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Best Web Resource For Linux Help? 74

mikeswi asks: "I made the big switch to Linux from Windows about six months ago (SuSe Linux 10.0). Overall, I am very pleased with Linux. Every now and then, I run into a problem that I cannot puzzle out on my own. I am absolutely not a Linux expert and have no idea how to do certain things that expert Linux users take for granted. If a determined Google search turns up nothing, I plead for help at LinuxQuestions and someone there usually does a good job of helping me out. What web sites or other resources do Slashdot readers use, when they run into a Linux problem they can't handle themselves?"
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Best Web Resource For Linux Help?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @09:44PM (#15836622)
    ...a remedial reading course. This is right in the dude's article -> "If a determined Google search turns up nothing...."
  • Value of community (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Wylfing ( 144940 ) <brian@w y l f i n g . net> on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @09:59PM (#15836704) Homepage Journal

    I know the submitter uses SuSE, and that's fine, I have no wish to sway people away from their favorite distributions. But Ubuntu is crazy delicious this way. You can post even the most newbie-ish of questions on their forums and almost always someone will help in a friendly manner in a matter of minutes. In fact many times Googling for general Linux problems will turn up solutions from

    I think this is the "thing" that is going to be a big driver of certain distributions in the near future (as if it isn't already). I mean, you can have a distro like Linspire or Xandros where they try hard from a technical standpoint, but there's no community of helpful souls to help you out. What makes OSS go is the gift economy, and one (major) way to give back is to offer friendly technical assistance on the boards. Distros that don't "feel" like they are part of the gift economy are destined to languish. Ubuntu and Fedora seems to have communities like this, even though the vibe of each of their communities is pretty different.

    Anyway, on completely different note, I kind of cringed when I saw this topic, because I expect to see a lot trolls posting anecdotes about how someone screamed at them to RTFM, how everyone is sooo hostile, and other such BS. The fact of it is that I have seen the opposite a lot more. For example, a user shows up on the boards, posts a problem involving a very rare digital camera that exeedingly few people have even heard of, and when nobody responds with a 100% solution in under an hour the user starts flaming the community for their "lack of responsiveness to problems."

  • by DrJimbo ( 594231 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @10:23PM (#15836801)
    You provided some great Googling tips but I don't think Google is the answer for a Linux newbie.

    The problem isn't that mikeswi wasn't determined enough in his Googling, the problem is that he does not yet know enough about Linux to have the context needed for effective Googling to solve his Linux problems.

  • by A.K.A_Magnet ( 860822 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @11:33PM (#15837119) Homepage
    You should have a look at Qunu []. It's a quite new Jabber/XMPP-based service. You go to the ["AJAX"/"Web2.0"/super high-tech] website, select/search a topic (Linux, Apache, Website, Ubuntu, Suse, networking, etc.. it doesn't have to be technical but the site is quite new so I doubt you'll find help for other domains); you'll get a list of experts (ie: people who have registered themselves as experts, you can adjust with multiple domains, eg expert in both Linux and GTK). Qunu supports other languages too. Once you've chosen an expert, you can ask your question, and hope for an answer (but if the expert is on the list, he should be available and answer in a timely manner). It's just like getting help on IRC, except that thanks to some Jabber/XMPP magic you go directly to the point (no need for a client other than your web browser, no need to know where to go, etc).

    Now, for the Slashdotters wishing to help (I personally don't yet, since last time I checked it wasn't really finished, but this question reminded me of it, so I may register and help in my spare time -- you decide when you help anyway), you can use your preferred Jabber client, add to your roster, and then select your domains of expertise. When you don't want to help, you can simply block the user or change your status (Away, DND, etc). If you want to stop helping completely, just remove the user from your roster (you can actually control user subscription in both ways with Jabber/XMPP, so you can stop when you want).

    Qunu is a great idea, so if you have some time to waste (I mean, we're on Slashdot, right, so we do ;)), or if you're fed up with helping on IRC (and people asking if they can ask and not asking the fucking question), you should give it a try.
  • Try asking slackers (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kuitang ( 904572 ) <> on Thursday August 03, 2006 @01:00AM (#15837490) Homepage
    Especially the ##slackware channel. People who use bare-bones distros are generally more knowledgeable about Linux (myself included). They frequently help people from other distros, even Ubuntu, though you should probably not bring your n00b questions there.

If it's not in the computer, it doesn't exist.