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Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
This guide was created as an overview of the Linux Operating System, geared toward new users as an exploration tour and getting started guide, with exercises at the end of each chapter.
For more advanced trainees it can be a desktop reference, and a collection of the base knowledge needed to proceed with system and network administration. This book contains many real life examples derived from the author's experience as a Linux system and network administrator, trainer and consultant. They hope these examples will help you to get a better understanding of the Linux system and that you feel encouraged to try out things on your own.
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I'm currently running Ubuntu 10.10 on our lab computer. The system was working fine until a labmate tried to install updates (he wasn't super clear on what he did... can't seem to figure it out), since then it's had a string of issues with gdm. I managed to uninstall the nouveau drivers and replace with the proprietary drivers for my graphics card, which is what everything was working smoothly in. I come back 2 days later, and now I can't launch gdm anymore.
If you're not dual-booting, press "ESC" on power-up to enter Grub menu, select "Rescue Mode", run XFIX. This has corrected a lot of errors with Ubuntu for me in the past, from failed updates to swapping HDD into a different PC.