top 10 FAQ for Xubuntu site

Pasi Lallinaho pasi at
Tue Jun 21 02:09:20 UTC 2011

On 06/21/2011 12:36 AM, Charlie Kravetz wrote:
> On Mon, 20 Jun 2011 23:51:01 +0300
> Pasi Lallinaho <pasi at> wrote:
>> On 06/20/2011 11:06 PM, Bruno Benitez wrote:
>>> Hello to all, hope you are having a very nice day.
>>> First of all thanks to all the people who makes xubuntu, I always
>>> find  this to be one of the greatest linux distros I've tried. So
>>> Thank You All.
>>> Now to business, as I've proposed on the #xubuntu-devel channel I
>>> would like if Xubuntu had a "Top 10 FAQ", Why? because I feel that if
>>> a new user comes to an absolute new OS and finds out he can't listen
>>> his music he might go and say, "What?!" and then leave, but if he
>>> would come and see that what he has just installed says to them "Here,
>>> check this top 10 questions to get you started", then he would feel
>>> welcome and will most probably stay.
>> I actually wrote a similar list for 9.04, but main emphasis on
>> problems/bugs rather than actions. You can read that on my blog [1].
>> I also wrote an article about getting support [2], which I think could
>> be used as a base for something similar to use alongside the "Top 10 FAQ".
>>> So I'm proposing this possible, not demandatory, and not even 10,
>>> questions, in no particular order either:
>>> /How to listen music and play video?
>>> /
>> We are soon going to have an interactive tutorial on the default music
>> player, gmusicbrowser, on the Shimmer Project site [3]. This
>> documentation will be posted to Planet Ubuntu, and is definitely free to
>> use.
>> Video playing should be pretty straightforward, but maybe we could point
>> the users to the applications. One thing that is problematic here is the
>> codecs. Telling users to install xubuntu-restricted-extras fixes this,
>> but somehow I can't make it sound good in my head to tell this in a "how
>> to get started" -style FAQ.
> To be honest, I don' t think we are going to send users all over the
> web to find out how to work applications. We do not do that now,
> instead we spend time explaining how to do it. 
> As to codecs, what is the difference between telling a use in #xubuntu
> "install xubuntu-retricted-extras by opening a terminal and typing
> 'sudo apt-get install xubuntu-restricted-extras' vs writing it down for
> them to read?
Sorry, with "point the users to the applications" I meant telling users
which applications are designed for eg. video watching. We could have a
short list of all the (important) default applications.

The difference is that you typoed the command the first time ;) No
seriously, there is no difference, but I would't like to tell a newbie
as the first thing to open a terminal. That scares people away. Is the
package in Software Center? Is there any other way to install it?
>>> /How to install video drivers?
>>> /
>> Aren't these supposed to be installed automatically?
> This depends on the video card. I often have advised new users to go to
> System -> Additional Drivers and install what is there.
Right. Can't hurt... But obviously, we should tell the users they
usually do not need any drivers or if they do, they should be normally
installed automatically.
>>> /How to turn sound?
>>> /
>> Sound on, or change the volume?
> Remains to be seen if Oneiric will start muted. I see many users asking
> why the sound is muted, and having to explain "install pavucontrol"  is
> a very easy answer in a FAQ.
>>> /How to play DVD's?
>>> /
>> Again, the codec issue. Other than that, it's pretty much the same as
>> playing videos.
> I, for one, do not find this the same. To the best of my memory, you
> don' t even use the same application.
I play all of my DVD's and videos with VLC, so I don't know. Looks like
Parole can play DVD's as well, so it is really a matter of teaching one app.

Isn't there even a possibility for DVD autostart?
>>> /How to enable Compiz? (/this is a really usual question on #xubuntu/)
>>> /
>> This is a common question, but AFAIK we don't really support Xfce and
>> Compiz, so it sounds awkward to list this on the FAQ. Posting blog
>> entries about this in personal blogs and then pointing to them might be
>> a good way. There even is some articles about this already, I think.
> I think telling users "yes, you can install compiz and ccsm to Xubuntu"
> is a great idea.
As long as we tell them we are not supporting it (as in saying we'll fix
it if it breaks). Or are we?
>>> /How does one move panels? (/this might sound silly, but many people
>>> have asked this at least once, me included/)
>>> /
>> I think this should belong in a Xfce tutorial, which the Xubuntu
>> community could also write, and which could be linked to from the FAQ
> Again, I do not want to send users all over to get help, when it is so
> simple for us to tell them directly. Why should a one or two line
> answer have to be replaced with a one or two line reference to another
> website?
There shouldn't be only this one issue in the Xfce tutorial. It could
cover more than what we can fit into our small FAQ, and a link to it
could be FAQ number X.
>>> /How to add new themes?
>>> /
>> Adding new themes is easy, but many times users want to install a Gnome
>> theme (metacity window borders). We might not want to tell a user that
>> he can't do something in our "Top 10 FAQ"
> And where do you learn how to add any theme? What tells the user to
> create ~/.themes or add to /usr/share/themes ?
Again, bad choice of words. I meant that it's easy to tell people how to
install themes, but when they try to install a metacity theme, it all
goes really hard, since there really isn't such thing as metacity themes
in Xubuntu.
>>> /Why don't wallpapers stay listed on the xfdesktop-settings?
>>> /
>> 2 comments up; Xfce tutorial.
> Again, do not send Xubuntu users away.
>>> I am also proposing this to be 10 FAQ because that would make them
>>> easy to mantain, and easy to translate to many languages by those
>>> people interested on to it, like me.
>> In order for it to be easily maintainable in terms of translations not
>> getting too old, the FAQ items should probably be as short as possible,
>> without sacrificing clarity.
> A very good point. And if these simple items will help Xubuntu build
> and maintain its user base, that would be fantastic.
>>> Well thats all i guess, have a good day.
>>> -- 
>>> Bruno.-
>> [1]
>> [2]
>> [3]
> Perhaps these can be used as a starting point. But let's get a few more
> people involved.

Pasi Lallinaho                              »
Leader of the Shimmer Project               »
Graphic artist, webdesigner, Ubuntu member  » IRC: knome @ freenode

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