If you are not familiar with computers in general, or if you are coming from a Microsoft or Apple background, there will be a learning curve, but the general usage of Ubuntu is much the same and often much easier and more user friendly than either Windows or OS X!
Ubuntu will serve just about anyone admirably and offers enterprise level Long Term Support (LTS) releases every two years, and more regular, consumer orientated releases, every 6 months! These are provided freely, and can be upgraded with (generally) no further difficulty than any other security or software updates that you should already be familiar with performing!
For more information on Ubuntu, see these three links and then explore from there!
This Introduction just meant to be a quick synopsis before providing helpful resources below. However, if you are not sure if Ubuntu (or GNU/Linux in general) is right for you, see our A Case for Ubuntu page!
If you’re still here following the Introduction and wanting to give Ubuntu a try (or already running it!), then the resources below might be of some help. These resources are designed to be accessible by most anyone. Whether you’re new to Ubuntu, or whether you have some experience but might not be fully aware of all that is readily available to you, you should find some useful links below.
Once you have decided to give Ubuntu a try, we recommend downloading a copy of Ubuntu using a distributed network. This provides a number of advantages such as an increased download speed, error correction, and reduces the load on the Ubuntu servers. You will however need a BitTorrent client to download this way.
If the BitTorrent stuff is a bit over your head currently, the default Ubuntu downloads should work great for you!
At either of the above links, you’ll have a couple options. The first will be which version of Ubuntu you want download. You’ll likely have two options here, the most recent version, or the Long Term Support (LTS) version. For general personal computer usage we always recommend the latest version to make sure you have the latest hardware support, the latest bug fixes, and the latest features that Ubuntu and its supporting programs have to offer!
Secondly, if your computer’s processor supports it, the 64-bit version of Ubuntu should be a bit faster and is also what we recommend using! If you’re not sure if your computer supports 64-bit, one way to test is to simply download the 64-bit version of Ubuntu and try to install it. If 64-bit is not supported by your computer the Ubuntu installer will notify you right away!
Also, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to point you in the right direction!
If during your experience with Ubuntu you get stuck and find yourself needing some help, start with the Ubuntu Support link below and then, if that doesn’t meet your needs, decide which other link is most convenient for you and go from there. Support for Ubuntu can come from either the community or through a more formal and official channel such as a support contract.
Ubuntu Support — This link provides direct access to many of the links below. Albeit, without the additional notes we have provided.
- Official Ubuntu Documentation — Links to the official manual for the current (and past) Ubuntu releases.
- Ubuntu Home Support — This is a paid for support service directly from Canonical specifically for home users. You may want to explore other avenues of community support before spending your hard earned cash on this, but paying for it may give you a nice safety-net and will also help support Ubuntu’s continued development.
- Community Documentation — This is supplemental documentation provided by the Ubuntu community. At times, some of this information can be quite dated!
- Ubuntu Forums — The official forums for Ubuntu.
- Ubuntu Tutorials & Tips — Tutorials written by and for the Ubuntu community.
- Ainer.org — We provide a growing list of tutorials, and can be contacted if problems are encountered!
- Google — If all else fails, you may want to browse the wider web.
If you’ve decided to pursue Ubuntu, but would like a more structured (and likely faster) learning experience try the link below. This is specifically for the latest Long Term Support (LTS) release of Ubuntu and should help you go from novice to proficient much faster!
If you want even more training, as well as documentation regarding your skills, or if you want to move forward professionally with Ubuntu, become an:
Alternatively, there are third-party programs that cover general GNU/Linux topics such as:
So, while these wont be directly targeted at any one specific distribution, the knowledge that you gain here should help you with any and all GNU/Linux distributions (including Ubuntu!).
There are tons of news outlets for Ubuntu and GNU/Linux, but here are a few to get you started!
If you don’t have time to sit around and read about Ubuntu or GNU/Linux, listening to a podcast might be right up your alley. While this one is produced by the Linux Mint community specifically, it does cover other topics such as Ubuntu and general GNU/Linux news.
Additional media resources are available, these don’t directly cover Ubuntu, but they do cover topics relating to or even predating Ubuntu itself! So, for an educational leisure time watch:
- Revolution OS (watch it now here) — It’s a bit dated, but really interesting for the history and philosophy of GNU/Linux in general.
- Patent Absurdity — “How software patents broke the system”.
Ubuntu is built upon a rich philosophical background, one that is continued to be argued and fought for to this day! Get an idea of its basis and the supporting organizations with the links below.
- Open Source
- Free (as in speech) Software
- Open Source Initiative
- Free Software Foundation
- Electronic Frontier Foundation
If you want to show your Ubuntu and GNU/Linux love grab some stickers or some other goodies.