This is a feature request to suggest adding a Video Tutorial section on Ask Ubuntu.

Primary target would be including videos to explain most common tasks like Installation, WUBI installation, identifying wireless card....etc

Also; when -for example, I provide an answer on a question. User who asked it may click a button titled "Request illustrated steps"

Then I get a message in my inbox that user has requested a video to detail my steps so that myself -or others, may record an explanation video and post it.

  • There are animated gif's sometimes those can supplement a question well
    – Mateo
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 6:23
  • That is good especially they would be much smaller in size and faster to load than videos -although I don't remember seeing such around :)
    – Ahmadgeo
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 6:26
  • Maybe then adding the request illustration would help. And perhaps earning extra points on such response.
    – Ahmadgeo
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 6:28
  • so, a bit about the gif's - meta.askubuntu.com/questions/5622/… , and how to - askubuntu.com/questions/107726/…
    – Mateo
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 6:35
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    Possibly Relevant: meta.askubuntu.com/questions/1200/youtube-embedding-request
    – Mateo
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 7:48
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    What's stopping you from adding video links to your answers? Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 13:29
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    @JorgeCastro If you just post a link to a video right now then it would be link only and wouldn't fit the current system. It's therefor better to have a built in system that's more trusted.
    – Alvar
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 14:44
  • @Alvar, this exactly what I meant but you got it in better words.
    – Ahmadgeo
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 14:52
  • @JorgeCastro , the main target of the feature request was to have a built in section for video tutorials where user can refer to for most common issues. Even it it is a Youtube channel with content embeded into AskUbuntu and maintained by AskUbuntu......This section could be a refrence where anyone can refer to before posting a question on a common task then receive answers from other users on a question asked and answered before or to be marked as dublicate then put on hold or removed.....I think this will save time and effort in the long run.
    – Ahmadgeo
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 14:53
  • @Ahmadgeo I have an animated gif in my question here for example.
    – terdon
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 20:01
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    @Ahmadgeo that already exists, it's called Ask Ubuntu and that is actually searchable. Users already have issues searching the site, you think that asking them to sit through half an hour of assorted videos to make sure none of them solves their problem would be better?
    – terdon
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 20:06

3 Answers 3


This is just my own personal opinion and I realize that I am apparently in a minority but I hate video tutorials. What's wrong with text and images? You can actually search through text and find the part you care about!

  • Video tutorials mean I have to sit through irrelevant introductions like "Hello, my name is Bob and I will explain how to copy files on a Linux system. Ubuntu is a kind of Linux, ain't that just grand?" and similar.

  • They mean I cannot search for anything. A text answer is searchable!

  • They mean that I have to decipher the speaker's accent.

  • They mean I have to work around the crappy webcam used to record them.

  • They mean I have to work around the crappy webcam microphone used to record them.

  • They mean I cannot easily go back just a couple of seconds (unless you propose I download them) but have to jump around to repeat something. Have you ever tried going back 2 seconds in YouTube?

  • They mean much slower loading times, that's time between getting my answer and actually understanding it.

  • They also mean that users with slow connections (many people in the world are still using dial-up for example) cannot see the answer at all, or they have to wait a few hours for it to load.

  • They are much harder to edit. If the OP makes a mistake, they have to re-record a video all over again

  • They go against the whole idea of the Stack Exchange sites. These sites are supposed to be wikis, the whole idea is that everyone can edit and improve an answer. That cannot be done with a video, or at best, would require me to download it and somehow edit it (a voice over: "WRONG!" perhaps)

YouTube is full of examples of this crap kind of tutorial so if someone really wants to produce a video, they are free to do so, upload it to youtube and link to it in their answer. Those people who actually want to slog through a video can do so but I see no benefit in somehow incorporating this into the SE engine.

  • 2
    For examples of all of the above points against video tutorials, go over the the Linux community on Google+ and see what gets posted there. That is the kind of extremely low-quality content you don't want on this site.
    – casey
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 20:04
  • Why do you use a webcamera to film the screen of the computer when you should use a screen recorder. And no the video shouldn't contain hello my name is Bob this is bla, that should be in the answer the video should only contain the procedure to answer the question. I think gifs are better this way, but I have no idea on how to create them...
    – Alvar
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 20:49
  • @Alvar you are assuming a level of competence that is very optimistic :). Creating gifs is trivial, have a look at this for example. Anyway, my main issue is that videos can't be edited and can't be searched. Which makes them spectacularly unsuited to SE.
    – terdon
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 20:53
  • Well how can a picture be searched? And that linked pointed to videos as not GIF's.
    – Alvar
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 21:00
  • @Alvar A picture can't, a text tutorial will illustrative animated gifs can be. I thought that was what you were suggesting. That the answer be written as text and the gifs there to help. And sorry, I gave the wrong link, I was thinking of this.
    – terdon
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 21:12

This is a feature request to suggest adding a Video Tutorial section on Ask Ubuntu.

It's a good idea but users surfing Ask Ubuntu with low internet speed might face difficulties in viewing that kind of videos.

Then I get a message in my inbox that user has requested a video to detail my steps so that myself -or others, may record an explanation video and post it.

It's so difficult to record videos and then explain them for every user who asks for explanation.

Like @Mateo said in his comment, creating a gif file is better than recording a video.

  • Then perhaps just animated GIFs as in above comment by @mateo and to add the Request Illustration option.... for the dificulty; I think it is the same as having answers. I adk a question might have an answer or not....same in illustration request; I get it or not.... Yet; earning extra points will be a good motive :)
    – Ahmadgeo
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 6:33
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    You don't have to watch a video if you don't want to. If you are surfing ask Ubuntu on a low quality connection then just don't view the video clip.
    – Alvar
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 14:44
  • @Alvar which makes the answer useless to many users (also the presence of the embedded player is enough to make the page load more slowly, even if you don't try to watch the video).
    – terdon
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 19:48

I think this is a good idea. I prefer either videos, GIFS or a well documented screenshot tutorial. But I think this should only be a complement to aguide not something that should replace normal instructions.


to update your computer simply type:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade -y

GIF of the procedure. This is here to improve the feedback to the user so the user knows what should happen and when something has gone wrong. If a guide is old then that will most likely be shown in the GIF.

But what about slower loading of the page if a GIF is there?
This can be solved with a click to load GIF button on the GIF. Yes it will be slower than just text but a guide with screenshots will also be slower than just text. And I think GIF's are a better way to show the procedure than screenshots.

But these are just my ideas on the topic, I can't speak if it can be done on the site/network or if they are willing to do it. I like it though.

My solution is to use GIF's instead of videos, why?
Gif's are simpler and cleaner, in a video users may add a hello statement and a long speech. But a GIF is simple and a better solution to the problem. The problem as I see it is that a normal tutorial may not tell the whole story, if it only contains type these commands in a terminal and it will work. If you have a GIF that does that then the user knows what to expect and they know when it goes wrong.

Videos have many problems with being heavy for the network and storage, which GIF's aren't.

  • "a well documented screenshot tutorial" is very different from gifs or videos. That is what we're supposed to be offering anyway, and since it will be text with illustrative images, it is searchable. How does that fit in to the discussion about videos?
    – terdon
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 20:28
  • My answer is to use GIF's instead of videos since that is a better complement to answers and is what you want to get out of a video anyway. I don't want a video to be too complex just the procedure. The video shouldn't contain hello speach and what the video is about it should only be the procedure. That's why I think GIF:s are easier to manage and a better solution to the problem.
    – Alvar
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 20:52
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    I agree that gifs are much better but they're just normal images (though a bit heavier) there is no change needed to be able to include animated gifs in your posts on SE sites, you can add them just like any other image.
    – terdon
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 20:54
  • Yes, but I wanted to highlight to everyone that the problem exists and GIF's are a better solution than videos. Yes no modification is needed of the site. But it would be nice to have a guide on meta or in the help section on how to create a gif, so I can improve my question. I have no idea to do that right now.
    – Alvar
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 20:58
  • @Alvar there are several
    – Braiam
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 12:55

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