Open Week -- Finding Help in Ubuntu -- Mike Basinger -- Mon, May 3

EDT -5

(03:01:40 PM) Technoviking: Afternoon all
(03:02:12 PM) Technoviking: This session will be very short and sweet and for people pretty new to Ubuntu.
(03:03:00 PM) Technoviking: My name is Mike Basinger, I'm a member of the Ubuntu Forums Council and Forums Admin, and the Ubuntu Community Council
(03:03:18 PM) Technoviking: I also write the Q&A column for Ubuntu User magazine.
(03:04:37 PM) Technoviking: One of the major strength of open source over our commerical counterparts is the large community-driven support assicated with diferent projects
(03:05:29 PM) Technoviking: In Ubuntu we have a wide vareity of community support areas where you can get techincal support for Ubuntu Linux
(03:05:46 PM) Technoviking: Forums: or (my favorite :))
(03:06:06 PM) Technoviking: Mailing Lists:
(03:06:23 PM) Technoviking: Launchpad Answers:
(03:06:45 PM) Technoviking: IRC:
(03:06:59 PM) Technoviking: and LoCo teams:
(03:08:08 PM) Technoviking: The quality of the support you get will be same as the quality of information you give people about your problem
(03:08:36 PM) Technoviking: other word crap in = crap out, gold in = gold out
(03:09:32 PM) Technoviking: The are a few thing you should do when asking tech support questions in Ubuntu
(03:09:44 PM) Technoviking: 1. Be Proactive
(03:09:54 PM) Technoviking: Search Google, the forums, and other online resources for your problem and possible solution.
(03:10:56 PM) Technoviking: Google is your friend, and a good Google search will provide tons of tech support answer for common questions
(03:10:59 PM) Technoviking: Respond when people ask for more information on your issue.
(03:12:12 PM) Technoviking: When you ask a question, someone may ask for more information, be sure to provide back any infromation asked for (within reason, ie, no one needs to know any of your passwords)
(03:12:31 PM) Technoviking: See if the problem happen on more than one machine.
(03:12:54 PM) Technoviking: This help determine if it a machine related or over all general problem.
(03:13:11 PM) Technoviking: Be Precise:
(03:13:20 PM) Technoviking: Give as much details as possible on the problem you are having.
(03:13:50 PM) Technoviking: Once again, the better information you give, the better chance someone help assist you.
(03:14:18 PM) Technoviking: Know exactly what hardware you are using
(03:14:27 PM) Technoviking: t is better to say "My Intel 3945 wireless card is drops packets" than "My wireless card it broken"(lspci is your friend.)
(03:15:15 PM) Technoviking: lspci is a commmand line tool that will list the hardware connected to you pci bus
(03:15:54 PM) Technoviking: so lspci | grep Network will list your network cards
(03:16:03 PM) Technoviking: In my case 06:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation Wireless WiFi Link 5100
(03:16:22 PM) Technoviking: Be Honest:
(03:17:07 PM) Technoviking: Be up front if you installed third party software or using a many many PPAs
(03:18:04 PM) Technoviking: It will help people helping you know exactly what is going on on your machine
(03:18:14 PM) Technoviking: Be Patient
(03:19:04 PM) Technoviking: Don't repeat your question over and over again, if someone can answer they will, but it may take a a few hours or days for someone to answer your question.
(03:19:50 PM) Technoviking: and repeat your question multiple time in a short period can get you kicked from IRC channel and infractions on the forums.
(03:20:05 PM) Technoviking: Use the proper tools
(03:21:02 PM) Technoviking: In IRC you should not copy multiple lines of text in an IRC channel. Use pastebin ( to post your output to IRC.
(03:21:18 PM) Technoviking: Take screenshot of problem or record video of your desktop with gtk-recordmydesktop.
(03:21:42 PM) Technoviking: This will help people helping you see exactly what is happening on your computer.
(03:22:35 PM) Technoviking: Be sure to submit a bug if it is deemed needed. (ubuntu-bug package-name or Help --> Submit Bug Report in many programs).
(03:23:01 PM) ClassBot: TMKCodes asked: What about people who dont know how to give info about their problem?
(03:24:00 PM) Technoviking: I would suggest try to give as much information as they can, or find a Ubuntu Loco or LUG in their area to get some in person support
(03:24:15 PM) ClassBot: JR0cket asked: are there any common tools or commands someone should run to help diagnose the problem?
(03:24:36 PM) Technoviking: lspci is great for finding out hardware
(03:25:15 PM) Technoviking: I also run problems from the command line which will give you output from the program in question
(03:25:47 PM) Technoviking: I would suggest lsmod to see what kernel modules are loaded.
(03:26:30 PM) Technoviking: Also the Ubuntu wiki has some great resources for finding out how to debug some problems.
(03:27:04 PM) Technoviking: For example, is a great resource for learning how to debug wireless problems
(03:27:18 PM) ClassBot: JR0cket asked: What are the best log files to start looking in?
(03:28:36 PM) Technoviking: running dmesg is a great command line tool to see current kernel message are happening
(03:29:43 PM) Technoviking: System Logfile viewer will (System --> Administration --< System Logfile viewer) will let you browse log files in a GUI format
(03:30:45 PM) ClassBot: brobostigon82 asked: in ubuntu-uk we are going to trial ad guidelines for user support, how good would such guidelines be, inorder to help people find support, in thatwe who are going to help, can better assist.?
(03:32:18 PM) Technoviking: brobostigon82: those are some very good guidelines. I think the main thing to consider is you want everyone to be able to ask for support from your Grandma to Mark Shuttleworth
(03:32:58 PM) Technoviking: brobostigon82: so make sure you consider that document as a guildeline and not set in stone
(03:34:00 PM) Technoviking: when you ask or answer a tech support question, be sure to follow the guidelines in the Ubuntu Code of Conduct
(03:35:14 PM) Technoviking: be respectful to the person, and never say RTFM, just give a gentle nudge to the fine manual if needed:)
(03:35:25 PM) Technoviking: any more questions?
(03:37:30 PM) Technoviking: Canonical does offer paid support for Ubuntu desktop now (I believe), don't have that information with me
(03:38:04 PM) Technoviking: That another option for people to use if community support does not have an answer
(03:38:56 PM) Technoviking: Here is the paid support link
(03:39:31 PM) ClassBot: avu97 asked: is there a way to purchase support on a per incident basis, rather than for at least a whole year?
(03:40:28 PM) Technoviking: avu97: It can be suggested to Canonical. I will forward this comment to them
(03:42:17 PM) Technoviking: if you have any more question, I'n technoviking in irc, the forums, and twitter/ or you can email me at
(03:42:43 PM) akgraner: Technoviking, thank you so much - you are a wealth of information
(03:42:58 PM) Technoviking: thanks for listening and for the question, now lets make Ubuntu 10.04 rock
(03:43:23 PM) akgraner: If there are no other questions for Technoviking that will conclude today's open week sessions!

MeetingLogs/openweekLucid/FindHelp (last edited 2010-05-03 19:51:47 by pool-71-123-16-225)