Monday, October 5, 2009

IRC Channel List

All official Ubuntu IRC channels are located on the Freenode IRC network which also hosts a range of other free and open source software projects. Users can connect to IRC using several pieces of software in Ubuntu including GAIM, XChat, or IRSSI. Like the ubuntu-users e-mail list, #ubuntu is designed for help and support. When joining any channel, users should carefully read the topic as many frequently asked questions are answered in this topic and moderators of the channel can be annoyed by users who ask questions which they have already taken the time to answer in the channels topic.

Currently the #ubuntu channel is the third biggest channel on the Freenode network and is growing quickly. In the nine months preceding this writing, the population of the channel has almost doubled. Another important channel is #ubuntu-devel, which is reserved for discussion of Ubuntu development. Similarly, Kubuntu developers hang out in #kubuntu. To keep #ubuntu focused on support all general chatter has been moved to #ubuntu-offtopic. Similarly, support for development releases has moved to #ubuntu+1. Maintaining channels with specific foci has allowed the support community to stay focused and help as many people as possible.

Web Forums
The official Ubuntu Forums are other frequently used venues for communication in Ubuntu. For a number of reasons, many users prefer to communicate through a Web-based forum or bulletin board. The Ubuntu forums were created to satisfy this group and have done so with amazing success.

The forums are accessible online at and have shown an impressive amount of utilization. Statistics as of the time of writing show activity of more than 860,000 messages on more than 150,000 topics. The forums also boast more than 80,000 users with more than 1,000 active at a given point. The topics that these groups cover run the gamut. These are roughly broken down into the following categories:

• Support forums for the latest release of Ubuntu that includes:
User support for Ubuntu
User support for Kubuntu
Help with hardware support for Ubuntu
Installation and upgrade help
A collection of how-to articles, tips, and tricks
Information for people attempting to run the latest games on Ubuntu

• A wide variety of other discussion areas provide resources including:
Discussion areas outside of the normal support areas (e.g., artwork, server support)
Support for third-party Ubuntu projects and products
Support for previous releases of Ubuntu
Support venues for developers and programmers

• Several other resources that include:
A community chat area for general discussion
Web-based version of all official announcements that go out on the ubuntu-announce and ubuntu-devel-announce mailing lists.

Each of the areas mentioned above includes between one and nine different subforums, each of these containing many threads. By covering such ground, the Ubuntu forums provide an impressive support resource. They provide both an excellent venue for asking questions and receiving support as well as for answering questions and making important contributions to the health of the Ubuntu community. If you are interested in either, or both, the forums are a good place to begin.

The only caveat regarding the forums worth mentioning is that they are not frequently used by those developing Ubuntualthough there are exceptions to that rule. If users want to send messages directly to the Ubuntu developers, the forums may not provide the most effective tool. If users want to get involved in technical contributions to the project, they will, in all likelihood, have to augment their forums patronage with use of mailing lists. To help mediate this issue, the forums staff has created several forums that act as two-way gateways between the forums and the mailing list. The ubuntu-users mailing list is one such list. This means that users can read and participate in the ubuntu-users mailing list using the Web by simply participating in the associated Web forumsoftware makes sure that messages go between the two venues. Similarly, there are one-way forums for the ubuntu-announce and ubuntu-devel-announce mailing lists.

The Ubuntu Forums are representative of the Ubuntu community in another notable way: They were created, and for a long period were wholly funded, by the community itself. The forums founder, Ryan Troy, had no association with Canonical Ltd. when he created the forums. He did so without help or suggestion from Canonical Ltd. or others in the Ubuntu community. Canonical Ltd. and others in the Ubuntu project recognized the extremely valuable contribution that the forums were making and the important niche it was filling, so they invited the project to become an "official" part of the Ubuntu community. To this day, the forums are moderated and maintained entirely by volunteers and supported in large part through financial assistance outside of what is provided by Canonical Ltd.

Source of Information : The Official Ubuntu Book

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