GNU/Linux Desktop Survival Guide
by Graham Williams
Organisation of the Book
20200218 Individual chapters aim to be a standalone reference using a one-pager style whereby each individual page aims to be a standalone guide on a specific point or topic. This one-page concept comes from my OnePageR book for data science, artificial intelligence, and machine learning and has been quite successful there. Past the 6 introductory chapters the topics are presented alphabetically.
The introductory chapters begins with advocacy for GNU/Linux in Chapter 1. There are many sound reasons for using free and open source software, and in particular using GNU/Linux. Examples are provided of the adoption of GNU/Linux in many organisations.
Some of the history of GNU/Linux is then shared in Chapter 2.
There are many ways of obtaining GNU/Linux and whilst the book's focus is on the most common distribution, Ubuntu, Chapter 3 discusses other distributions.
Chapter 4 continues with a guide to installing Ubuntu's distribution of GNU/Linux. Over the years this chapter has considerably diminished in length as a testament to the increasing simplicity of installing GNU/Linux. The chapter also includes detailed examples for many specific hardware platforms.
Chapter 5 then provides a brief introduction to some of the essential GNU/Linux concepts and utilities that will assist in using the system. This includes a guide to the Debian packaging system which is used to manage (and take all of the hard work out of maintaining) packages.
Chapter 6 covers a tool, wajig, developed by the author to support and simplify administration of GNU/Linux.
The chapters then continue alphabetically, covering an enormous range of computer applications that have been contributed by many of our freinds within the free and open source community. Introductions are provided to the suite of GNU/Linux command line and desktop productivity tools, and recipes are provided for solving problems and for using and tuning specific parts of a GNU/Linux system. These applications equal, and often surpass, similar commercial offerings that often also limit and indeed severely restrict our freedoms through different approaches to lock the user into their own commercial applications.
So sit back and enjoy the freedom and liberty that comes with free software. Also, please consider becoming an active part of the community that is making computers and the applications they run a benefit to society world wide, rather than a privilege of the few.