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5 ways to get involved today: Ubuntu User Support

At the Ubucon at Southern California Linux Expo on Friday, February 21st I’ll be doing a presentation on 5 ways to get involved with Ubuntu today. This post is part of a series where I’ll be outlining these ways that regular users can get involved with while only having minimal user-level experience with Ubuntu.

One of the most valuable things about using Ubuntu is the vast wealth of help available from fellow community members. Most of the time when I have a problem, I can search for an answer and find one, or ask on one of the several support outlets that exist.


Helping out others was one of the first ways I got involved, and there are many benefits to having this be yours too.

Gentle learning curve

You may need to learn forum or mailing list etiquette, but otherwise you just jump in and help folks with things you know how to help out with. There are no requirements to have special training and you don’t need to know everything. If you’ve been using Ubuntu a few days longer than someone else, you can probably help them out.

No set time commitment

You can help as much or as little as you want. There is very little investment in getting set up with help resources made available by the community and you can spend all day answering questions or just answer one question per week. It’s all up to you.

There are many outlets for helping

Love forums? Prefer Stack Exchange? Or mailing lists? Want to help via IRC? You have many options! The following are the core help areas for the Ubuntu community:

If you’re more interested in passive support, documentation contributions and improvements are always welcome and needed on the Community Help Wiki.

You’re making a difference

It may seem like an easy way to contribute, but you’re lending your talents to one of the things that makes our community great. Regardless of how much you contribute, every person you help is someone who is no longer stumped with their issue and that makes a difference.


  • xubuntu_dev

    this is time waste. Best is to put the energy into something else than doing user support.

  • Robin

    I love contributing in my own small way. I’m no expert at all, but I am familiar enough with my Xubuntu to help a few other people navigate its waters. To be honest, Xubuntu has been almost completely trouble-free so I haven’t had to learn very much. Yet I can’t help learning more and more just with ordinary daily use. Other than helping in the forums on those few occasions when someone has a simple issue I can help with, I write articles for the school newspaper, other forums I visit, and in my blog about why my OS is awesome, how I got it to look like this-or-that, etc. Maybe one reason I enjoy it so much is that up until a couple of years ago I was a total technophobe, frightened of technology. Now I can actually enjoy it and help other technophobes overcome their fear.


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