DO WHAT YOU NEVER THOUGHT POSSIBLE WITH UBUNTU Linux Programming, Linux For Dummies, 8th Edition, and

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    U B

    U N

    TU LIN

    U X


    R I C H A R D B L U M

    • Delve into the underlying applications and features of the Ubuntu Linux system

    • Discover how to make the most of workstation and server applications

    • Get helpful tips for modifying your environment and keeping your system running smoothly

    Packed with valuable advice and secrets on every aspect of the Ubuntu Linux Distribution,

    this comprehensive guide delivers in-depth information on the Ubuntu workstation,

    server, and applications, and provides detailed coverage of Ubuntu Linux as a software

    development platform. The featured tips and tricks delve into the underlying applications

    and features of the Ubuntu Linux system so that you can get the most out of every

    application and system feature.

    RICHARD BLUM has worked in the IT industry for nearly two decades as both a systems and network administrator.

    During this time he has administered UNIX, Linux, Novell, and Microsoft servers, and has helped design and maintain a

    3,500-user network utilizing Cisco switches and routers. He is the author of several Linux books, including Professional

    Linux Programming, Linux For Dummies, 8th Edition, and Linux Command Line and Shell Scripting Bible.

    • Handling Files and File Properties (see Chapter 5)

    • Understanding the OpenOffi ce Suite (see Chapter 7)

    • Watching Web Clips and Editing Videos (see Chapter 12)

    • Connecting to the Network (see Chapter 14)

    • Working with Ubuntu Web Servers (see Chapter 21)

    • Programming in Python® (see Chapter 26)

    • Working with Ruby Code (see Chapter 29)

    B L U M

    ISBN 978-0-470-39508-0

    READER LEVEL Intermediate to Advanced

    SHELVING CATEGORY Operating Systems Linux

    $54.99 USA $65.99 CANADA


    ® ®

    ® ®


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  • Ubuntu® Linux® Secrets

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  • Ubuntu® Linux® Secrets Richard Blum

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  • Ubuntu® Linux® Secrets

    Published by Wiley Publishing, Inc. 10475 Crosspoint Boulevard Indianapolis, IN 46256

    Copyright © 2009 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana

    Published simultaneously in Canada

    ISBN: 978-0-470-39508-0

    Manufactured in the United States of America

    10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Blum, Richard, 1962– Ubuntu Linux secrets / Richard Blum. p. cm. Includes index. ISBN 978-0-470-39508-0 (paper/website) 1. Ubuntu (Electronic resource) 2. Linux. 3. Operating systems (Computers) I. Title. QA76.76.O63B5984 2009 005.4'32—dc22 2009005635

    No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, except as permitted under Sections 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without either the prior written permission of the Publisher, or authorization through payment of the appropriate per-copy fee to the Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, (978) 750-8400, fax (978) 646-8600. Requests to the Publisher for permission should be addressed to the Permissions Department, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030, (201) 748-6011, fax (201) 748- 6008, or online at

    Limit of Liability/Disclaimer of Warranty: The publisher and the author make no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this work and specifically disclaim all warranties, including without limitation, warranties of fitness for a particular purpose. No warranty may be created or extended by sales or promotional materials. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for every situation. This work is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional ser- vices. If professional assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. Neither the publisher nor the author shall be liable for damages arising herefrom. The fact that an organization or web site is referred to in this work as a citation and/or a potential source of further information does not mean that the author or the publisher endorses the information the organization or web site may provide or recommendations it may make. Further, readers should be aware that Internet web sites listed in this work may have changed or disappeared between when this work was written and when it is read.

    For general information on our other products and services please contact our Customer Care Department within the United States at (877) 762-2974 or outside the United States at (317) 572-3993 or fax (317) 572-4002.

    Trademarks: Wiley and the Wiley logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and/or its affiliates, in the United States and other countries, and may not be used without written permission. Ubuntu is a regis- tered trademark of Canonical Limited. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Wiley Publishing, Inc. is not associated with any product or vendor mentioned in this book.

    Wiley also publishes its books in a variety of electronic formats. Some content that appears in print may not be available in electronic books.

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  • To my family. “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.”

    —Proverbs 24:3–4 (NIV)

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  • About the Author Richard Blum has worked in the IT industry for over 20 years as both a systems and network administrator. During that time he has administered UNIX, Linux, Novell, and Microsoft servers, as well as helped manage desktop workstations on a 3,500-user net- work. He has used Linux since the days of loading the system from floppy disks and has utilized Ubuntu workstations and servers in his environment.

    Rich has a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering and a master of science degree in management, specializing in management information systems, from Purdue University. He is the author of several Linux books, including Linux Command Line and Shell Script Bible, Professional Assembly Language Programming, Network Performance Open Source Toolkit, sendmail for Linux, Running qmail, Postfix, and Open Source E‑mail Security. He’s also a coauthor of Professional Linux Programming, and Linux for Dummies, 8th Edition. When he’s not being a computer nerd, Rich plays bass guitar for his church worship band and enjoys spending time with his wife, Barbara, and their two daughters, Katie Jane and Jessica.

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  • Credits Acquisitions Editor Jenny Watson

    Senior Development Editor Tom Dinse

    Technical Editor Warren Wyrostek

    Production Editor Rebecca Coleman

    Copy Editor Publication Services, Inc.

    Editorial Manager Mary Beth Wakefield

    Production Manager Tim Tate

    Vice President and Executive Group Publisher Richard Swadley

    Vice President and Executive Publisher Barry Pruett

    Associate Publisher Jim Minatel

    Project Coordinator, Cover Lynsey Stanford

    Compositor Maureen Forys, Happenstance Type-O-Rama

    Proofreader Word One

    Indexer Robert Swanson

    Cover Designer Ryan Sneed

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  • Acknowledgments First, all glory and praise go to God, who through His Son makes all things possible and gives us the gift of eternal life.

    Many thanks go to the great team of people at Wiley Publishing for their outstanding work on this project. Thanks to Jenny Watson, the acquisitions editor, for offering me the opportunity to work on this book. Also, thanks to Tom Dinse, the development editor, for keeping things on track and making this book more presentable. The technical editor, Warren Wyrostek, did an amazing job of double-checking all the work in this book, plus making suggestions to improve the content. Thanks, Warren, for your hard work and diligence. I would also like to thank Carole McClendon at Waterside Productions, Inc. for arranging this opportunity for me and for helping out in my writing career.

    Finally, I would like to thank my parents, Mike and Joyce Blum, for their dedication and support while raising me, and my wife, Barbara and daughters, Katie Jane and Jessica, for their love, patience, and understanding, especially while I was writing this book.

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  • Contents at a Glance

    Introduction ............................................................................................................................................ xxv

    Part 1: Starting Out with Ubuntu