Preface

20210308

“The enjoyment of one’s tools is an essential ingredient of successful work.” Donald E. Knuth

This book is undergoing conversion from LaTeX to Bookdown. It is a work in progress and there remains numerous glitches. Please bare with us.

Welcome to the world of GNU/Linux. GNU/Linux is more than a computer operating system. It is an ecosystem for humanity to share experiences through the freedom of open source. The freedom is the freedom to do as you want with the software that we contribute to the ecosystem, with very few, and ideally no, restrictions, except the requirement to maintain our freedoms.

The aim of this book is to quickly get started with GNU/Linux, and to deliver the excitement of a fun and productive environment for interacting with devices. GNU/Linux is a complete and mature operating system that can completely replace Microsoft’s Windows on most computers. If you are limited to using Microsoft Windows, then Microsoft’s Windows Subsystem for Linux provides a full GNU/Linux experience within Microsoft’s Windows/10.

This book provides a guide to the many different regions of a GNU/Linux system with a focus on getting the computer environment to do what is required of it. It is comprehensive, beginning with basic support for the user who installs and maintains the system themselves (whether in the home, office, club, school, or enterprise) to providing insights and step-by-step procedures that deal with specific tasks.

The book covers many of the core features of a GNU/Linux system, to ensure it delivers the power to do whatever is required of it. With knowledge comes the enjoyment to use one of the most comprehensive and useful developments in the history of computing, as well as the most widely used operating system ever (Android is built on GNU/Linux).

The basis of our ecosystem is freedom: the freedom to choose, the freedom to learn, the freedom to change, the freedom to share, the freedom to contribute, the freedom to live, the freedom to enjoy, and the freedom to communicate through the code and tools we write. Never let that freedom be taken from us.

On completing an install of Ubuntu (which may take an hour or so depending on network connectivity) it is ready to use with all of the applications expected to be available for a computer. All of the major classes of desktop tools are covered in this book, including word processing, spreadsheets, personal information management, graphics, databases and, of course, games. Tools for developers are well represented, and indeed it is worth noting that serious developers use GNU/Linux as their platform of choice.



Your donation will support ongoing availability and give you access to the PDF version of the book. Desktop Survival Guides include Data Science, GNU/Linux, and MLHub. Books available on Amazon include Data Mining with Rattle and Essentials of Data Science. Popular open source software includes rattle, wajig, and mlhub. Hosted by Togaware, a pioneer of free and open source software since 1984. Copyright © 1995-2021 Graham.Williams@togaware.com Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0.