Bill von Hagen's
My Ubuntu Bible book was released in January, 2007. Ubuntu is my favorite Linux distribution, not only because of its technical excellence, but also because of the huge and involved community that has sprung up around it. The book comes with a free CD of Ubuntu 6.10 (AKA Edgy Eft), which makes it easy to experiment with Ubuntu without committing to it, and which also provides a great, easy-to-use graphical installer to use once you're sure that Ubuntu is right for you. It didn't take me long to fall in love with Ubuntu a few releases ago, and I hope that you agree.
One of my apparent trademarks is making a few typos that are too insidious to be detected by the excellent editors at Wiley, and those are certainly accidental. Send me mail if you find one or have general comments or questions!
One of the best things about open source software is that it is currently being updated and improved. One of the worst things about open source software books is that their subject matter is therefore a moving target. This is especially true of books about Linux distributions, which often have to be completed before the final version of the distribution that they talk about is cast in stone. For example, this book was written using (many) pre-releases of Edgy Eft, and (unfortunately), some things changed between those and the final, official release.
This page contains corrections, clarifications, and (eventually) links to updated information about Ubuntu releases such as Edgy Eft, Feisty Fawn, and the upcoming Gutsy Gibbon. If you find a problem in the book or think of anything that should be here, please let me know. I really do care. I love Linux and love writing about it, but the goal of these books is to popularize Linux and help you get real work done with it. Tell me if something isn't working for you.
Accessing Microsoft Windows Partitions from the Desktop CD (Pages
I wrote this book using preliminary releases of Edgy Eft (the final release is on the CD that comes with the book) because the real thing wasn't out until after the book went to press. It takes a while to chop down and grind up all those dead trees! Unfortunately, sometime during the beta period, the utility that I refer to in order to mount and see your Windows partitions (the Disks menu item, which pointed to the disks-admin utility) was removed from the System > Administration menu. (The reason for doing this is explained here.) Luckily, replacement utilities are available that are quite easy to install thanks to the excellent Ubuntu software install/upgrade tools.
NOTE: Installing any software when running from the Live CD will only make that software available during the current session unless you follow the instructions on persistence in the section on page 41 entitled "Using Desktop CD Persistence". Otherwise, any software that you install is installed into the transient filesystem used by the desktop CD.
The utility that I suggest that you install to replace disks-admin is called pysdm, which stands for "PyGTK Storage Device Manager." It doesn't do everything that disks-admin did, but I'll explain how to fill in the blanks using tools that are already installed. An alternative to using pysdm is updating the version of the GNOME Partition Manager that is already a part of the Edgy Live CD that comes with the book, but that's more involved, so I vote for pysdm.
The pysdm utility is located in the Ubuntu Universe repository, which is not activated by default on the Live CD. Adding repositories is explained in the section of the book entitled "Enabling Additional Repository Sources Using the Software Properties Tool" on page 573. BTW, this is now called the Software Sources tool and looks completely different (Thanks, Ubuntu guys!) - my first recursive errata! So I'll explain what to do here.
Select System > Administration > Software Sources and enter your password when prompted to do so. On the Ubuntu 6.10 pane that displays, check the Community maintained Open Source software (universe) checkbox, and click Close. A dialog displays, telling you that your software sources have to be updated. Click Reload.
You can now install pysdm using your favorite update tool. (I'll describe Synaptic here. (Aptitude is actually even easier, but only if you're into command-lines. sudo aptitude install pysdm.) To use the Synaptic Package Manager, select System > Administration > Synaptic Package manager, enter your password if necessary, and click Search. Enter pysdm as the string to search for in "Name" or "Description and Name", and click Search. Once the package displays, right-click its name and select Mark for Installation from the pop-up menu. Finally, click Apply to actually cause Synaptic to retrieve and install the package.
Once pysdm is installed, you can execute it by selecting System > Administration > Storage Device Manager. To see the partitions that are available on any disk, select the disk that contains them in the left menu panel. Selecting any partition displays information about it in the right pane. if you see a message about the partition not being configured yet, click yes to configure it (which is completely internal to the tool.) To mount a partition, click Mount - the right pane identifies where it will be mounted (which, by default, is on a directory under /media with the same name as the partition).
The last step is to actually browse the contents of the mounted partition. The late, lamented disks-admin tool used to create a desktop icon for the new partition for you - pysdm does not do this. To browse the selected partition, click Places > Home Folder. Next, click File System in the left menu, select the media folder, and select the name of the mountpoint for your partition in order to browse its contents.
Before shutting down the Live CD, you should use the Unmount button in pysdm to unmount any partitions that you mounted. Shutting down without unmounting them probably won't do any harm, but it's better to be safe that sorry. BTW, you cannot be browsing the contents of a folder when you try to unmount the partition that it is associated with. Nautilus will complain about the device being busy is you try to do so. Close the File Manager (and make sure that you're not cd'd there in a terminal window), and you're good to go.
Sorry for the hassle, but thanks for buying the book! I hope that it is/was useful to you.