Ubuntu Hacks, 2nd edition

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Chapter 1. Getting Started

1.Test-Drive Ubuntu 1

xx.Run Ubuntu inside Windows

Wubu allows an Ubuntu environment to be launched directly inside Windows as a .exe file. (JonOxer)

2.Get Help 5

3.Make Live CD Data Persistent 7

Cool hack, but needs an update. (JonOxer)

4.Customize the Ubuntu Live CD 10

Big update to process, but still keep. I've heard positive feedback about this hack. (JonOxer)

5.Install Ubuntu 15

6.Dual-Boot Ubuntu and Windows 22

7.Move Your Windows Data to Ubuntu 26

9.Set Up Your Printer 34

The autodetection has been improved a lot since Dapper but this should still be kept. Needs updating though. (JonOxer)

10.Install Ubuntu on an External Drive 39

11.Install from a Network Boot Server 43

This is really useful, and since writing it the first time there's more I could add to it: we're now using this in my company with multiple boot images so that a single boot server can hold dozens of distros / releases (eg: Dapper Desktop i386, Dapper Server i386, Dapper Server x86_64, etc etc) and when the machine begins the PXE boot process it displays a menu and you can choose which image you want to install. (JonOxer)

12.Submit a Bug Report 46

13.Use the Command Line 49

14.Get Productive with Applications 52

xx. Create a bootable Ubuntu USB thumb drive

xx. Moving from Windows using the migration wizard

Chapter 2. The Linux Desktop

15.Get Under the Hood of the GNOME Desktop 58

Probably keep, but will need updates. (JonOxer)

16.Tweak the KDE Desktop 62

17.Switch to a Lighter Window Manager 67

Could add LDXE to this. (GaryWilson)

18.Install Java 73

19.Search Your Computer 76

There have been big changes in this since Dapper, so keep but update. (JonOxer)

20.Access Remote Filesystems 78

Very useful, keep and update. SSHfs in particular is really handy. Also incorporate some of the extra SSHFS stuff from the old hack #84, which is being dropped in the second edition. (JonOxer)

xx. Access Remote Desktops

VNC, etc

xx. Share Your Desktop Securely

VNC, VPN, Hamachi

21.Tweak Your Desktop Like a Pro 82

22.Sync Your Palm PDA 86

23.Sync Your Pocket PC 91

24.Customize the Right-Click Contextual Menu 99

Still a cool hack, and the method is even more obscure now that the Gnome menus have been changed so it's worthwhile keeping it. (JonOxer)

25.Download and Share Files with the Best P2P Software 101

26.Make Your Own PDFs 107

27.Blog with Ubuntu 110

xx.Calibrate Your Monitor

How to calibrate your monitor in Ubuntu (like what can be done in Windows with Adobe Gamma). (Suggested by GaryWilson)

xx. Managing the Nautilus file manager

xx. Bedazzled with 3D Cube desktop, Scale (like Mac's Expose) and other Compiz Fusion tricks

xx. Widgets galore (gDesklets/Google gadgets)

xx. Use system monitor to manage processes

xx. Kill or be killed

xx. Reading and writing to Windows partitions (NTFS-config)

Chapter 3. Multimedia

28.Install Multimedia Plug-ins 113

29.Watch Videos 115

30.Play DVDs 119

31.Buy Songs at the iTunes Music Store 121

Is this still valid, or are there better sources of music now? I'm not sure whether this should be kept or not. (JonOxer)

32.Get a Grip on CD Ripping 123

33.Burn CDs and DVDs 128

34.Automate Audio CD Burning 130

35.Rip and Encode DVDs 133

36.Create a Video DVD 137

Add or change to using DeVeDe. (GaryWilson)

37.Connect to a Digital Camera 142

xx. Using iTunes (install iTunes or gtkpod)

xx. Convert video formats (VLC, transcode)

xx. Capture from a video camera

xx. Stream live video

xx. Record audio

xx. Capture YouTube and other streaming video

xx. Capture streaming audio

xx. Get Flash/Java/Other plugins working in browser

Chapter 4. Mobile Ubuntu

38.Put Your Laptop to Sleep 147

39.Hibernate Your Laptop 151

40.Prolong Your Battery Life 153

There are some very cool hooks built into the latest kernels to help with this: it would be great to talk about how to use them to find specific parts of the system that are using power. (JonOxer)

41.Get Proprietary Wireless Cards Working 154

42.Roam Wirelessly 158

43.Make Laptop Settings Roam with Your Network 161

44.Make Bluetooth Connections 167

There are still some gotchas with this but it's becoming more important all the time, so keep and update. (JonOxer)

45.Expand Your Laptop 172

46.Hotswap Your Laptop .s Optical Drive 173

xx.Keep Your Music In Sync

Use an "if-up" script on your laptop so that when it joins your home network it automatically synchronises its "Music" directory with your home entertainment system such as a MythTV machine or your desktop computer. (JonOxer)

Chapter 5. X11

47.Configure Multibutton Mice 176

48.Enable Your Multimedia Keyboard 178

Needs some minor updates to suit newer utilities, but keep because it's annoying not to be able to use all the keys on a keyboard. (JonOxer)

49.Configure a Touchpad 184

50.Connect Multiple Displays 188

This is actually going to be more important with Hardy, because all the rules have changed and people will probably be confused. Update and keep. (JonOxer)

51.Change the Ubuntu Splash Screen 195

Cute, but maybe not all that useful? It's actually one of the more "hackish" hacks in the book so it would be a shame to drop it, but I don't know that readers would actually care about it. (JonOxer)

52.Enable 3-D Video Acceleration 196

53.Make Your Fonts Pretty 200

Very useful for desktop machines, keep and update. (JonOxer)

xx.Connect A Bluetooth Game Controller

Configure a Wii remote control: very useful for things like controlling Myth, etc. Ref: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=332322 (JonOxer)

Chapter 6. Package Management

54.Manage Packages from the Command Line 206

Keep, with a focus on Aptitude instead of Apt but still covering direct use of Dpkg. (JonOxer)

55.Manage Packages with Synaptic 210

Definitely still need this as a fundamental skill. (JonOxer)

56.Manage Packages with Adept 215

I don't know if this is still relevant. (JonOxer)

57.Install and Remove Standalone .deb Files 219

Definitely keep since it's a fundamental skill necessary for a bunch of other hacks. (JonOxer)

58.Search for Packages from the Command Line 222

59.Install Software from Source 224

Keep, very useful basic skill. (JonOxer)

60.Modify the List of Package Repositories 227

Update and keep. (JonOxer)

61.Cache Packages Locally with Apt-cacher 231

Update and expand. The newest Apt-cacher adds a bunch of features including IPv6 security support and other stuff. Alternatives like Apt-proxy and Approx are also good but are very limited in functionality still, so best to stick to Apt-cacher for this version. (JonOxer)

62.Create an Ubuntu Package 235

Update and keep this. (JonOxer)

63.Compile a Source Package 238

Update and keep this. (JonOxer)

64.Convert Non-Ubuntu Packages 240

65.Create Your Own Package Repository 242

Definitely keep, it's useful to lots of people. (JonOxer)

66.Convert Another Distro to Ubuntu 245

Repurposed to be a more general explanation of how to migrate any other distro, including things like Fedora, by doing tricks like converting the swap partition to a filesystem and sticking things in it, debootstrapping, and moving stuff back. Kind of like how DebTakeover works. (JonOxer)

Chapter 7. Security

67.Limit Permissions with sudo 249

68.Manage Security Updates 252

69.Protect Your Network with a Firewall 255

I've had heaps of positive feedback about the original version of this hack, which used Firewall Builder to show how to set up a complex firewall. Therefore I think it should up updated but kept. In Hardy there's a new firewall tool which provides a very simple way to set up a firewall, and that may need coverage as well. (JonOxer)

70.Use an Encrypted Filesystem to Protect Your Data 265

Worth keeping I think, just with minor updates. For example there's a newish tool to manage mounting encrypted filesystems associated with specific users. (JonOxer)

71.Encrypt Your Email and Important Files 271

This one is important to me personally (exhibit A: www.keysigning.org!) so I think it should be kept and maybe expanded. (JonOxer)

72.Surf the Web Anonymously 276

73.Keep Windows Malware off Your System 280

xx.Protect Your System With SELinux

SELinux will be installed but disabled by default in Hardy. Show how to turn it on and manage it. (JonOxer)

xx.Customize SE Linux Security Profiles

How to create an SELinux profile for a new application. (JonOxer)

xx.Connect Ubuntu to Active Directory

Ubuntu can now be part of an Active Directory domain, allowing users to authenticate using their AD credentials. (JonOxer)

xx. Anti-virus for email

xx. Security tweaks (Tighten SSH defaults, Limit access to administrative user, Make shared memory private, Secure your home directories, Bootup security, Rootkit protection).

xx. Encrypt and sign email with GNU Privacy Guard

xx. Get a really secure password

Chapter 8. Administration

74.Edit Configuration Files 284

Keep and update. (JonOxer)

xx.Version Control Your Configuration Files

There are hooks being added to Dpkg at the moment to make it transparently version config files using Git. I don't know if it will make it into Ubuntu for Hardy, but it would be great to include if we can. (JonOxer)

75.Manage Users and Groups 288

Keep and update. (JonOxer)

76.Mount Any Filesystem 291

77.Control Startup Services 294

There is a new GUI to manage this, so keep and expand to cover both the GUI and update-rc.d. (JonOxer)

78.Build Kernels the Ubuntu Way 299

79.Back Up Your System 304

80.Clone an Installation 311

81.Rescue an Unbootable System 313

This is very useful, and Kyle did a great job of it last time so it should be kept and updated if necessary. (JonOxer)

82.Check the Captain .s Log 318

83.Mount Removable Devices with Persistent Names 321

very useful, keep and update. (JonOxer)

85.Make Videos of Your Tech-Support Questions 330

86.Synchronize Files Across Machines 333

Keep and update. Maybe add explanation of how to hack Unison to honor SUID bit. (JonOxer)

xx.Tune Your Startup Process

There is a very cool little tool just coming in Debian that uses dependency metadata for startup services to optimise the boot order, and ultimately it should be able to manage the boot process automatically. We should do a hack on how to use it in Ubuntu. (JonOxer)

xx. Connect To The Internet Using IPv6

Current projections say IPv4 addresses will run out in 2010. Many networks are now natively IPv6, but there's not much info around about how to set up computers to use it. This hack should cover two major areas: how to connect a computer direct to an IPv6 network, and how to connect via a tunnel broker. (JonOxer)

Chapter 9. Virtualization and Emulation

87.Run Windows Applications 341

88.Play Windows Games 350

89.Run Ubuntu Inside Windows 359

Add or change to VirtualBox? (GaryWilson)

90.Use Xen to Host Virtual Machines 366

Virtualisation has become the new hot topic so maybe some expanded coverage is warranted. This hack would need to be totally rewritten because there are now a bunch of packages for Xen. Maybe there should also be a hack about using KVM, which is gaining a lot of traction among kernel developers in particular. (JonOxer)

91.Create an Ubuntu/Xen Virtual Machine 371

This would just need some updates to suit differences in running debootstrap against a Hardy target. (JonOxer)

92.Split Your Machine .s Personality 377

xx.Use KVM to Host Virtual Machines

8.04 has full support for KVM and virt-manager. We should explain how to set up a virtual machine under KVM. (JonOxer)

Chapter 10. Small Office/Home Office Server

93.Install and Configure an Ubuntu Server 386

95.Administer Your Server Remotely 394

94.Build a File Server 388

96.Build a Web Server 398

Keep and update. Add mod_vhost trickery with split_logfile. (JonOxer)

97.Build an Email Server 400

Keep and update. (JonOxer)

xx.Build a Spam Firewall Appliance

(New) Rid your network of spam by building a server appliance that can sit in front of your mail server and block spam before it reaches your mailboxes. By running an anti-spam service as a separate appliance you can dramatically reduce the load on your mail server. Inspired by Barracuda and http://howtoforge.com/linux_spam_filter_mail_gateway (JonOxer)

98.Build a Caching Proxy Server 403

Keep and update. (JonOxer)

99.Build a DHCP Server 406

Keep and update. (JonOxer)

100.Build a Domain Name Server 409

Keep and update. (JonOxer)

Chapter X. Applications (that weren't included in default installation)

A section that I had proposed, but is not part of the original outline

xx. Audio: aTunes, Audacious, Audacity, Banshee, BMPx, EasyTag, Exaile, Helix Player, Mplayer, Songbird

xx. Backup: Simple Linux Backup, gRsync, Unison

xx. CD/DVD: Grip, DeVeDe, Serpentine, Thoggen, K3b, Acidrip

xx. Communications: Xchat, Skype

xx. Database: MySQL, Postgresql

xx. Games: Xmoto, Frozen Bubble, Tux Racer

xx. Graphics: Inkscape, Picasa

xx. Internet: Thunderbird, Flash Player, Azureus, Adobe Air, Moonlight

xx. Office: AbiWord, Gnumeric, Zim, Adobe Reader, ePDF, Scribus

xx. Utilities: Filezilla, aMule, Transmission, Azureus, GNUCash, unrar, netspeed, tilda, Avant, SSHmenu, Gnome Commander

xx. Video: VLC Media Player, Cinelerra-CV (to become Lumiera)

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