4 Great Sources of Information About Linux and Open Source

If you’re new to Linux and free/Open Source software, or even if you’re a more seasoned user, then you’re often looking for more information. Not just documentation, but also useful tips and tricks.

The team here at Make Tech Easier works hard to provide as much quality information as we can. But we can’t write about everything (though we’re trying!).

So, what are some other sources of the information that you’re looking for? Lets take a look at a few of the better ones out there.

1. FLOSS Manuals

The goal of FLOSS Manuals is to provide quality free documentation for free software. And it does just that. Written by a mix of enthusiasts, members of free/Open Source project teams, and professional writers and developers, each manual is packed with information that both new and experienced users will find helpful.

There are over 80 (and counting) FLOSS Manuals available that cover applications and technologies like Inkscape, WordPress, OpenOffice.org, Audacity, Thunderbird, and the Linux command line.

You can read the manuals online, or download a PDF or ePub version to read on your ebook reader or smartphone. And if you want help out, you’re more than welcome to — FLOSS Manuals is always looking for new contributors.

2. LinuxQuestions.org

A combination of a traditional forum and a tutorial site, LinuxQuestions.org has something to offer Linux users of every level of ability and experience.

The forums cover all the major topics — from hardware and software to networking to specific distributions. There’s also a section with reviews and another with articles submitted by readers.

And that’s the main strength of LinuxQuestions.org. It’s a site that’s by Linux user and for Linux users. While it can be difficult to find information on the site, it is well moderated. You don’t get the nastiness that you find elsewhere.

One more neat feature of the site: if you use an Android-powered smartphone, you can download the LinuxQuestions.org app

3. Command Line Magic and commandlinefu

Looking for quick hits of information about the command line? Or do you want to learn specific commands that will help you better use the command line? Then look no further than Command Line Magic and commandlinefu.

Command Line Magic is a microblogging account – available on Twitter and identi.ca – to which some interesting and potentially useful command line tricks are posted every day. And the beauty of them is that they’re 140 characters or less. Like what? How about quickly creating a file, converting videos to Flash, or synchronizing your system clock with an atomic clock.

commandlinefu is similar to Command Line Magic. It is a Web site of its own, and the commands are explained in a bit more detail. But those commands are useful, whether you’re a hardcore command line geek or a command line newbie. The site also packs a pretty good search engine, and an extensive tag cloud that you can use to quickly find a command.

4. HowtoForge

If you’re looking for tutorials, then look no further than HowtoForge. Most of the tutorials on HowtoForge are aimed at users with at least some technical skill. If you’re looking for information on using Inkscape, you’re out of luck. But if you want to learn how to configure a Web server or set up virtualization software, then this is a site you need to visit.

And like FLOSS Manuals and LinuxQuestions.org, you’re encouraged to contribute to HowtoForge.

There’s a lot of information about using Linux and free/Open Source software out there. Some of it’s good, some of it leaves a lot to be desired. But the sites that this post discusses are a great place to start.

Image credit: Col6085

Scott Nesbitt

Scott is a writer of various things -- documentation, articles, essays, and reviews -- based in Toronto, Canada. He loves to play with tech, and to write about it too. Scott hasn't snagged that elusive book contract. Yet.

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