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Moving to Linux, Second Edition: Kiss the Blue Screen of Death Goodbye!, 2nd Edition

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Moving to Linux, Second Edition: Kiss the Blue Screen of Death Goodbye!, 2nd Edition


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An update to the #1 Linux migration book for Windows users frustrated with the hassles and insecurity of Windows computing.

° How to use the most common desktop applications on Linux, such as web browsers, email clients, and instant messaging clients

° Bootable Knoppix CD allows readers to test-drive Linux without having to install Linux or remove their Windows installation.

° Coverage of OpenOffice.org 2.0 shows how to preserve their library of existing documents and spreadsheets under Linux.


  • Copyright 2006
  • Edition: 2nd
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-321-35640-3
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-321-35640-6

Praise for Marcel Gagné’s Moving to Linux: Kiss the Blue Screen of Death Goodbye!

“This is kind of a funny book for me to be recommending to readers of a Windows newsletter, but a lot of people ask me about this topic, so here goes. Author Marcel Gagné is a columnist for Linux Journal, and in Moving to Linux he’s prepared a step-by-step guide to converting a Windows PC to Linux—or just trying it! The book includes a bootable CD with a version of Linux that you can poke around in without touching or changing anything about your Windows installation. If your boss is asking, ‘What’s with this Linux stuff?’, moving to Linux is a great way to show that you know what you’re talking about.”
—Brian Livingston, Editor, WindowsSecrets.com
“Pros: Too many to list in the available space. We liked the book from the very first page right through to the end. Gagné has done a solid job of exposing Linux and all its components in a way that is both inviting, useful, and easy to understand . . . We really liked this book—highly recommended.”
—Howard Carson, Kickstart News, www.kickstartnews.com
“Marcel walks the user through each technique in a very chatty and comfortable style. In fact, when I put the book down, I had a momentary impression that I’d just finished watching a good cooking show with an entertaining chef. (Australian readers may understand if I say that it felt like having just watched Ian Parmenter do an episode of ‘Consuming Passions.’)”
—Jenn Vesperman, Linuxchix.org
“Gagné’s Moving to Linux is a straightforward exposition of just how a non-hacker PC user can get rid of ‘The Blue Screen of Death’. If you have a friend, a co-worker, a significant other, or a relative who periodically screams, sighs, bursts into tears, or asks for help, here’s the simple solution. It comes with a bootable CD of Knoppix, Klaus Knopper’s variant of Debian.”
—Peter H. Salus, writing in ;login: The Usenix Magazine
“This is a book aimed not at you, dear developer/techie/guru, but at your friends, acquaintances, and family who are lowly users of Windows. Yes, such people do exist even in the tightest of families. Fear not, however, because salvation is at hand should any of them decide that this Linux thing might be worth investigating. No longer will you be faced with the unenviable task of walking them through the process of switching OS. Moving to Linux: Kiss the Blue Screen of Death Goodbye! is a big, bold, and friendly guide to help them along. The emphasis is firmly on using Linux as a desktop system—this isn’t a book about Linux as a file, print, or Web server.”
—Tech Book Reports

Say Goodbye to Windows®-Related Crashes, Viruses, Hassles, and Costs!

Today, Linux is more powerful, useful, and practical than ever before! Moving to Linux, Second Edition, can help you migrate from Windows to the latest and best versions of Linux in just hours. By the time you’re finished, you’ll be able to do virtually anything in Linux—without the aggravation, crashes, security risks, or high costs of running Windows!

This is not a book for techies! It’s for people who write documents, create spreadsheets, surf the Web, use email, listen to music, watch movies, and play games—and want to do it in Linux, without becoming technical experts.

  • Convert your Windows PC to a Linux system that does more for less money—one step at a time
  • Take control of Linux the easy way, with the quick, efficient KDE graphical environment
  • Browse the Internet using Firefox, the fast, powerful browser that’s quickly replacing Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • Send and receive email and instant messages using your existing AOL, MSN, and Yahoo! accounts
  • Manage all your digital photos, without the hassle, using digikam
  • Rip music, burn and play CDs, and watch movies
  • Discover the world of Linux games and learn how to run Windows games on your Linux PC

There’s more! Create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations with OpenOffice.org 2.0—the free office suite for Linux that’s now easier, more powerful, and even more compatible with Microsoft Office.

Say goodbye to expensive software upgrades, burdensome Microsoft licensing, Windows viruses, and “blue screens of death.” Say hello to computing the way it’s supposed to be—with Linux!

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Customizing Your Linux Desktop (or Making Your World Your Own)

Downloadable Sample Chapter

Download the Sample Chapter related to this title.

Table of Contents


1. Introduction.

    Is Linux Really FREE?

    The GPL

    So What Do I Gain?

    What Do I Lose?

    Some Tips on Using This Book

    Help Me!

    About the CD

    It’s My Philosophy


2. An Introduction to the WFTL Edition Knoppix Disk.

    Ready to Try Linux?

    Playing with WFTL Knoppix

    Just Looking Around

    Configure Now, Remember Me Later

    The Persistence of Memory

    Setting Up the Network


    Remember to Share


3. Ready . . . Set . . . Linux!

    Getting Linux

    Getting a Free Copy of Linux

    Dual Booting

    Preserving Your Data

    A Linux-Only System

    Windows on Linux

    Breaking Free!


4. Getting Your Hands Dirty.

    Getting to Know You. . . KDE

    Logging In

    Becoming One with the Desktop

    Your First Application

    Windows, Title Bars, and Menus, Oh My!

    Resizing Windows

    Command Central

    A Polite Introduction to the Command Line

    Give Me More!

    Changing Your Password

    User Security

    I Need More Help!

    Konquest of the Desktop


5. Konquering Your World.

    Files, Directories, and the Root of All Things

    Wherever You Go. . .

    Enhancing Konqueror

    Uh, Roger, Copy That. . .

    Creating New Folders

    Copying Files and Directories (and Moving, Too!)

    Deleting Files and Directories

    My World, My Way

    Making Your Home a Home

6. Customizing Your Desktop (or Making Your World Your Own).

    I Am Sovereign of All I Survey. . .

    Save My Screen, Please!

    Moving Things Around

    Is That a Theme or a Motif?

    Adding Icons and Shortcuts to Your Desktop

    Miscellaneous Changes


7. Installing New Applications.

    Linux and Security

    The Many Faces of Software Installation

    SuSE Software Package Installs

    Mandrakes’s urpmi

    Searching for Common Ground


    RPMs, the Shell Way

    The Extract and Build Five-Step


8. Printers and Other Hardware.

    Yes, It Runs with Linux

    Plug and Play

    Getting Familiar with Your Hardware

    Printers and Printing


    Modems versus Winmodems

    What? More Devices?


9. Connecting to the Internet.

    Before You Begin

    Getting on the Net

    Connecting to the Net with a Modem

    Cable Modems and High-Speed DSL

    Okay, I’m Connected. Now What?



10. Surfing the Internet.


    Cool Konqueror Tricks

    Mozilla Firefox

    Wrapping Up


11. Electronic Mail Clients.

    Be Prepared. . .



    Let’s Communicate!


    Other Options


12. Getting Organized.



    Other Tools


13. Word Processors (It Was a Dark and Stormy Night. . .).

    OpenOffice.org Writer

    Write Now!

    Toolbars of Every Kind. . .


    To Word or Not to Word?

    Personalizing Your Environment

    A Wizard of Words

    Navigating Style

    Speaking of Document Elements. . .

    More! Give Me More!

    Other Options


14. Spreadsheets (Tables You Can Count On).

    Starting a New Spreadsheet and Entering Data

    Basic Math

    Saving Your Work

    Complex Charts and Graphs, Oh My!



15. Presentation Graphics (For Those Who Need No Introduction).

    Getting Ready to Impress

    Instant Web Presentations

    How About a Little Flash? Shocking!

    So What’s with the Penguin?

    Extra! Extra!



16. Digital Photography.

    Working with a Digital Camera

    Picture-Perfect Konqueror

    Picture-Perfect digiKam

    Scanning. . .

    Scanning under KDE-Kooka

    Optical Character Recognition


17. Digital Art with the GIMP.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, Start Your GIMP

    Printing Your Masterpiece

    Tools, Tools, and More Tools


18. Linux Multimedia (If Music Be the Food of Love. . .).

    Adjusting the Levels

    KsCD, the KDE CD Player



    Ripping and Burning Songs


    K3b, for a Friendlier Burn

    Put Another Nickel In . . .

    Lights, Camera, Action: Moving Pictures

    It’s a Wrap!


19. Fun and Games (Very Serious Fun).

    Take Me Out to the Arcade

    Deal Those Cards, Ace

    B-4. Miss. E-7. Hit!

    Educational Games

    3D Accelerated Fun

    The 13-Year Old’s Picks

    More Games! I Need More Games!


Appendix A: The GNU General Public License.

Appendix B: Installation.

Appendix C: Taking Command of Linux.

Appendix D: Working with Editors.



Untitled Document Welcome to the second edition of Moving to Linux : Kiss the Blue Screen of Death Goodbye! This is my fourth book and an exciting one at that. Back in 2002, when I first suggested the idea of this book, I had some serious selling to do. A Linux desktop book? In 2002, it seemed like a crazy idea. Not anymore. The first edition of Moving to Linux was something new on the scene, a book that promised the average user that moving to and running a Linux desktop was something anyone could do. Now, as I sit here writing this preface in May 2005, there are at least four other books dedicated to the Linux desktop experience for the average user. It's nice to see that you can't keep a good idea down, and also nice to see that I wasn't crazy.

Linux continues to grow by leaps and bounds. The face of Linux that most people see has changed quite a bit with KDE 3.4 being the latest offering of the desktop environment itself. Below that desktop environment, the graphical engine that drives it all changed as well. Linux distributions overwhelmingly switched from XFree86 to X.Org for the X Window System software. Office productivity tools took another leap forward as OpenOffice 2.0 made its appearance, providing users with greater functionality, ease of use, and Microsoft document filters so accurate, they make the whole question of sharing documents between the two platforms a virtual non-issue. The Linux Internet experience has vastly improved and Linux multimedia is now in a class all its own. A lot has changed, and the changes are fantastic. This is a great time to move to Linux and leave your old OS troubles behind. I look forward to being part of that journey.


Download the Index file related to this title.



Errata for this book is available at: http://www.marcelgagne.com/mtl2nd.html

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