Linux for Starters

Linux for Starters: Your Guide to Linux – Getting Help – Part 11

This is a series that offers a gentle introduction to Linux for newcomers.

This article explains the main ways you can get help direct from your new Ubuntu system. This is best used in conjunction with help from other sources such as friends, colleagues, forums, and other sources of information.

Most of the help facilities are already present on your Ubuntu system with the exception of tldr. But we’ll cover everything you need.

Let’s first start with the Ubuntu Desktop Guide.

Ubuntu Desktop Guide

Linux for Starters - Ubuntu Desktop Guide launchWhile Ubuntu is easy to use and learn, it’s different in many ways to Windows. Inevitably, you’ll need some help at times before you start mastering your new system. We gave a brief overview of how to navigate the desktop in Part 6 of this series. But there’s so much more to learn than we can comprehensively cover in this series.

When you boot into the desktop, there’s help immediately to hand.

On the left hand side of the desktop resides the dash. As you’ll recall, this is home to your favorite and running applications. There’s a series of icons offering quick access to launching software.

You’ll see that the bottom icon has the appearance of a question mark. A left mouse click on this icon launches the Ubuntu Desktop Guide. This guide gives you a tour of Ubuntu desktop features, answers your computer-related questions, and provides tips on using your computer effectively.

Linux for Starters - Desktop Guide
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  • The guide is divided into small, task-oriented topics – not chapters. This has the benefit that you’ll find answers to your questions quickly instead of wading through an entire manual.
  • Related items are linked together. “See Also” links at the bottom of some pages direct you to related topics.
  • The text input box at the top of this guide acts as a search bar, and relevant results will appear beneath it as soon as you start typing. Left-click on any result to open its page.

In the top bar of the Ubuntu Desktop window there’s an icon with three horizontal bars. This offers convenient access to a wider set of Help Documents. There’s help on various GNOME programs, together with other invaluable information such as the well-written GNOME System Administration Guide.

Let’s explore another useful resource: “Manual Pages” (Man Pages).

Page 2 – Man Pages

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Ubuntu Desktop Guide
Page 2 – Man Pages
Page 3 – tldr
Page 4 – Other commands: whatis, apropos, info, command options


All articles in this series:

Linux For Starters: Your Guide to Linux
Part 1What is Linux? Why use Linux? What do I need?
Part 2Choose a Linux distribution meeting your specific needs and requirements.
Part 3Make a bootable Ubuntu USB stick in Windows.
Part 4We show you how to install Ubuntu 21.04 on your hard disk.
Part 5Things to do after installing Ubuntu.
Part 6Navigating your way around the Desktop.
Part 7Updating the system, install new software.
Part 8Open source replacements for proprietary Windows desktop software.
Part 9Get started with the power and flexibility of the terminal.
Part 10We cover the basics of files and permissions.
Part 11Getting help from your system.
Part 12Learn all about the file system.
Part 13Manipulating files from the shell.
Part 14Maintain your system with these simple tips.
Part 15Managing users on your system.
Part 16Explore different desktops to GNOME 3.
Part 17Gaming on Linux.
Part 18Protect your privacy with this guide.
Part 19Access the Windows desktop from Linux using a remote desktop client.
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3 comments

  1. tldr is definitely worth installing. The man pages are often impenetrable to me. As you say Steve, listing every option without any order of importance is baffling to a beginner.

    it has over 33,000 stars on GitHub

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