Whole document tree

Whole document tree

Where to Find More Information

Where to Find More Information

Documentation Included with Gnome

Gnome includes detailed documentation for the majority of applications, utilities and other components, such as Panel or Nautilus file manager. You can view the list of all Gnome documents installed on your system using the Help Contents tab in Nautilus. So, if you want to know more about one of these components, read the appropriate manual.

In addition to the manuals for individual components, Gnome documentation also includes:

Gnome Users Guide

In addtition to general overview, this users guide also contains detailed documentation for core Gnome components (Desktop, Panel, Nautilus, Control Center and more).

If you are new to UNIX/Linux...

This short document gives the minimal necessary information about UNIX and UNIX-like operating systems, including such things as filenames, paths and directories, permissions, symbolic links and most confusing of them all, the notion of "mounting". If you never used UNIX system before, be sure to read this.


Gives brief explanation of some of computer-related terms you may see in Gnome documentation, from ASCII to X Window System.

Gnome Resources on the Internet

In addition to documentation shipped with Gnome, there is also wealth of information available on the Internet. A good starting point is, of course, the Gnome Website. There you will find instructions for installing Gnome, reviews and tips, developer information, and more.

If you can not find an answer to your question there, you may ask other Gnome users and developers on Gnome mailing list (subscription instructions can be found here). Note, however, that this list is for Gnome-related questions only (do not ask how to configure X Window System, for instance), and it is impolite (to say the least) to ask a question without first checking if this question is already answered in available documents such as Gnome FAQ.

Everything Not Gnome

You should realize that Gnome is just part of your computer system. If you want to unleash the full potential of your computer, you need to understand not just Gnome but also the underlying operating system (UNIX/Linux/FreeBSD), various tools and utilities included with it, and its graphics system (X Window System). Each of these components usually comes with its own documentation. Most of UNIX commands and utilities are documented in so-called "manual pages", or man pages for short. You can view them using Nautilus (see the section called Reading Documentation With Nautilus). This documentation is usually very detailed and more technical than most users would like. Another documentation format used by utilities from the GNU project is called "info pages". They, too, can be viewed using Nautilus. Many applications also have documentation in other formats. Sometimes it is not easy to find documentation for a given application — try looking in the directory /usr/doc.

Documentation for operating system itself varies from one system to another. The best advice is to check the printed manual which came with your system. For Linux, a good source of information is the Linux Documentation Project (LDP); you can read or their documentation on the Internet (at http://www.linuxdoc.org). Virtually all Linux distributions also include copies of LDP documents; usually they are found at /usr/doc/LDP or /usr/doc/HOWTO.

And of course, there are a number of books available about all flavors of UNIX/Linux, Gnome, and about anything else you might be interested in. Check your local bookstore.