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Linux Desktop Garage

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Linux Desktop Garage


  • Sorry, this book is no longer in print.
Not for Sale


  • Copyright 2005
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-149419-8
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-149419-0

Enter your Linux Desktop Garage

Don't just survive with Linux: thrive

Find tools & info to do practically everything, such as:

Ripping your CDs (&DVDs)

De-Spam-ifying your email

Capturing, editing, organizing your digital photos

Chatting with your Linux-deficient IM pals

Tracking your contacts, appointments, life

Transforming Firefox into easy blogware

Finding great substitutes for your Windows apps

Diving into a veritable plethora of games

Where you get the truth (unvarnished)

Where you get productive (quick)

Where Linux is fun (honest)

Your guide: Susan Matteson, real user, real expert

She reveals the fun stuff (from MP3s to desktop wallpaper)

Demystifies the essentials (from file management to passwords)

Simplifies the tasks they said were easy, but weren't (until now)

Where there's even more (plenty)

  • Step-by-step instructions for both Mandrake & Fedora Linux

  • Zero-hassle tips for managing & personalizing your PC

  • Gnoppix Linux on CD-ROM (run Linux without touching Windows)

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

What's Your Preference? Customizing Your Linux Desktop Environment

Downloadable Sample Chapter

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Table of Contents

 1. What Are You Getting Into?

 2. The All-Expense-Paid Desktop Tour.

 3. System Tools and Utilities.

 4. What's Your Preference?

 5. Browse the Internet.

 6. Email & Newsgroups.

 7. Schedules, Contacts, and Tasks.

 8. Office Documents and Software Suites.

 9. Photos and Graphics.

10. Instant Messaging and Chat.

11. Music and Movies.

12. Play Games.

13. Running Windows Applications.





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Why a Book About the Linux Desktop?

Most Linux books are about running servers, writing bash scripts, or managing networks. You might have these lofty Linux goals in mind, but no matter who you are, you probably want to do things like visit Web sites, check your email, or chat online. There are command-line programs to do those things, but why be so limited? Whether you are a new Linux user or an experienced user who wants to learn more, we are all users who spend time on the desktop.

Not long ago, to have Linux as your desktop operating system meant looking at clunky windows and jagged fonts. You stared at long menus not knowing what most of the choices meant. You had to search and search to find out how to do the simplest activity. In the past few years Linux has changed. Linux has programs, utilities, and fun extras that are well designed and easy to use. Some programs in Linux today are better looking and easier to use than many of those found in Windows. Linux is no longer an inconvenience. The Linux desktop today lets you get your everyday tasks done while having fun with your computer.

All of this fun still needs a little figuring out from time to time. In this book, we will figure it all out. We go through all the fun things we can do in Linux and learn how to get a little work done, too.

What Is in This Book

This book is full of self-help tips that will regrow your thinning hair, help you lose weight, make you money on the real-estate market, cook you a turkey on a rotisserie, and sell you a new set of knives. Why, this book is one great big late night TV infomercial. I'm lying. I do that. You'll learn.

This book is actually full of Linux. I love Linux. I love exploring Linux, and I bet you will, too. When I turn on my computer, I have things to do. I bet you do, too. All the chapters and sections in this book are arranged by the tasks that you need to do: from installing Linux, to setting up your preferences, to browsing online, to email, to office productivity, to all the fun things we do with our computers when we're supposed to be working. Rather than telling you which programs you should use for different tasks, you will find reviews, how-tos, and detailed descriptions of the most popular programs in each category. Linux is about choice, so I want to give you all the information and tools you need to make your choices.

Conventions Used in This Book

  • Program Info: This is the quick reference information you need to start up a program. Anytime a program is available on your main menu, you can find the path here. You can also find the terminal command and URL for programs here.

  • ToolKits: What's the good of learning if you don't get to use it? The ToolKits give you a chance to put what you learn to work.

  • Under the Hood: These tips contain extra bits of information and alternative methods

  • Sidebars: These asides give you fun facts about programs and topics.

  • The Skinny: While you have all of the tools you need to make your choice of programs yourself, you might want a little opinion. The Skinny sums up the good, the bad, and the ugly in each program.

What Is on the CD

So, you are reading this book to learn more about Linux. To install Linux, you need an extra computer or room on your hard drive to install it. You might just want to try out Linux and learn about it before taking the big plunge. The CD in this book is a Linux live CD of the distribution Gnoppix. A Linux live CD is a Linux distribution that will boot up and run right off the CD without having to install a whole operating system on your computer. Gnoppix does not include every program that is covered in this book, but it provides you with enough to get your feet wet. Use the CD to get comfortable with a few Linux programs, and then go on the adventure and install a Linux distribution of your own.

You can read more about Linux live CDs in Topic 1. You can read more about Gnoppix at http://www.gnoppix.org .


Everyone should write a book. It's great. You get to bother all of your friends and family to help be test cases for you. You get to sound like you have "important" things to do. You get to spend way too much time at coffee houses with your laptop. I had a lot of wonderful help, support, and encouragement from many people in writing this book.

Eben Hewitt is a great writer, a great man, and a great friend. He has not only served to contribute good feedback and encouragement, but he is also an inspiration in everything he does. Some people try to do the best that they can; Eben works to do everything better than it has ever been done before. His ideas resulted in this unique series of books. Eben, thank you for talking me into it.

I had three great technical editors working with me on this book. Shafer Stockton, Jonathan Garrison, and Jonathan Bailes not only checked for technical errors; they went above and beyond what was required to make constructive suggestions and convey new ideas.

Everyone at Pearson, Prentice Hall, and Addison Wesley has been terrific. John Neidhart, Lori Lyons, and the rest of the professionals in the company have shown what an efficient and creative team of people they are.

I have been lucky to have the support of a wonderful group of friends and family. Thanks to Shafer for introducing me to Linux and being patient when the newbie needed tech support over the years. Trevor deserves violence and gratitude for making me use the Gimp until I liked it. It's hard for a designer to walk away from Photoshop. The excitement that both of those Linux geeks show for Linux and for open source software is an example for everyone to look to. I want to thank both Jenny and Bill for wanting to and trying to help be test users. They might not have been able to get Linux running, but now they can try again with this book to help them.

My biggest thanks go to Joshua. You were supportive through the late nights, the grumpy sleepless weeks, and the frequent trips to the coffee houses. I love you. You are the reason for everything I do, and you're darned cute, too.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.


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