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Moving to Linux®: Kiss the Blue Screen of Death Goodbye! Second Edition

Book Description

Praise for Marcel Gagné’s Moving to Linux: Kiss the Blue Screen of Death Goodbye!

“This is kind of a funny book for me to be recommending to readers of a Windows newsletter, but a lot of people ask me about this topic, so here goes. Author Marcel Gagné is a columnist for Linux Journal, and in Moving to Linux he’s prepared a step-by-step guide to converting a Windows PC to Linux—or just trying it! The book includes a bootable CD with a version of Linux that you can poke around in without touching or changing anything about your Windows installation. If your boss is asking, ‘What’s with this Linux stuff?’, moving to Linux is a great way to show that you know what you’re talking about.”
—Brian Livingston, Editor,

“Pros: Too many to list in the available space. We liked the book from the very first page right through to the end. Gagné has done a solid job of exposing Linux and all its components in a way that is both inviting, useful, and easy to understand . . . We really liked this book—highly recommended.”
—Howard Carson, Kickstart News,

“Marcel walks the user through each technique in a very chatty and comfortable style. In fact, when I put the book down, I had a momentary impression that I’d just finished watching a good cooking show with an entertaining chef. (Australian readers may understand if I say that it felt like having just watched Ian Parmenter do an episode of ‘Consuming Passions.’)”
—Jenn Vesperman,

“Gagné’s Moving to Linux is a straightforward exposition of just how a non-hacker PC user can get rid of ‘The Blue Screen of Death’. If you have a friend, a co-worker, a significant other, or a relative who periodically screams, sighs, bursts into tears, or asks for help, here’s the simple solution. It comes with a bootable CD of Knoppix, Klaus Knopper’s variant of Debian.”
—Peter H. Salus, writing in ;login: The Usenix Magazine

“This is a book aimed not at you, dear developer/techie/guru, but at your friends, acquaintances, and family who are lowly users of Windows. Yes, such people do exist even in the tightest of families. Fear not, however, because salvation is at hand should any of them decide that this Linux thing might be worth investigating. No longer will you be faced with the unenviable task of walking them through the process of switching OS. Moving to Linux: Kiss the Blue Screen of Death Goodbye! is a big, bold, and friendly guide to help them along. The emphasis is firmly on using Linux as a desktop system—this isn’t a book about Linux as a file, print, or Web server.”
—Tech Book Reports

Say Goodbye to Windows®-Related Crashes, Viruses, Hassles, and Costs!

Today, Linux is more powerful, useful, and practical than ever before! Moving to Linux, Second Edition, can help you migrate from Windows to the latest and best versions of Linux in just hours. By the time you’re finished, you’ll be able to do virtually anything in Linux—without the aggravation, crashes, security risks, or high costs of running Windows!

This is not a book for techies! It’s for people who write documents, create spreadsheets, surf the Web, use email, listen to music, watch movies, and play games—and want to do it in Linux, without becoming technical experts.

  • Convert your Windows PC to a Linux system that does more for less money—one step at a time

  • Take control of Linux the easy way, with the quick, efficient KDE graphical environment

  • Browse the Internet using Firefox, the fast, powerful browser that’s quickly replacing Microsoft Internet Explorer

  • Send and receive email and instant messages using your existing AOL, MSN, and Yahoo! accounts

  • Manage all your digital photos, without the hassle, using digikam

  • Rip music, burn and play CDs, and watch movies

  • Discover the world of Linux games and learn how to run Windows games on your Linux PC

  • There’s more! Create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations with 2.0—the free office suite for Linux that’s now easier, more powerful, and even more compatible with Microsoft Office.

    Say goodbye to expensive software upgrades, burdensome Microsoft licensing, Windows viruses, and “blue screens of death.” Say hello to computing the way it’s supposed to be—with Linux!

    Table of Contents

    1. Copyright
      1. Dedication
    2. Praise for Marcel Gagne's Moving to Linux: Kiss the Blue Screen of Death Goodbye!
    3. Preface
    4. 1. Introduction
      1. Is Linux Really FREE?
      2. The GPL
      3. So What Do I Gain?
        1. Security
        2. Stability
        3. Power
        4. Money
        5. Freedom from Legal Hassles
      4. What Do I Lose?
        1. Hardware and Peripheral Support
        2. Software Packages
        3. A Step into the Unknown
      5. Some Tips on Using This Book
        1. Quick Tips and Shelling Out
        2. Meet Your Desktop
      6. Help Me!
        1. The Linux Documentation Project
        2. Linux User Groups
      7. About the CD
      8. It's My Philosophy
      9. Resources
    5. 2. An Introduction to the WFTL Edition Knoppix Disk
      1. Ready to Try Linux?
      2. Playing with WFTL Knoppix
      3. Just Looking Around
      4. Configure Now, Remember Me Later
      5. The Persistence of Memory
      6. Setting Up the Network
      7. HELP!
        1. What About the Root Password?
        2. What If My System Can't Boot from the CD-ROM?
        3. Can I Install the WFTL Edition Knoppix on My Hard Disk?
      8. Remember to Share
      9. Resources
    6. 3. Ready . . . Set . . . Linux!
      1. Getting Linux
      2. Getting a Free Copy of Linux
        1. Package Managers and Updates
      3. Dual Booting
      4. Preserving Your Data
      5. A Linux-Only System
      6. Windows on Linux
        1. VMware
        2. Win4Lin
      7. Breaking Free!
      8. Resources
    7. 4. Getting Your Hands Dirty
      1. Getting to Know You . . . KDE
        1. A Few Words about X
      2. Logging In
        1. Click Here! Click Here!
      3. Becoming One with the Desktop
      4. Your First Application
      5. Windows, Title Bars, and Menus, Oh My!
        1. The Title Bar
        2. On to the Menu Bar
      6. Resizing Windows
      7. Command Central
      8. A Polite Introduction to the Command Line
      9. Give Me More!
      10. Changing Your Password
      11. User Security
      12. I Need More Help!
        1. Konqueror and man Pages
      13. Konquest of the Desktop
      14. Resources
    8. 5. Konquering Your World
      1. Files, Directories, and the Root of All Things
      2. Wherever You Go . . .
        1. Navigating the Navigation Panel
      3. Enhancing Konqueror
      4. Uh, Roger, Copy That . . .
      5. Creating New Folders
        1. “I've Changed My Mind,” or Renaming Files
      6. Copying Files and Directories (and Moving, Too!)
        1. Wait! What about Links?
        2. Which Brings Us to Permissions
      7. Deleting Files and Directories
      8. My World, My Way
      9. Making Your Home a Home
    9. 6. Customizing Your Desktop (or Making Your World Your Own)
      1. I Am Sovereign of All I Survey . . .
        1. Changing the Background
      2. Save My Screen, Please!
      3. Moving Things Around
      4. Is That a Theme or a Motif?
        1. Window Decorations
        2. Themes and Styles
      5. Adding Icons and Shortcuts to Your Desktop
      6. Miscellaneous Changes
      7. Resources
    10. 7. Installing New Applications
      1. Linux and Security
      2. The Many Faces of Software Installation
      3. SuSE Software Package Installs
      4. Mandrake's urpmi
        1. Mandrake's urpmi Made Even Easier
      5. Searching for Common Ground
      6. Kpackage
        1. Installing Packages
        2. Dealing with Dependencies
      7. RPMs, the Shell Way
      8. Look, Use the Source . . .
      9. The Extract and Build Five-Step
        1. Step 1: Unpacking the Archive
        2. Steps 2–5: Building Your Programs
        3. README, Please!
        4. Getting Your Hands on Software
      10. Resources
    11. 8. Printers and Other Hardware
      1. Yes, It Runs with Linux!
      2. Plug and Play
      3. Getting Familiar with Your Hardware
        1. PCI Devices
        2. USB Devices
      4. Printers and Printing
      5. Kprinter
      6. Modems versus Winmodems
        1. The Winmodem/Linmodem Roundup
      7. What? More Devices?
      8. Resources
    12. 9. Connecting to the Internet
      1. Before You Begin
      2. Getting on the Net
      3. Connecting to the Net with a Modem
      4. Cable Modems and High-Speed DSL
      5. Okay, I'm Connected. Now What?
        1. Why Jabber?
      6. Kopete
        1. Adding Kopete Contacts
      7. Resources
    13. 10. Surfing the Internet
      1. Konqueror
        1. Page Home for Me . . .
      2. Cool Konqueror Tricks
        1. Split Views
        2. Super-Speedy Searches
        3. Go for the Big Screen
        4. Yum . . . Cookies
        5. Ban the Pop-Ups Forever!
        6. Keeping Tabs on the Web
      3. Mozilla Firefox
        1. Working from Home
        2. Firefox Does Tabs, Too
        3. Still Don't Like Pop-Up Ads?
        4. Controlling Cookies
        5. The Firefox Sidebar
      4. Wrapping Up
      5. Resources
    14. 11. Electronic Mail Clients
      1. Be Prepared . . .
      2. Kontact
        1. First Kontact
      3. KMail
        1. The Importance of Being Networked
      4. Let's Communicate!
        1. Receiving Mail
        2. Your Little Black Book
        3. Attached to You . . .
        4. Send Now or Later
      5. Evolution
        1. Sending and Receiving Mail
        2. What to Use?
      6. Other Options
      7. Resources
    15. 12. Getting Organized
      1. KOrganizer
        1. Adding an Event
        2. So Much To Do . . .
        3. Printing Your Calendar
        4. Wow! Déjà Vu: Recurring Events
        5. Inviting Others to an Event
        6. What Happens When You Get Invited?
        7. Importing Calendars
      2. Evolution
        1. Creating Appointments
        2. Let's Do That Again: Evolution Recurrence
        3. The Makings of a Meeting
        4. Tasks and Other To-Dos
      3. Other Tools
      4. Resources
    16. 13. Word Processors (It Was a Dark and Stormy Night . . .)
      1. Writer
      2. Write Now!
        1. The Hunt for Typos
        2. What Language Is That?
        3. Saving Your Work
        4. Printing Your Document
      3. Toolbars of Every Kind . . .
      4. Help!
      5. To Word or Not to Word?
      6. Personalizing Your Environment
      7. A Wizard of Words
      8. Navigating Style
        1. Navigating the Rivers of Text
      9. Speaking of Document Elements . . .
      10. More! Give Me More!
      11. Other Options
      12. Resources
    17. 14. Spreadsheets (Tables You Can Count On)
      1. Starting a New Spreadsheet and Entering Data
      2. Basic Math
      3. Saving Your Work
      4. Complex Charts and Graphs, Oh My!
        1. Magical Totals
        2. Nice, Colorful, Impressive, and Dynamic Graphs
        3. Final Touches
        4. A Beautiful Thing!
      5. Alternatives
      6. Resources
    18. 15. Presentation Graphics (For Those Who Need No Introduction)
      1. Getting Ready to Impress
        1. Inserting Slides
        2. Adding Color
        3. Printing Your Presentation
      2. Instant Web Presentations
      3. How About a Little Flash? Shocking!
      4. So What's with the Penguin?
      5. Extra! Extra!
      6. Alternatives
      7. Resources
    19. 16. Digital Photography
      1. Working with a Digital Camera
      2. Picture-Perfect Konqueror
      3. Picture-Perfect digiKam
        1. Configuring Your Digital Camera
        2. What About Those Tags?
        3. But Wait—There's More!
      4. Scanning . . .
      5. Scanning under KDE—Kooka
        1. Saving Your Work
      6. Optical Character Recognition
      7. Resources
    20. 17. Digital Art with the GIMP
      1. Ladies and Gentlemen, Start Your GIMP
        1. Easy Logos with the GIMP
        2. Saving and Opening Your Work
      2. Printing Your Masterpiece
      3. Tools, Tools, and More Tools
        1. Now, on to the Tool Icons
        2. Touching Up Photographs
        3. So What Is Script-Fu?
      4. Resources
    21. 18. Linux Multimedia (If Music Be the Food of Love . . .)
      1. Adjusting the Levels
      2. KsCD, the KDE CD Player
      3. XMMS
        1. XMMS Lightshows
        2. Skinning XMMS
      4. Noatun
        1. Skinning Noatun
        2. Noatun Lightshows!
      5. Ripping and Burning Songs
        1. Intermezzo: Digital Audio Formats
      6. KAudioCreator
      7. K3b, for a Friendlier Burn
        1. Getting Familiar with K3b
        2. Backing Up Your Data with K3b
        3. Did Someone Say “Backups”?
        4. Creating a Music CD with K3b
      8. Put Another Nickel In . . .
        1. Juk
        2. Rockin' On with amaroK
      9. Lights, Camera, Action: Moving Pictures
        1. A Note on Encrypted DVDs
      10. It's a Wrap!
      11. Resources
    22. 19. Fun and Games (Very Serious Fun)
      1. Take Me Out to the Arcade
        1. Cubes and Things That Drop
      2. Deal Those Cards, Ace
      3. B-4. Miss. E-7. Hit!
      4. Educational Games
        1. KStars
        2. Learn to Type
        3. That Potato Guy
        4. The Edutainment Pack
      5. 3D Accelerated Fun
        1. FlightGear
        2. TuxRacer
        3. Need a Belly Rub?
      6. The 13-Year-Old's Picks
      7. More Games! I Need More Games!
      8. Resources
    23. A. The GNU General Public License
      1. GNU General Public License
        1. Preamble
        2. GNU General Public License Terms and Conditions for Copying, Distribution, and Modification
        3. NO WARRANTY
        4. How to Apply These Terms to Your New Programs
      2. Resources
    24. B. Installation
      1. Getting Ready for Your Installation
      2. Hardware Considerations
      3. Dual Booting Revisited
        1. A Sample FIPS Session
      4. An Installation Comparison
        1. A Very Generic Install
      5. A Mandrake Linux Install
      6. Putting On the Fedora
      7. A SuSE Install
      8. Xandros Desktop OS, Version 3.0 Deluxe
      9. Not-So-Tough Installs
      10. Starting and Stopping Linux
      11. Resources
    25. C. Taking Command of Linux
      1. Linux Commands: An Easy Start
        1. Commands to Know and Love, Part 1
      2. Working with Files
        1. Commands to Know and Love, Part 2
        2. File-Naming Conventions
        3. Listing Files with Emotion!
      3. A Peek at Metacharacters
      4. File Permissions in the Shell
        1. Not-So-Hidden Files
        2. Strange Filenames That Just Won't Go Away
      5. More on rm (or “Oops! I Didn't Really Mean That.”)
      6. Making Your Life Easier with alias
        1. Forcing the Issue
      7. Standard Input and Standard Output
      8. Pipes and Piping
        1. tee: A Very Special Pipe
        2. STDERR
        3. The Road to Nowhere
      9. Linux Commands: Working with Directories
      10. There's No Place Like $HOME
      11. More on File Permissions
      12. User and Group Ownership
      13. Who Can Do What?
      14. Who Was That Masked User?
        1. The setuid Bit
      15. Finding Anything
      16. Using grep
      17. Processes
        1. Forests and Trees
      18. Killing Processes
      19. Forging On . . .
      20. Resources
    26. D. Working with Editors
      1. Meet Kate
      2. I Am vi, the Great and Powerful!
        1. :q, :w, :wq, and ZZ
        2. Recovering a vim Session
        3. Power vi: Start-up Options
      3. emacs, pico, and nedit, Oh My!
      4. Resources
    27. CD-ROM Warranty