Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ubuntu Help and Documentation

A great deal of help and documentation is available online for Ubuntu, ranging from detailed install procedures to beginners questions. The two major sites for documentation are and the Ubuntu forums at In addition, you can consult many blog and news sites as well as the standard Linux documentation. Als helpful is the Ubuntu Guide Wiki at Links to Ubuntu documentation, support, blogs, and news are listed at Here you will also find links for the Ubuntu community structure, including the code of conduct. A “Contribute” section links to sites where you can make contributions in development, artwork, documentation, and support. For mailing lists, check You’ll find lists for categories such as Ubuntu announcements, community support for specific editions, and development for areas such as the desktop, servers, or mobile implementation.
Ubuntu-specific documentation is available at Here on tabbed pages you can find specific documentation for different releases. Always check the release help page first for documentation, though it may be sparse and covers mainly changed areas. The Ubuntu LTS release usually includes desktop, installation, and server guides. The guides are complete and cover most topics. For 8.04, use of Desktop Documentation section will cover key desktop topics like software management, music and video applications, Internet application including mail and instant messaging, security topics, and a guide for new users. The short-term support releases tend to have just a few detailed documentation topics such as software management, desktop customization, security, multimedia and Internet applications, and printing. These will vary depending on what new features are included in the release. One of the most helpful pages is the Community Contributed Documentation page. Here you will find detailed documentation on installation of all Ubuntu releases, using the desktop, installing software, and configuring devices. Always check the page for your Ubuntu release first. The page includes these main sections:

• Getting Help Links to documentation and FAQs. The official documentation link displays the tabbed page for that release on

• Getting Ubuntu Link to Install page with sections on desktop, server, and alternate installations. Also information on how to move from using other operating systems such as Windows or Mac.

• Using and Customizing Your System Sections on managing and installing software, Internet access, configuring multimedia applications, setting up accessibility, the desktop appearance (eye candy), server configuration, and development tools (programming).

• Maintain Your Computer Links to System Administration, Security, and Troubleshooting Guides pages. System Administration covers topics such as adding users, configuring the GRUB boot loader, setting the time and date, and installing software. The Security page covers lower level issues such as iptables for firewalls and how GPG security works. Of particular interest is the Linux Unified Key Setup (LUKS)–encrypted file system how-tos.

• Connecting and Configuring Hardware Links to pages on drives and partitions, input devices, wireless configuration, printers, sound, video, and laptops.
Ubuntu Forums provides detailed online support and discussion for users. An Absolute Beginner section provides an area where new users can obtain answers to questions. Sticky threads includes both quick and complete guides to installation for the current Ubuntu release. You can use the search feature to find discussions on your topic of interest. The main support categories section covers specific support areas such as networking, multimedia, laptops, security, and 64-bit support. Other community discussions cover ongoing work such as virtualization, art and design, gaming, education and science, Wine, assistive technology, and even testimonials. Here you will also find community announcements and news. Of particular interest are third-party projects that include projects such as Mythbuntu (MythTV on Ubuntu), Ubuntu Podcast forum, Ubuntu Women, and Ubuntu Gamers. The forum community discussion is where you talk about anything else. The site also provides a gallery page for posted screenshots as well as RSS feeds for specific forums.
The Ubuntu Guide is a kind of all-purpose how-to for frequently asked questions. It is independent of the official Ubuntu site and can deal with topics such as how to get DVD-video to work. Areas cover such topics as popular add-on applications such as Flash, Adobe Reader, and MPlayer. The Hardware section deals with specific hardware such as Nvidia drivers and Logitech mice. Emulators such as Wine and VMWare are also discussed.

Ubuntu News and Blog Sites
Several news and blog sites are accessible from the News pop-up menu on the site.
• The Fridge site lists the latest news and developments for Ubuntu. It features the Weekly Newsletter, latest announcements, and upcoming events.

• Ubuntu blog for members and developers.

• Canonical news.

Linux Documentation
Linux documentation has also been developed over the Internet. Much of the documentation currently available for Linux can be downloaded from Internet FTP sites. A special Linux project called the Linux Documentation Project (LDP), headed by Matt Welsh, has developed a complete set of Linux manuals. The documentation is available at the LDP home site at The Linux documentation for your installed software will be available at your /usr/share/doc directory.

Source of Information : McGraw Hill Ubuntu The Complete Reference

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