THE INSIDER’S GUIDE TO:
DO WHAT YOU NEVER THOUGHT POSSIBLE WITH UBUNTU LINUX
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
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
Intermediate to Advanced
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Ubuntu® Linux® Secrets
Wiley Publishing, Inc.
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Copyright © 2009 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana
Published simultaneously in Canada
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Blum, Richard, 1962–
Ubuntu Linux secrets / Richard Blum.
ISBN 978-0-470-39508-0 (paper/website)
1. Ubuntu (Electronic resource) 2. Linux. 3. Operating systems (Computers) I. Title.
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respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this work and specifically disclaim all warranties, including
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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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Senior Development Editor
Publication Services, Inc.
Mary Beth Wakefield
Vice President and Executive
Vice President and Executive
Project Coordinator, Cover
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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