So, you’ve decided to run linux….

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So, you’ve installed linux and you’ve run into a problem. What do you do? Where do you go? There are plenty of resources and a myriad of websites to visit. Sometimes the search for help can be both frustrating and overwhelming. So here are some suggestions. I’m not going to tell you to read the f’ing manual. There is some important info in them make no mistake but most of us are impatient and to tell you the truth I’ve only read the manual maybe, MAYBE twice. Depending on the distro, I would suggest checking out the distros official forums. Most major distros have really good forums. I use centos and they have a very active forum. Two of the most popular distros LinuxMint and Ubuntu have very good forums and you can usually find your answers there. Next if you are unable to find what you are looking for there, check the wiki. Again a lot of real useful info there. Another avenue is web search. Lastly, when the above fail, head over to IRC for some real time help. When looking for help either on IRC or web search or any search be sure to include at very minimum – distro, hardware and problem item. More info always makes helping you solve your problem easier and quicker. Say for example the Banshee music player does not work you need to provide the following info:

What distro are you running? Ubuntu 12.04, Slackware 14, Fedora 18, etc
What version of the app are you using? You can find this info by choosing Help in the application menu and looking for the About Banshee
Because this is a music player people will want to know are you using Pulse audio or Alsa?
You may also have to provide some hardware info too. Laptop, Desktop, Tablet? Speakers – internal, external?

The above is not an exhaustive list, it is just a start but hopefully you get the idea. Provide as much info as you can.

Lastly when going on IRC and asking for help, please, please, please be patient. Some IRC sites have over 20+ people, not everyone is paying attention to the main “room”, it may take a few moments for someone to see a question has been asked. Be assured someone will eventually take the ball and run with it.

There are so many other avenues you can go when seeking help if you have some of your own, feel free to share and I’ll post it on this site.

I do want to pimp out one help site worth checking out and has been a great source for answers over the years and that is the grand daddy of all forums, that is www.linuxquestions.org This is possibly the oldest help forum out there for linux. If you run into a problem you can most likely find the answer there.