Support point manual

I'm only a beginning Ubuntu user. Do you even want me as a support point ?
Every even sporadic Ubuntu user can help as a distribution point. For giving a demonstration, it's up to your judgement. Please look at the manual for demonstration points. Do you feel comfortable enough with the things you're expected to demonstrate? Then you're ready to go!
I see there are five users in my town already, do you still need me as a support point ?
Yes! It spreads the load. And many volunteers in a small area may at a later time work together in ways that we can't foresee yet...
Why should I volunteer as a support point ?
Because to date their are way to few people who know Ubuntu, let alone give it a chance. Most people still see Linux as an old dusty computer-case with a massive CRT-monitor and a terminal window. We want to see this changed! People must know there are alternatives for the mainstream OS's, and that on top of that these alternatives can be free. They must see that these alternatives are decent and that they can help us also.


Expectations & Objectives

Distribution point

As a distribution point we expect you to hand out an Ubuntu installation CD to everyone who asks one. We do ask you to burn your own CD's. We ask this because of the limited number of CD's we get from Canonical. Please make sure you checked weither your CD has been burned properly with the build in Checksum tool.


Never ask your guest to bring their own blank CD. It's not as if you'll starve from donating a burned CD, and receiving a gift from you will make your guest feel good. If he's well mannered, he will undoubtedly offer you his gratitude in some way or another. Look at it like this: If you give him a CD he WILL be happy, if you ask him an empty CD it might repel him.

To finish, Try to meet your guest in person. He's making the big jump. No matter how short or seeminlgy insignificant, personal contact will reassure him. You can go ahead and reassure him that he WILL be helped if he asks his questions on either IRC, the mailing list or the forum.

Demonstration point



As a demonstration point, we expect you to give a demonstration of the basic concepts behind Ubuntu and daily Ubuntu use. You should also hand out an Ubuntu installation set to every demonstration visitor.


Print a sheet with useful community support resources for handout at the end of the session.

Use a fresh and separate account on a cleanly installed machine for this demonstration. Reason for this is simple. Everyone changes his system. Even if it's only the wallpaper. A standard installation will look more familiar to people when they install it themselves.
Let them definitely show them the standard applications as they will encounter these first.
Talk to your guest and listen to what he/she has to say. Also ask him/her what they use their computer for. If there is not standard installed program for this feature, get it from the software center. Few OS's have such a powerful software center, make use of it. Especially try to show the similarities between Ubuntu and his current system.

Try to show him the differences on a calm and gentle way. Being to quick will be bad for Ubuntu. Start with a practical demo from start. Especially new folks don't need to be overwhelmed with the theoretical background. Also, try not to use command-line. It's a real nono in the beginning of your demo! Don't be afraid to tell people you don't know certain stuff about Ubuntu. If you've never used an accountancy program you won't be able to work with it, everyone gets this. Use this as an opportunity to show your guest that there are people who definitely will help your guest either on the forum or the IRC.

Content of the demonstration:

The easy part: a simple game, surfing, instant messaging, office applications
Show a short default game. The smallest minesweeper is a good choice.

The internet:
Surf to a few sites. This is probably closest to his previous experience: his favorite site, or & other community support sites
If your guest is not a webmail user, show him Evolution.
Pidgin. If your guest is not an instant messaging user, offer to create him a Google or Belnet Jabber account.
Xchat. Show your guest, #ubuntu-nl or #ubuntu-fr (community support channel!).
Let your guest browse the example content and fiddle with it for a few minutes.

The harder parts: online banking, restricted formats, system administration
Check community support if your guest's online banking is usable under Ubuntu (irc, forums,...).

Try to play mp3 music from . Help your guest grab the gstreamer mp3 playback codec if it's not been installed yet. Use this to explain RestrictedFormats.

Installing software: show your guest how to do it, and intersperse this with the underlying logic:
System->Administration->Package manager Synaptic
Contrast the Ubuntu approach of modular packages in repositories against Win32 .exe monolithic installers.
Introduce the "root versus ordinary user" concept.
Connect a peripheral: a printer, a scanner, a digital camera, a music player, a voip phone. Demonstrate an easy example of free specs and open standards. Example: a usb mass storage mp3 player versus a proprietary one.

Some other useful links:, especially

Preferably read the Ubuntu code of conduct:


Installation point

As an installation point we expect you help out people who install Ubuntu for the first time. You can use the dead moments to give them a demonstration of the core concepts of Ubuntu and the daily use of it. Go ahead and give all your guests an Ubuntu installation CD. They'll definitely appreciate this.
Demonstrate them the installation possibilities: USB-boot, Wubi, dual-boot, only ubuntu
You should also tell them the key benefits and downsides of each installation type.

For other questions they can always go to or


This website uses Launchpad for user authentication.

If you don't have an account there, you will be invited to create one on your first login here.

If you registered on this site before the installation of the Launchpad integration, you will have to log in manually and add the OpenID identities to your account.