My "errata" for the Complete Guide to Ubuntu on PC Pro 10


This is my first post (pre-series) on the Complete Guide to Ubuntu. I’m doing this one immediately after the original announcement, because I wanted to put out my errata for their article (or my caveats, if you will).

I’ll take it item by item in the order that I found them (including in the comments section on each sub-article).

1. In the case of Apple’s products, they make it almost necessary to use iTunes to update the product. And they don’t provide a version for Linux. So, you may find it difficult to use Apple products with Ubuntu. However it’s not impossible.

Your options in this situation are install iTunes through Wine, install a Virtual Machine with Windows and install iTunes in that, or check out this article on the Ubuntu Documentation site (and it’s referenced articles for newer products).

2. In the how to install Ubuntu article, they discuss 32-bit vs. 64-bit versions. One minor point that they fail to mention is that if your CPU is a 32-bit processor (most older computers up to about 2008 or so), then you only have one option. Also, you’ll possibly see three options for iso files “x86” (32-bit), “amd64” (most Intel and AMD 64-bit processors), and “ia64” (Itanium processors only). So, unless you’re using an Intel Itanium processor, you want the amd64 or x86 version.

3. Printers…. Some manufacturers have drivers for Linux (HP is one), and some printers can be used with CUPS and GhostPrint (foomatic). However there are printers which absolutely will not work with Linux (can we say “Lexmark”?). In those cases, if it’s a network printer, you should still be able to use them. However if they’re connected to your Windows computer (or you don’t have access to a Windows Computer), your options are limited.

In my case, I do one of two things with my Lexmark printer. I either save the item that I need to print to a network location (or a folder that is accessible by my Windows computer) and print it directly from my Windows PC, or I fire up a virtual machine with Windows running, and print it from there. I am planning to upgrade though to either a network printer, or one that’s compatible with Linux.

4. If your data is on a network, you can use Samba (which is installed automatically) to access it from your Ubuntu computers. You can even set your computer to automatically mount the folders when you boot up. I’ll show you how to do this in a future article.

5. Under the Update Ubuntu section, they warn that it can take a long time and cripple your system. I personally haven’t experienced this– even when running on a laptop purchased in 2007 or a homebuilt computer from 2003.

And in my experience, the only time I’ve had a large number of updates was the first update after the installation. Other than that, most of the updates were fairly quick (even on a 1.5 Mbit DSL connection). This would be true with Windows as well though.

6. In the Installing Software article, he touches on the Command Line. It’s not as scary as people think. There are five or six main commands that you’d need, if you were installing/updating from a repository using the command line. These are:

sudo apt-add-repository repositoryname This is how you add a repository to your list.
sudo apt-cache search package-or-keyword This searches for the package, so you know what to install. You don’t need to use sudo, but I prefer to.
sudo apt-get update Updates all of your repositories with the latest package information.
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade Applies any upgrades that are available to your packages.
sudo apt-get install packagename Installs the package(s) that you specify.

And one main command if you’re installing from a .deb file dpkg -i filename.deb

6. This goes in both the installing applications and the filesystem articles. If you’re installing from a .bin or .tar file (and possibly a .deb file), you can install it for yourself only by not using sudo. However, if it is something that is installed for “All Users”, you must use sudo to install it. This is because without sudo, it can’t be installed in directories that are accessible by other users.

Finally, it should be noted that Folders (Windows) and directories are synonymous. They are essentially the same thing, but it’s semantics which drive what term you’ll use. Linux advocates and support prefer directories, while Windows users/support will most likely refer to folders.

Have a great day:)
Patrick.


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