In Progress


New users to Ubuntu often need support but are confused and overwhelmed by the current support offerings including irc, mailing lists and forums. This specification details a One on One Live support model allowing volunteers to nominate themselves for support to individuals.


IRC (specifically the #ubuntu channel) can be overwhelming for new users.

Mailing lists and forums have a barrier to entry (email address and accessible email, subscription process).

Mailing lists and forums both have no guarantee of an instant response. Whether the response is a fix or not, users often feel more confident when talking to an individual in real time.

LoCo and LUG meetings are great ways to talk to people, but don't tend to happen very often.

There is currently only one real time support option, IRC.

Use Cases

  • Alice is a new Ubuntu user, but would like some help getting her system configured.
  • Bob has been using Ubuntu for a while but has come across a tricky problem that he would like to talk over with someone.


This will use the recently open-sourced qunu code which facilitates this.

  • Expert registers on the site with their skills listed
    • Tags listing each product / package / technology they know
  • New user visits the site in a standard browser to find an expert
  • Site connects (via web based Jabber) user to expert.
    • (expert is actually using standard jabber client - not the site).
  • If the expert does not know the answer, the user can go back and find someone else who does.


Using the code from an ubuntu-hosted site should be setup to house the web based support system.

Implementation Plan

  • Implement the code on a hosted site
  • Promote the service to community members


Outstanding Issues

BoF agenda and discussion

To be discussed at UDS-Sevilla

Community Feedback

I am not sure where I can discuss this however I have had a similar idea to this blueprint and would like you to consider it since I will not be at the UDS. I know this doesn't exactly fit the blueprint however take from it what you will. At most I believe the most important thing is that although one person communicates with the user everyone else will be able to see the conversation because it allows users to correct the person giving help.

I believe there should be an application built, which has a nice GUI and connects to a special help channel on irc. My idea is mainly this.

  1. User A (the one needing help) will launch the application and be prompted to type in their problem. After doing so, something resembling a chat window would appear.
  2. This question would then end up in the IRC channel and then users who wish to help answer the question simply respond with "userA: <insert answer here>"

  3. On User A's screen it would filter all chat dialogue apart from that which has been directed to her specifically, "userA:"

Other variations of this could be in channel commands such as !subscribe userA which would "subscribe" a certain user as helping user A. This could then show on User A's screen so that she can see that more then one person is trying to help her.

Other irc channel commands could then be added such as !list which would pm a helper a list of people who still need help, time they have been waiting and their question.

The help program should make it clear that it is community support by volunteers and not canoncial support.


OneToOneLiveSupport (last edited 2009-01-16 13:39:22 by andrewfenn)