informa
/
Commentary

Ubuntu In Your Pocket

Printed documentation never goes completely out of style. Cases in point: the O'Reilly books, the ... For Dummies series, and MacFreda's Ubuntu Pocket Guide and Reference. It's $10 in print -- and free as a PDF.

Printed documentation never goes completely out of style. Cases in point: the O'Reilly books, the ... For Dummies series, and MacFreda's Ubuntu Pocket Guide and Reference. It's $10 in print -- and free as a PDF.

The push away from shipping software with printed manuals seems to have started as an economical and ecological measure. When you ship without paper manuals, you cut down fewer trees, use less fuel to ship the product, and use up less shelf space. But everyone I've known has relished having a bound-and-printed manual of some kind for the software they use the most, and the various Linux distributions are no exception.

And so, the Pocket Guide. It runs to a total of 152 pages, covers all the basic tasks -- installing, working with software packages, command-line survival, users -- and even throws in some nice little bits like how to run Ubuntu on a Mac, how to use alternate software repositories (something that drives many people, me included, up a wall), and using Wubi to run Ubuntu on an existing Windows machine without messing it up.

I've got a few nitpicks, but they're not major ones. E.g.: When it comes to running Ubuntu in a VM, they mention VMWare Player but not VirtualBox -- which is free for personal use and open source, and from all I've seen does at least as good a job as VMWare Player (and in some cases is even better). But on the balance of it, if you're thinking of introducing someone you know to Ubuntu, this plus the installation CD makes a good package.


Follow me and the rest of InformationWeek on Twitter.