I notice that some moderators close questions without an adequate explanation of how to get to previous answers - this question has already been asked! - It might be easier for a newbie to research previous answers if there were an adequate search procedure? Certainly from my point of view this site is about as user friendly as a cornered RAT!
I realize this is not a question but an observation however unenlightened.
If there is a tutorial then perhaps some kind sole will shed light?
Duplicates aren't a bad thing, the more duplicates a question has the more chances it has to be found while the next person is typing out their question, so having them actually improves the chances of a person finding an answer the next time around.
Using the site is covered in the FAQ. (There are video tutorials there).
This is a great question - but not for the front page of this site. Each stack exchange site (of which Ask Ubuntu is one of them) has a meta site for questions like these. See http://meta.askubuntu.com/ . In addition, the FAQ contains many useful answers http://meta.askubuntu.com/faq and the search bar (while partially hidden due to a bad color scheme) is above and to the right.
In addition - I've found that in asking a question, the interface often suggests good questions that may have similar themes. Often I've found my answer once I've sat down and crafted a good question and looked at the suggestions!
When a question is closed because it is a duplicate, it links to the original question. The link is right there under the line where it says this question was closed. Can't get much better explanation of how to get to the previous answers than that.