technical Reviewerxvii

1: Installing Ubuntu 1
Preparing to Install Ubuntu 2
System Requirements 2
Creating an Ubuntu DVD 2
Creating a Bootable Ubuntu USB Drive 3
Booting into Ubuntu 4

Installing Ubuntu 6
Beginning the Install 6
Setting Regional Settings 9
Creating the Primary User Account 10

Install Proprietary Graphics and Network Drivers 12
Manually Install AMD Graphics Drivers 14
Manually Install Nvidia Graphics Drivers 15

Additional Ubuntu Flavors 17
Installing Kubuntu 17
System Requirements 18
Preparing to Install Kubuntu 18
Using Kubuntu 19


■ Contents

Installing Xubuntu 21
System Requirements 21
Preparing to Install Xubuntu 21
Using Xubuntu 22

Installing Lubuntu 25
System Requirements 25
Preparing to Install Lubuntu 25
Using Lubuntu 26

Installing Ubuntu GNOME 28
System Requirements 29
Preparing to Install Ubuntu GNOME 29
Using Ubuntu GNOME 29

Installing Ubuntu Server 33
System Requirements 34
Installing Ubuntu Server 34
Using Ubuntu Server 37

Installing a Minimal Ubuntu System 38
System Requirements 38
Installing a Minimal System 39
Using a Minimal Ubuntu System 40

Multiple Operating Systems 40
Dual-Boot with Ubuntu and Windows 40
Dual-Boot with Ubuntu and OS X 47

Summary 49

2: Getting Started with Ubuntu 51
Ubuntu Desktop 51
Unity Launcher 52
Unity Dash 53
Unity Menu Bar and Indicators 57


■ Contents

Unity HUD 58
Managing Windows 59

Installing and Updating Software 59
Ubuntu Software Center 59
Updating Ubuntu 61
Upgrading Ubuntu 62

Managing User Accounts 63
Guest Access 65

Finding Things in Ubuntu Instead of Windows 65
Finding Things in Ubuntu Instead of OS X 67
Connecting to a Windows Desktop Remotely 69
Running Windows Applications 70
Connecting to Windows Shared Folders and Printers 71
Sharing Files and Printers with Other Computers 73
Sharing Printers between Computers 75

Sharing Office Documents with Others 76
Sharing Photos and Graphics with Others 76
Formatting Disks to Work with Other Operating Systems 77
Summary 78

3: Productivity at Home and Work 79
Writing Documents without Distractions Using FocusWriter 79
Managing your Personal Finances Using HomeBank 82
Managing Your Professional Email, Contacts, and Calendar Using Evolution 84
Managing Your Calendar with Thunderbird Using Lightning 86
Integrating Your Online Accounts with Ubuntu 88
Chatting Online with Friends 90
Organizing Your Thoughts with Mind-Mapping Software Using Freemind 93
Personal Wiki Note Taking Software Using Tomboy 94


■ Contents

Installing Additional Language Support 96
Configuring Language Support 98
Configuring Your Text Entry Settings 98
Adjusting Keyboard Settings 100
Installing Language Fonts 101

Keeping Track of Your Personal Time Management Using Hamster 101
Organizing Collections of Books, Movies, Games, and More Using Tellico 104
Managing your Ebook Library Using Calibre 106
Printing Labels and Cards Using gLabels 108
Backing Up and Restoring Personal Files Using Déjà Dup 110
Restoring Files 113

Capturing Screenshots and Recording Your Desktop Using GNOME
Screenshot and Kazam 114
GNOME Screenshot 115
Kazam 115

Summary 117

4: Enjoying Media and Other Entertainment 119
Play DVDs and Media Files 119
Organize Your CD and Digital Music Collection Using Rhythmbox 122
Copy Audio CDs to Your Computer 124
Listen to Podcasts 126

Back Up and Create Music CDs Using Brasero 127
Backing Up a Music CD 127
Burning a Disc Image to Blank Media 128
Creating a Music CD 128

Create Video DVDs Using DeVeDe 129
Organize and Edit Your Photos Using Shotwell 132
Importing Photos 133
Managing Events 134
Working with Photos 134

■ Contents

Editing Photos 134
Sharing Photos 136
Advanced Photo Editing Using GIMP and Darktable 136

Record and Process Audio Using Audacity 138
Play MIDI Files 139
Explore the Universe Using Stellarium 139
Play Legacy PC Games 143
Purchase Legacy Games from 143
Run DOS Games and Software Using DOSBox 144
Play Adventure Games Using ScummVM 145

Play Commercial Games Using Steam 146
Summary 147

5: Command-Line Tricks and Applications 149
Introduction to the Command Line 149
Accessing the Command Line 150
The Ubuntu Command Line 151
Working with Files and Directories (Folders) 151
Running Commands 153
Redirecting Output 154

See What’s Running on Your Computer 154
Multitask on the Command Line 156
Diagnose a Connection to a Server 158
View Information about the Operating System 159
Determine Your Distribution and Version 160
Determine your Architecture and Kernel Version 161

Add New Users via Command Line 161
Check Your Disk Space 163
Edit Text Files 164
Read Email 166


■ Contents

Browse the Web 168
IRC 172
Connecting to a Server 173
IRC Etiquette 174

Play Text-Based Games 174
Summary 177

6: Power User Tools 179
Managing Running Processes 179
Managing Disks and Thumb Drives 182
Using Multiple Workspaces 183
Installing Alternate Desktop Environments 186
Installing Software from the Command Line 189
Understanding Ubuntu’s Software Collection 190
Keeping Software Up to Date 190
Searching for Software 191
Installing New Software 192
Removing Software 193

Expand Your Software Options 193
Creating Application Launchers for Programs 196
Working with Virtual Machines 197
Creating a Virtual Machine 198
Running Your Virtual Machine 200
Installing Guest Additions 201
Recommended Uses 202

Summary 202

A: Ubuntu Releases 203
Release Schedule 203
Long-Term Support 203
List of Ubuntu Releases 204

■ Contents


B: The Future of Ubuntu 205
Phones 205
Snappy 207
Ubuntu Personal 209
Summary 209
Index 211


About the Author
Nathan Haines is an author, instructor, speaker, and computer consultant
who fell in love with Ubuntu in 2005, and helped found the Ubuntu
California Local Community Team to share that excitement with others.
As a current leader of the Ubuntu California Local Community team and a
member of the Ubuntu Local Community Council, he works to help others
share Ubuntu worldwide.
He got started in IT support during high school, when he got an
after-school job helping the campus technician and later worked over
the summer at his high school, then his school district, and finally at
his college, learning technical writing along the way. He later taught
computing classes to professionals and worked his way up to the highest
levels of technical support and consumer service.
When not working with computers, he’s more than likely admiring
the latest Nintendo hardware, wishing he had more time for retro console
and PC gaming, and indulging in linguistic curiosity by studying German
or dabbling in Old English or Tolkien’s constructed Elvish languages. The queue of sci-fi and fantasy books
on his Kindle is probably growing instead of shrinking, although sometimes camping trips help with that.
Despite a knowledge of HTML that was forged in 1995 with Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator
2.0, Notepad, a lot of browser refreshing, and stone knives and bearskins, he manages to keep a web site
online that is standards-compliant but always in need of updating at
As a hybrid author who enjoys stiff drinks, moonlit walks on the beach, and five-star Amazon reviews on
his books, he would love to hear from you at [email protected] or [email protected]


About the Technical Reviewer
Jess Bermudes is a software developer who, like most college kids, experimented with wacky things, in this
case Linux operating systems. After being introduced to Ubuntu in 2007 and quickly letting the power of root
go to his head, he joined the Ubuntu California Local Community Team to help them show others the fun
and power of computing with Free Software.
His interests span the entire field of computing, dabbling in areas such as robotics, game development,
and computer-assisted learning. With this background he works as a freelance consultant developing
custom software solutions at both the high and low levels of programming, building the systems needed to
bootstrap startup companies.
In addition to his work with the Ubuntu California Team, he also volunteers with the Southern California
Linux Expo helping the A/V team develop the systems required to record and stream the conference talks.


I was able to write this book thanks to the love and support of many people.
So thanks to all of the teachers and staff at school and college that got me started in computer support
and technical writing – too many to mention, although I’m sorely tempted. Their encouragement of my
interest in computers and programming, and the opportunities they created set me down the path I’m on
Thanks to my family who have put up with my obsession for computers and video games even in a preInternet world. The cyberspace of the 80s and 90s that I once so clearly envisioned is very different from how
we live today in how seamlessly we’ve woven it into our everyday lives. I think that turned out even better.
Thanks, Michael and Sylvanna, Mom, John, Dad, Doris, Jon, Teasha, and Holland.
Thanks to all my friends who have meant so much to me along the way: David, Lutz, Anna, Emily,
Casey, Kelly, Andy, Markus, Justin, Tom, Matt, Jerome, Patrick, Andrew, Leif Arne, Eric, Marshal, and all
the others who have been a constant support and inspiration. Thanks especially to indie and hybrid author
friends: Ralph, Ryan, and a couple of other Nathans, among others.
Thanks to Alexander, Blair, Claudia, and Jeffrey, because sometimes you can choose your family.
And of course, thanks to all of my Ubuntu family and friends: Neal, Jess, Robert, Melissa, Brendan,
Lyz, Akkana, George, Steve, Richard, Jono, Stuart, George, José, Sujeevan, Daniel, David, Alan, Oliver, Ian,
Gaven, everyone on the Ubuntu Community Council and the Ubuntu LoCo Council, Gareth, Ilan, Orv, Tom,
Justin, and everyone at SCaLE, and everyone else who has put up with my jokes and happily welcomed my
contributions to the Ubuntu project. My work has been paid back many times over.
And thanks to everyone at Apress, who were wonderfully enthusiastic and patient throughout the entire
adventure! Thanks, Louise, Christine, Jim, Mark, Karen, and all the others I didn’t see who worked behind
the scenes to make this book the best it could be.
Finally, special thanks to Christopher B. Wright, who wrote the awesome book Pay Me, Bug!, released it
under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0) License, and
then gave me permission to use the cover and excerpt found in Figure 3-23.
Images from Tears of Steel are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. (CC)
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