Ubuntu Made Easy

I like books from No Starch Press. (This isn’t some sort of paid endorsement; I don’t make any money from them. They give me books to review, but that’s kinda necessary if I’m going to review them.) Their books are fairly dense with technical content, but they also have a casual style and a sense of humor that makes them easier to read.

The latest book from No Starch is Ubuntu Made Easy: A Project-Based Introduction to Linux and it lives up to the expectations I have of No Starch books. It’s sort of a GUI counterpart to The Linux Command Line from the same publisher.

Ubuntu Made Easy is all about doing common tasks with Ubuntu. It’s primarily aimed at non-technical users, but programmers are often in the same boat as everyone else when they’re managing photos etc. rather than writing code and would find the book handy. It is primarily about Ubuntu specifically rather than Linux in general. In particular, it focuses on the current version, version 12.04, and its Unity user interface.

The book reads like the best books on how to use Windows or Mac, only for Ubuntu. By that I mean it has the level of polish and detail that I’ve more often seen in books written for those operating systems than in books written for Linux. I’d feel good about giving a copy of this book to someone who hasn’t used Linux.

There’s one part of the book that seemed a little out of place: Chapter 8, an introduction to the command line. Since this book is mostly about using the GUI and is aimed at a broad audience, some readers might be intimidated by this. If so, I hope they just skip over Chapter 8 since the rest of the book doesn’t depend much on it.

Related post: Why Food for the Hungry runs Ubuntu


2 thoughts on “Ubuntu Made Easy

  1. I can’t remember if you were the one that mentioned it, but Matloff’s “The Art of R Programming” was/is fantastic. Do you have an opinion on their “Wicked Cool Shell Scripts” book?

  2. Zach, I wrote Matloff’s book here. Nice book. Clear and easy to read.

    I haven’t read any of their “wicked cool scripts” books.

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