Please note that this page is of historical interest only, it is not intended to be accurate as to the current state of ubuntuguide.org or official Ubuntu documentation. The last meaningful comment on the specification was November 2005, it should be read with that in mind.


Ubuntu Guide (ubuntuguide.org) was a valuable source of help for early versions of Ubuntu, but it is now out of date, and somewhat inappropriately concentrated on blunt non-graphical solutions. To solve this, the possibility of redirecting the site to help.ubuntu.com will be investigated. In addition, specialized help pages will be produced for some topics, and several feature goals will be registered for future Ubuntu development to make some of the Guide's command-line hackery unnecessary.


  • The Ubuntu Guide has not been updated recently, and some of the individual answers are no longer up to date, relevant or appropriate.
  • The Guide concentrates on command-line answers, making Ubuntu sometimes seem more difficult than it is.
  • The presence of many of the questions in the Guide are symptoms of missing, undiscoverable, or difficult and/or poorly documented features in Ubuntu itself.

Use cases

  • Jonathan switches from Kubuntu to Ubuntu. A couple of months later, his ISP switches to using DHCP, and Jonathan wants to know how to configure this in Ubuntu. So he searches the Web for "ubuntu dhcp".
  • Marian switches from Gentoo to Ubuntu, and is confused by the lack of a "root user". She Googles for "root account in ubuntu".
  • Eun Park wants to know how to enter Korean text in Ubuntu. She searches at Yahoo Korea for "ubuntu 한국어".


Once help.ubuntu.com is working, the possibility of redirecting to it from ubuntuguide.org will be investigated.

In addition, extra documents and specs will be created covering specific topics for which the Ubuntu Guide is currently necessary. (See also DesktopGuide and ServerGuide.) The following subsections are the same as the sections in the Ubuntu Guide, showing how the need for each can be minimized.

Getting Started

This section should be redundant with the front page of ubuntu.com. If it isn't, ubuntu.com needs redesigning (see UbuntuWebSite).

Getting UbuntuGuide

Should be redundant with an Ubuntu CD, or with the top of the guide itself (which should link to a PDF version).

Repositories; Ubuntu Updates; Add-On Applications

Should become unnecessary once RepositoryDialogDesign (and SoftwareManager) are implemented.

Commercial Applications

This section is actually about installing Windows software, a topic that should have its own illustrated page on help.ubuntu.com.

Users Administration

This is less necessary with the advent of gnome-about-me, and should be almost completely unnecessary once there is a unified AccountsControlPanel.


  • Spec graphical X configuration tool.
  • Autoconfigure X including enablement of the drivers.
  • Automatically turning on DMA.
  • Look into why CDs sometimes don't unmount.
  • Improve support for Palm OS devices.

CD/DVD burning

  • Integrated CD burning and ripping: see JukeboxCentralization.

  • Integration of burning solution and image ripping solution.


  • The first sections will be less necessary with NetworkMagic.

  • Dialup needs to be much easier: see NonBroadbandUsers.

  • Sharing needs to be made easier (samba configuration etc).

Remote Desktop

A dedicated guide should be written for this.


  • find Windows partition & mount them


Rescue Mode

Tips & Tricks

Almost all of these are already covered in System > Preferences, or are workarounds for enhancements needed in upstream applications (e.g. the Boot Manager).

  • Corey needs to report a bug about "Empty Trash" really emptying the trash.


  • I feel that this is something Ubuntu strives to be best at, the more work that is done to improve the ease of which new users can switch to Ubuntu the better in my opinion. It would be really good if the people who work on the above suggestions try to keep the DocumentationTeam in the loop as much as possible. Often late in development things like the above can change making parts of our documentation redundant/incorrect, which was defiantly an issue during Breezy development. The only other thing I would like to add is that not only should the above be evaluated, but people such as regular forum users, people who help out on IRC often and docteam people like myself are also good sources of knowledge on what things could be made easier, so pick our brains too! - RobertStoffers

  • Part of this spec is unimplementable: we shouldn't and can't force people who write private resources to stop hosting them and/or redirect their webpages to official sites. We've tried to talk the question over with the maintainers of the guide at this forum thread. (mdke)

  • Further, the statement that blunt non-graphical solutions are not useful ignores the userbase: almost every user I've had feedback from about the current official docs has stated that they preferred CLI based solutions. We need to reconcile this with a desire to focus on graphical solutions for those who like them. (mdke)

EvaluateUbuntuGuide (last edited 2009-03-11 16:52:10 by webdefence)