How should a newbie search for GNU/Linux help?

Yavor Doganov yavor at
Fri Aug 1 17:15:12 UTC 2008

At Tue, 29 Jul 2008 13:02:01 +0100,
Ciaran O'Riordan wrote:
> The office where I work has mostly converted to free software, but
> sometimes people don't know what website to go to to look for help.

I think the most important thing is to explain them how to
search/find/access *and read* the documentation of the package they're
having trouble with as is installed on their system.

90% of the problems with newbies come from the fact that they don't
read documentation, and they're generally impatient.  This is
especially true for young people.  (Of course this has deeper roots,
as people tend to "fix" things without realizing what the "fix"
entails or does; this is a result of the tendency to turn all
humankind into consumers.)  The other 10% are people who read online
(web) documentation not realizing that it is for a different version
than the one installed.

I doubt that there will ever be a site that sums up all the knowledge
of a free system, and I personally consider browsing web sites for
such a purpose time consuming and useless activity.

People are just unwilling to learn, and this is not about to change
any time soon :-{

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