Last night, the Ubuntu-Utah team met, and we had a good meeting. Tristan gave a presentation on how to utilize Ubuntu resources, and Christer talked about what it takes to be an Ubuntu member. Both presentations were exceptionally good. I want to cover what Tristan went over, namely the resources that are available to Ubuntu users. This is not an exhaustive list, but, rather, serves as decent list that every Ubuntutero should have bookmarked.
- Main Ubuntu.com site- From the main site, everything in this list can be accessed. It serves as a great repository, if you can’t find what you’re looking for and don’t have it bookmarked.
- Ubuntuforums- This is the place where you will find the most help. As of Nov 12, there are: Threads: 291,329, Posts: 1,739,373, Members: 192,884, Active Members: 143,810. That’s an active forum! There are also forums available in 13 other languages, and 3 Spanish dialects.
- Mailing lists- Everything from security announcements to news, users to developers. Some very high traffic lists, but most low traffic. Going to lists.ubuntu.com will take you to specific mailing lists from LoCo teams to distributions, art to kernels and everything in between.
- Internet Relay Chat- Ubuntu maintains one of the busiest channels in IRC: #ubuntu. Aside from that channel, as you can see, there is a slew of IRC channels available. Not only are the forums and mailing lists good to get help when you need it, but are the Ubuntu channels on IRC. Available in many languages and locales.
- Planet Ubuntu- A community of Ubuntu Members’ blogs. This is a fairly active Planet with about 10-15 posts / day. I subscribe to the Planet’s RSS feed, and have enjoyed immensely reading what the community is posting about. Consisting of Ubuntu developers, users, bug testers, artists and more, it’s a great read.
- Ubuntu Documentation- Adding to the list of help that is available to every Ubuntu user, is the Official Ubuntu Documentation maintained by the doc team. The guides are available in HTML and PDF for Ubuntu, Kubuntu and Xubuntu as well as a server guide and packaging guide. Very well written, and quite thorough.
- The Fridge- The Fridge used to be a collaboration hangout, similar to the wiki, where users could just post random crap. Now, it’s changed it’s focus, and has become the Official Ubuntu Blog. RSS and Atom feeds are available. Some of the topics found on The Fridge can be found on Planet Ubuntu, however, the one thing that makes The Fridge stand out is the:
- Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter- This would be the Official News releases of Ubuntu. Currently on it’s 20th edition, the newsletter is also available in RSS.
- Ubuntu Wiki- What distribution community would be so great without a wiki? I’ve heard people say that the Ubuntu Wiki is one of the most complete and vast distribution wikis around. Wikis are great for one reason: community collaboration Many users can edit pages as they see fit to make the topics at hand more expansive and complete.
- Ubuntu Code of Conduct- This is the Great Creed of all Ubuntueros. I used that term at the beginning of the post, but rather loosely. An Ubuntero is an Ubuntu user who has decided to read and abide by the Code of Conduct by signing it either with his PGP/GPG key (which should be done with their Launchpad account), or by hand and faxing it. Be considerate, be respectful, be collaborative, when you disagree, consult others, when you are unsure ask for help, and step down considerately. Those 7 points should become the mission and vision of every Ubuntu user.
- Launchpad- Here, a user can help triage, comment on and report bugs found in the Ubuntu system. Most of the resources available from Ubuntu allow the user to not only take advantage of what’s available, but to help contribute back. Launchpad is really a place where you can help contribute to the Ubuntu community.
- Shipit- Here, in my opinion, is where Ubuntu really stands out. You can order pressed CDs from Ubuntu absolutely for free. This includes free shipping and handling as well. And the great part? You can order as many as you like. Aside from downloading the images, which is faster as Shipit can take several weeks for delivery, Shipit only offers the latest LTS release. As of Nov 2006, this is Ubuntu 6.06.1, also known as “Dapper Drake”. The latest non-LTS release will only be available via download.
I’ll stop there. Again, this is just a brief rundown of what’s available to the community. The list above could be far more expansive by adding the various Ubuntu Teams to join, unofficial projects, such as documentation, blogs and wikis, and many more.
In my 8-9 years of using Linux, I have never seen a community quite like the Ubuntu community. The Ubuntu community is young, expansive, full of energy and very active. In fact, honestly, community is really what brought me to Free and Open Source Software to begin with. You just don’t find these sort of communities in the proprietary sector. In the past 3 years, since the birth of Ubuntu 4.10 “Warty Warthog”, the Ubuntu community has become one of the largest. I can imagine that Mark Shuttleworth must be proud. I know that I am proud to be a member.