Ubuntu for Non-Geeks, 4th Edition

A Pain-Free, Get-Things-Done Guide
by Rickford Grant with Phil Bull

July 2010, 496 pp. w/ CD
ISBN: 978-1-59327-257-9
Contents | Reviews | Updates

"A fast, crystal-clear topical tour of the amazing collective accomplishment embodied in Ubuntu."
—Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing

The Ubuntu Linux distribution makes Linux easy, and Ubuntu for Non-Geeks makes it even easier. Full of tips, tricks, and helpful pointers, this pain-free guide is perfect for those interested in—but nervous about—switching to the Linux operating system.

This revised and expanded fourth edition is packed with new material that covers all the latest features of Ubuntu 10.04, Lucid Lynx. It includes five new chapters that take you step-by-step through common tasks like installing and playing games, accessing your favorite social networks, troubleshooting common hardware and software problems, connecting with the Ubuntu community, interacting with your Windows installation, and more.

By following along with the book’s straightforward explanations and step-by-step projects, you’ll learn how to:

  • Install Ubuntu and keep it updated
  • Set up printers, scanners, USB flash drives, and other hardware
  • Install and play free games like Frets on Fire, Frozen Bubble, and Warzone 2100
  • Watch DVDs, listen to music, and sync your iPod, iPhone, or other mobile devices
  • Edit and share digital photos and videos
  • Create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations
  • Customize the look and feel of your system
  • Work with the command line (or avoid it altogether!)

If you’re looking for a pain-free way to learn Linux, Ubuntu for Non-Geeks is just what you need to get started.

About the Author

Rickford Grant is the author of Linux for Non-Geeks and Linux Made Easy. He has been a computer operating system maniac for more than 20 years, from his early days with an Atari XL600 to his current Linux machines. Rickford is the international student advisor at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina.

Phil Bull is an author of the official Ubuntu documentation, and a member of the GNOME documentation project. He has been helping people with computers since his early teens, and has been an open-source contributor since 2005. Phil currently spends his time studying astrophysics in sunny Manchester, UK.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Becoming a Penguinista - Welcome to the World of Linux
Chapter 2: Wading and Diving - Running and (If You Like) Installing Ubuntu
Chapter 3: A New Place to Call Home - Getting to Know the Desktop
Chapter 4: More than Webbed Feet - Connecting to the Internet
Chapter 5: Slipping and Sliding - Exploring the Internet, Linux Style
Chapter 6: Rounding Out the Bird - Downloading, Installing, and Updating Programs the Easy Way
Chapter 7: A Tidy Nest - File and Disk Handling in Ubuntu
Chapter 8: Dressing Up the Bird - Customizing the Look and Feel of Your System
Chapter 9: Simple Kitten Ways - Getting to Know the Linux Terminal and Command Line
Chapter 10: Gutenbird - Setting Up and Using Your Printer and Scanner
Chapter 11: Polyglot Penguins - Linux Speaks Your Language
Chapter 12: Penguins at Work - Getting Down to Business in Linux
Chapter 13: Brush-Wielding Penguins - Linux Does Art
Chapter 14: Tux Rocks - Music a la Linux
Chapter 15: Pluggin' in the Penguin - Ubuntu and Your iPod, iPhone, and Other Digital Media Devices
Chapter 16: Couch Penguins - Video and DVD Playback in Ubuntu
Chapter 17: Feathered Flippers - Linux Gaming
Chapter 18: Penguins at the Gates - Working with Ubuntu in a Windows World
Chapter 19: Defending the Nest - Security
Chapter 20: A Colony of Penguins - The Ubuntu Community
Chapter 21: Wounded Wings - Fixing Common Problems

Appendix A: Installing Ubuntu from a USB Flash Drive
Appendix B: Ubuntu Desktop CDs for AMD64 Users
Appendix C: Manually Partitioning Your Hard Disk
Appendix D: Resources

View the detailed Table of Contents (PDF).

View the Index (PDF).



“No Starch Press is a great supporter of Ubuntu—and Linux in general—and has brought Ubuntu for Non-Geeks to a new level of excellence with this edition.”
—Major Keary, Linux Users of Victoria (Read More)

"Especially if you don't consider yourself a 'tech' person, Ubuntu for Non-Geeks, 4th Edition contains all kinds of good information that will help get you up and running on Ubuntu quickly."
—Game Vortex (Read More)

“This is a good book for a non-Linux computer savvy person to learn and get up-to-speed with Ubuntu.”
—Data and Technology Today (Read More)