Forgive the following rant.
I've been running Linux since July 1998. At that time, I thought "half the stuff you need to know was never written down". And I was right. The problem is I am STILL right. If anything, the problem has gotten worse in recent years.
I condensed this down from an old repair manual for a car:
"These models feature four coil suspension (McPherson Strut design) and front wheel drive. They feature transversely-mounted 4 cylinder or V6 engines, with carburetors or fuel injection, depending on model. The engine drives the front wheels through a choice of either a 4-speed manual or a 3 or 4-speed automatic transaxle by way of unequal length driveaxles. The brakes are disc brakes at all four wheels."
Can anybody produce a wiki like that for ubuntu? It might read like this:
Ubuntu provides an initialization routine at /etc/rc/*, which loads daemons, initializes hardware, sets certain system parameters, loads password databases, and finally the GUI, discussed in the "general" section of this manual. There is a choice of either KDE 4.x or Gnome X.Y, which is set in the file /etc/x86/foorc. KDE and Gnome are covered in separate chapters. Separate root and user logins are not used as they are in other distros -- see the "users and permissions" chapter for information on "sudo". And finally the "apt-get" chapter will describe the mechanism for receiving patches and updates. Log files are kept in /var/log/* and can be viewed with any text editor or viewer.
Perhaps server stuff like apache, or MySQL, or languages like python or ruby would be too advanced for these guides. And you wouldn't need a chapter on Office programs either. But a good primer on how the basic stuff ties together (kernel, init, users and permissions, mounting, log files) would help us learn why things don't work.
Can anybody write such a guide?
(Typing rpm -qpi (or is it -qpl?) doesn't help you understand the way the basic bootup, kernel and init processes work [for RPM-based distros]. It shows a few rc files though. I assume apt-get, dpkg or other installer has the ability to list files in packages the same way rpm does, and thus give limited help.)
Seriously, can anybody write such a manual? It would help immensely !