When using Linux you will encouter problems. Really. Some things are just too obscure to figure out by typing in random commands to see what'll work.

The most important place to get help is often overlooked. Every Linux distribution comes with a big set of documentation, which you should have installed. This documentation is usually found in the /usr/doc or /usr/share/doc directory. A good resource are the manpages too. By typing "man <program>" you will recieve a host of information on that program. Type "man man" for information about the "man" (manual) program. The GNU people thought that the man system was cripple, however. That's why they invented the "info" system. With "info" you have the ability to follow hyperlinks, which makes it easier to find what you want in a lot of documentation. To start info just type "info" and it will give you a list of info documentation installed.

Another place is IRC. Before going onto IRC you should really see if your problem has been documented in the aforementioned places. If it is, and you ask a question the response will probably be "RTFM" (Read The Fabulous Manual). If you can't find the documentation, go on IRC and ask where to find it. Most people will be happy to point you in the right direction. Many IRC networks (even MSN's) have a channel called #linux. This is probably where you want to be. Sometimes, a channel for a particular distribution will have been founded too (like #debian). The "open network" is a good place to find "gurus" and channels for help with specific Linux distributions and programs. You can set your IRC client to irc.debian.org to connect to it.

USENET is also a good place to get help. I don't have much experience (nearly none) with USENET, but I would suggest your read the FAQs posted periodically on the newsgroups, and read the answers supplied to people with the same, or a similar, problem as yours before you post your own question.

Mailing lists are also a good resource for information. Unfortunately I can't provide you with the addresses (if you have them, please let me know), but a good place to find them is on your Linux distribution's website. Debian has a large set of mailing lists, ranging from translation to Esperanto to security issues.


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