I've installed Ubuntu and wondering if there is a section for green and new users that have little or no experience with Ubuntu? I am hesitant to take time away from experienced users to help me with infantile questions; such as setting up printers. I have connected to my network and started using the system and am thoroughly impressed. I just have simple questions that I need to answer. I am unfamiliar with linux coding so just getting started is a bit of a chore.



  • 8
    Just ask well-formed, on topic questions here.
    – user12753
    Dec 1, 2016 at 17:28
  • Use the man command
    – waltinator
    Dec 1, 2016 at 17:32
  • Ubuntu forums, Ubuntu IRC, AskUbuntu, this is all showed up in the presentation while Ubuntu is being installed.
    – xangua
    Dec 1, 2016 at 17:39
  • Ubuntu forums have varying skill levels. Dec 1, 2016 at 18:20
  • 3
    The best way to learn Ubuntu (Linux) is to just use it. Play around with it. Mess it up, then fix it. That's how you get to be an 'experienced user'.
    – Parto
    Dec 6, 2016 at 13:23
  • Fire away! Ask at will! All I ask is that you review askubuntu.com/help/how-to-ask as if we didn't want to answer questions we would likely find other uses for our time.
    – Elder Geek
    Dec 8, 2016 at 1:52
  • Many have comments on here already, but Ill throw my opinion in. I love helping new people to linux, so your taking my time is something I enjoy doing! Don't worry about it, ask away, and just do your homework. Welcome! :)
    – Kyle H
    Dec 9, 2016 at 14:06

5 Answers 5


You can use this site for any question. Just keep your questions well-worded with as much information as you can cobble up. Experts who think your question is too small for them will browse for others to answer. While more novice users like myself will take the time to answer if we're not busy.

This is nice community to ask any type of question. Don't be worried if it's too small. But you should also make sure you do a quick search for your question before posting. It's likely it may have already have been answered.

  • That was an excellent simple answer! To add on, we get frustrated by people who ask questions without giving sufficient information, and by people who are too lazy to do their own research. If you ask well-worded questions that show research effort then we'll fall all over ourselves to answer, no matter how simple the question is.
    – rclocher3
    Dec 1, 2016 at 18:08
  • To add to what @rclocher3 said, if your question is already answered but you didn't find it, it will be marked as a duplicate, which won't cost you any reputation.
    – user595510
    Dec 2, 2016 at 12:07
  • 3
    You can use this site for any question Not really - only those questions that relate to using Ubuntu, apps for Ubuntu, and development of software on Ubuntu. In other words, question must be on-topic here. Dec 7, 2016 at 7:13

I wouldn't say you are taking time away from experienced users since experienced users already willingly answer both "simple" and "difficult" questions.

What this site struggles with is the constant stream of "bad" questions. By "bad" questions, I mean:

  • Off-topic questions: main culprits are Linux Mint, Kali Linux, and the occasional bizarre C++ and Python programming questions

  • Questions with little or no relevant information: we are not mind readers, so you would better tell us unambiguously what you have tried and seen/heard

  • Questions with lots of unnecessary CAPS and "HELP ME PLEASE!!!11": this is extremely annoying and makes one look way too needy

You might also want to consider searching this site for potential duplicates before posting your question. If you think your question risks wrongly closed as a duplicate, then be sure to point out clearly why you think your question is not a duplicate. This saves time (and some may even say kittens).

As long as you ask a "good" question, then this site does not care if the question comes from a new user or whatnot. People will answer it.

  • 4
    And for God's sake, please avoid using obnoxious abbreviations like pls, plzzzzz, u, etc. Dec 8, 2016 at 23:31
  • 1
    I would reword searching for potential duplicates a bit more strongly, rather than "might want to consider" I propose "should" Let's face it, time spent reviewing could be better spent answering. ;-)
    – Elder Geek
    Dec 10, 2016 at 17:19

Apart from the Wikis a good way to learn about Ubuntu and Linux could be to read the Full Circle Magazine. enter FullCircle Magazine There are under downloads, the monthly back issues all the way back to Number 0, and now it sports weekly updates too! Highly recommended - as well as very entertaining!

Good luck and welcome to SE!


I can see that experienced users do not want to always wade through elementary questions but it might be an eye opener to do so sometimes. You never know what you might learn from looking at Ubuntu from a beginner's perspective - especially if you teach.

Sometimes experienced users are blind to unnecessary complexity in computer systems so I do believe firmly that questions from new users have their place.

I'm new to Ubuntu but I have taught absolute computer novices - people who have never used a computer in all their lives - and their questions sometimes made me think very hard about the design of software and hardware. Complexity can be unnecessary and new users can make challenging points about computer design - questions which really should be answered by the designers of software and hardware and, indeed, by the community at large.


I think there should be a section for new users to instruct on basics like:

  • What is dash?
  • What is the launcher?
  • How do I open the terminal?
  • What is a script?
  • How do I install Ubuntu?
  • What common applications are available?
  • Where / what are System Settings?

These are just from the top of my head and I'm sure the community can come up with dozens more that first time users would grapple with.

Ubuntu has lots of powers that Windows users aren't accustomed to. As such it can be overwhelming from first blush. A getting started page in AskUbuntu can help them on their way.

With some thoughtful design the Getting Started page could start off elementary style with drill downs to more advanced configurations, debugging, bug reporting and links to Q&A for things like partitions, Nvidia, AMD GPU, black screens, login-loops, etc.

  • IMHO this would be pretty redundant. You can open google.com, enter ubuntu and any of your questions literally. I’ve tried it and at least one of the first three search results always contained the answer.
    – Melebius
    Dec 13, 2016 at 11:47
  • @Melebius poor choice of words "answer" I'm changing it to "instruct". In order for the user to google "what is Dash for?".. they have to know Dash exists and it is called Dash. Dec 13, 2016 at 23:39
  • OK, I am getting it now. However, I am in doubt if this fits into Stack Exchange format. wiki.ubuntu.com might be a better place.
    – Melebius
    Dec 14, 2016 at 6:49
  • 1
    I think we already, kind of, have this. I get you are suggesting a guide of sorts, IDK if that is possible, within the confines of the SE format but, I think, more users should be directing the people who need the basics to this page askubuntu.com/questions?sort=frequent It is our FAQ, all those common questions can be found in the first couple of pages. This is very underutilized, I think and is a great place to start learning :)
    – Mark Kirby
    Dec 15, 2016 at 11:50
  • @MarkKirby "frequent" questions is a wonderful resource for sure as it helps you quickly get to the most common bugs / problems. However many answers are highly technical and assume you know what Terminal is. A beginners page on the other hand would tell you how to open and close terminal with perhaps a few basic commands such as cd /..., ls, cp and rm. We all had to start there at one time and most of us probably stumbled around in the dark for hours. Collectively if we all remembered how we started out we could create something very helpful for newbies. Dec 15, 2016 at 17:13

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