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Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux, A, 4th Edition

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Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux, A, 4th Edition


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A suite of impressive new features:

  • Two versions of Lab Manual available in instructor resource center: The Instructor Version contains answers to exercises that are omitted from the Student Version.
  • Full coverage of Ubuntu's latest technical features
  • Python programming
  • MySQL databases
  • GPG, the GNU version of the OpenPGP standard for data encryption
  • Virtualization with VMware
  • Full Ubuntu 14.04 on DVD


  • Copyright 2015
  • Dimensions: 7-3/8" x 9-1/8"
  • Pages: 1424
  • Edition: 4th
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-392731-8
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-392731-3

The Most Complete, Easy-to-Follow Guide to Ubuntu Linux  

“As an in-depth guide to Ubuntu, this book does an exceptional job of covering everything from using the Unity desktop to exploring key server configurations.”

–Elizabeth K. Joseph, Systems Administrator & Ubuntu Community Member 

  • The #1 Ubuntu resource, fully updated for Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr)–the Long Term Support (LTS) release Canonical will support into 2019
  • Extensive new coverage of installation, security, virtualization, MariaDB, Python Programming, and much more
  • Updated JumpStarts help you set up many complex servers in minutes
  • Hundreds of up-to-date examples, plus four updated indexes deliver fast access to reliable answers 

Mark Sobell’s A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux®, Fourth Edition, is the most thorough and up-to-date reference to installing, configuring, securing, and working with Ubuntu desktops and servers.

This edition has been fully updated for Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr), a milestone LTS (Long Term Support) release, which Canonical will support on both desktops and servers into 2019.

Sobell walks you through every essential feature and technique, from installing Ubuntu to working with the latest Ubuntu Unity desktop, and from configuring servers and monitoring networks to handling day-to-day system administration. His exceptionally clear explanations demystify everything from Apache, Samba, and postfix, to ufw, virtualization, and MariaDB/MySQL database management. PLUS a new chapter on programming in Python, today’s most popular system automation tool!

Fully updated JumpStart sections quickly help you get complex servers running–often in minutes. You’ll also find up-to-date guidance on new LPI and CompTIA Linux certification pathways for Linux professionals.

Sobell draws on his immense Linux knowledge to explain both the “hows” and the “whys” of Ubuntu. He’s taught hundreds of thousands of readers and never forgets what it’s like to be new to Linux. Whether you’re a user, administrator, or programmer, you’ll find everything you need here–now, and for years to come.

The world’s most practical Ubuntu Linux book is now even more useful!

This book delivers

  • Completely revamped installation coverage reflecting Ubuntu 14.04’s improved ubiquity (graphical) and debian-installer (textual) installers
  • Updated JumpStarts for quickly setting up Samba, Apache, postfix, FTP, NFS, CUPS, OpenSSH, DNS, and other complex servers
  • Revamped and updated explanations of the ufw, gufw, and iptables firewall tools
  • An all-new chapter on creating VMs (virtual machines) locally and in the cloud
  • New coverage of the MariaDB open source plug-in replacement for MySQL
  • Comprehensive networking coverage, including DNS/BIND, NFS, NIS, FTP, LDAP, and Cacti network monitoring
  • Expert coverage of Internet server configuration and customization, including apache2 (Web) and p



The DVD included with the book contains Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr). The exact same content, in the form of an ISO image, can be downloaded from this website: releases.ubuntu.com/trusty/.


Author's Site

Please visit the author's site here

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux: The Shell

Sample Pages

Download the sample pages (includes Chapter 5 and Index)

Table of Contents

Preface xliii

Chapter 1: Welcome to Linux 1

The History of UNIX and GNU–Linux 2

Overview of Linux 11

Choosing an Operating System 19

Chapter Summary 21

Exercises 21

Part I: Installing Ubuntu Linux 23

Chapter 2: Installation Overview 25

Conventions Used in This Book 26

More Information 29

Planning the Installation 30

Ubuntu Releases, Editions, and Derivatives 35

Setting Up the Hard Disk 38

Downloading an Image File and Burning/Writing the Installation Medium 47

Chapter Summary 53

Exercises 54

Advanced Exercises 54

Chapter 3: Step-by-Step Installation 55

Booting Ubuntu and Running a Live Session 56

Basic Installation 59

Advanced Installation 71

Chapter Summary 93

Exercises 94

Advanced Exercises 94

Part II: Using Ubuntu Linux 95

Chapter 4: Introduction to Ubuntu 97

Curbing Your Power: root Privileges/sudo 98

Logging In on the System 99

Working with the Unity Desktop 104

Using the Nautilus File Manager 108

The System Settings Window 113

Getting Help 118

Installing, Removing, and Updating Software Packages 121

Working from the Command Line 125

More About Logging In and Passwords 142

Chapter Summary 145

Exercises 146

Advanced Exercises 147

Chapter 5: The Shell 149

Special Characters 150

Ordinary Files and Directory Files 151

The Command Line 152

Standard Input and Standard Output 159

Running a Command in the Background 171

Filename Generation/Pathname Expansion 173

Builtins 178

Chapter Summary 178

Exercises 179

Advanced Exercises 181

Chapter 6: The Linux Filesystem 183

The Hierarchical Filesystem 184

Ordinary Files and Directory Files 185

Pathnames 189

Working with Directories 191

Access Permissions 199

ACLs: Access Control Lists 206

Links 211

Chapter Summary 217

Exercises 219

Advanced Exercises 220

Chapter 7: The Linux Utilities 223

Basic Utilities 224

Working with Files 232

Compressing and Archiving Files 253

Displaying User and System Information 260

Miscellaneous Utilities 263

Editing Files 270

Chapter Summary 280

Exercises 282

Advanced Exercises 283

Chapter 8: Networking and the Internet 285

Introduction to Networking 286

Types of Networks and How They Work 288

Communicate over a Network 307

Network Utilities 308

Distributed Computing 315

WWW: World Wide Web 325

Chapter Summary 327

Exercises 328

Advanced Exercises 328

Part III: System Administration 331

Chapter 9: The Bourne Again Shell (bash) 333

Background 334

Startup Files 335

Commands That Are Symbols 339

Redirecting Standard Error 339

Writing and Executing a Shell Script 342

Control Operators: Separate and Group Commands 347

Job Control 352

Manipulating the Directory Stack 355

Parameters and Variables 358

Special Characters 372

Locale 374

Time 377

Processes 379

History 382

Aliases 398

Functions 402

Controlling bash: Features and Options 404

Processing the Command Line 409

Chapter Summary 420

Exercises 421

Advanced Exercises 423

Chapter 10: System Administration: Core Concepts 425

The Upstart Event-Based init Daemon 427

System Operation 437

GRUB: The Linux Boot Loader 444

Recovery (Single-User) Mode 450

Textual System Administration Utilities 454

Setting Up a Server 460

DHCP: Configures Network Interfaces 464

nsswitch.conf: Which Service to Look at First 468

X Window System 471

Getting Help 476

Chapter Summary 477

Exercises 478

Advanced Exercises 478

Chapter 11: Files, Directories, and Filesystems 479

Important Files and Directories 480

File Types 493

Filesystems 497

The XFS Filesystem 506

Chapter Summary 507

Exercises 508

Advanced Exercises 508

Chapter 12: Finding, Downloading, and Installing Software 509

Introduction 510

JumpStart: Installing and Removing Software Packages Using apt-get 512

Finding the Package That Holds an Application or File You Need 514

APT: Keeps the System Up to Date 515

dpkg: The Debian Package Management System 524

BitTorrent 531

Installing Non-dpkg Software 533

Keeping Software Up to Date 535

curl: Downloads Files Noninteractively 536

Chapter Summary 536

Exercises 537

Advanced Exercises 537

Chapter 13: Printing with CUPS 539

Introduction 540

The System Configures a Local Printer Automatically 542

JumpStart I: Configuring a Printer Using system-config-printer 542

JumpStart II: Setting Up a Local or Remote Printer 544

Working with the CUPS Web Interface 548

Configuring Printers 549

Traditional UNIX Printing 557

Printing from Windows 558

Printing to Windows 560

Chapter Summary 560

Exercises 561

Advanced Exercises 561

Chapter 14: Administration Tasks 563

Configuring User and Group Accounts 564

Backing Up Files 568

Scheduling Tasks 573

System Reports 576

Maintaining the System 578

Chapter Summary 593

Exercises 594

Advanced Exercises 594

Chapter 15: System Security 595

Running Commands with root Privileges 596

Passwords 615

Securing a Server 616

PAM 621

Cryptography 626

GPG (GNU Privacy Guard) 641

Security Resources 656

Chapter Summary 659

Exercises 660

Advanced Exercises 660

Chapter 16: Configuring and Monitoring a LAN 661

More Information 662

Setting Up the Hardware 662

Configuring the Systems 666

NetworkManager: Configures Network Connections 667

Setting Up Servers 672

Introduction to Cacti 674

Chapter Summary 683

Exercises 684

Advanced Exercises 685

Chapter 17: Setting Up Virtual Machines Locally and in the Cloud 687

VMs (Virtual Machines) 688

gnome-boxes 690


VMware Player: Installing Ubuntu on VMware 698

Cloud Computing 703

Chapter Summary 708

Exercises 709

Advanced Exercises 709

Part IV: Using Clients and Setting Up Servers 711

Chapter 18: The OpenSSH Secure CommunicationUtilities 713

Introduction to OpenSSH 714

Running the ssh, scp, and sftp OpenSSH Clients 716

Setting Up an OpenSSH Server (sshd) 727

Troubleshooting 735

Tunneling/Port Forwarding 735

Chapter Summary 738

Exercises 739

Advanced Exercises 739

Chapter 19: The rsync Secure Copy Utility 741

Syntax 742

Arguments 742

Options 742

Examples 745

Chapter Summary 752

Exercises 752

Chapter 20: FTP: Transferring Files Across a Network 753

Introduction to FTP 754

Running the ftp and sftp FTP Clients 756

Setting Up an FTP Server (vsftpd) 764

Chapter Summary 777

Exercises 778

Advanced Exercises 778

Chapter 21: postfix: Setting Up Mail Servers, Clients, and More 779

Overview 780

Introduction to postfix 781

Setting Up a postfix Mail Server 784

JumpStart: Configuring postfix to Use Gmail as a Smarthost 787

Configuring postfix 789

SpamAssassin 797

Additional Email Tools 801

dovecot: Setting Up an IMAP or POP3 Mail Server 807

Chapter Summary 810

Exercises 811

Advanced Exercises 812

Chapter 22: NIS and LDAP 813

Introduction to NIS 814

Running an NIS Client 817

Setting Up an NIS Server 822

Introduction to LDAP 830

Setting Up an LDAP Server 833

Chapter Summary 839

Exercises 840

Advanced Exercises 840

Chapter 23: NFS: Sharing Directory Hierarchies 843

Introduction to NFS 845

Running an NFS Client 847

Setting Up an NFS Server 853

automount: Mounts Directory Hierarchies on Demand 863

Chapter Summary 866

Exercises 867

Advanced Exercises 867

Chapter 24: Samba: Linux and Windows File and Printer Sharing 869

Introduction to Samba 870

Running Samba Clients 874

Setting Up a Samba Server 878

Troubleshooting 887

Chapter Summary 889

Exercises 890

Advanced Exercises 890

Chapter 25: DNS/BIND: Tracking Domain Names and Addresses 891

Introduction to DNS 892

Setting Up a DNS Server 904

Configuring a DNS Server 907

Chapter Summary 920

Exercises 921

Advanced Exercises 921

Chapter 26: ufw, gufw, and iptables: Setting Up a Firewall 923

ufw: The Uncomplicated Firewall 924

gufw: The Graphical Interface to ufw 927

Introduction to iptables 932

Building a Set of Rules Using iptables 937

Copying Rules to and from the Kernel 944

Sharing an Internet Connection Using NAT 945

Chapter Summary 948

Exercises 949

Advanced Exercises 949

Chapter 27: Apache (apache2): Setting Up a Web Server 951

Introduction 952

Running an Apache Web Server 954

Configuration Directives 961

Advanced Configuration 984

Troubleshooting 990

Modules 991

webalizer: Analyzes Web Traffic 997

Error Codes 997

Chapter Summary 998

Exercises 998

Advanced Exercises 999

Part V: Programming Tools 1001

Chapter 28: Programming the Bourne Again Shell (bash) 1003

Control Structures 1004

File Descriptors 1038

Parameters 1044

Variables 1053

Builtin Commands 1062

Expressions 1078

Implicit Command-Line Continuation 1085

Shell Programs 1086

Chapter Summary 1096

Exercises 1098

Advanced Exercises 1100

Chapter 29: The Python Programming Language 1103

Introduction 1104

Scalar Variables, Lists, and Dictionaries 1108

Control Structures 1114

Reading from and Writing to Files 1119

Regular Expressions 1123

Defining a Function 1124

Using Libraries 1125

Lambda Functions 1129

List Comprehensions 1130

Chapter Summary 1131

Exercises 1132

Advanced Exercises 1132

Chapter 30: The MariaDB SQL Database Management System 1135

History 1136

Notes 1136

Installing a MariaDB Server 1140

Setting Up MariaDB 1141

Examples 1145

Chapter Summary 1157

Exercises 1157

Advanced Exercises 1157

Part VI: Appendixes 1159

Appendix A: Regular Expressions 1161

Characters 1162

Delimiters 1162

Simple Strings 1162

Special Characters 1162

Rules 1165

Bracketing Expressions 1166

The Replacement String 1166

Extended Regular Expressions 1167

Appendix Summary 1169

Appendix B: Help 1171

Solving a Problem 1172

Finding Linux-Related Information 1173

Specifying a Terminal 1175

Appendix C: Keeping the System Up to Date Using yum 1177

Installing and Removing Software Packages Using yum 1178

Working with yum 1179

Appendix D: LPI and Comptia Certification 1183

More Information 1184

Linux Essentials 1184

Certification Exam 1 Objectives: LX0-101 1198

Certification Exam 2 Objectives: LX0-102 1214

Glossary 1231

JumpStart Index 1285

File Tree Index 1287

Utility Index 1291

Main Index 1297


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