So, you're having a problem with your Ubuntu system. Don't panic! This page provides some starting points where you can find help.
Before asking for help
help.ubuntu.com - Read the official Ubuntu documentation.
Read the online FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions. Some of the most common questions are already answered here. Read these first!
Search in this wiki using the search box at the top right of the page. One of these documents may contain an answer to your question, or give you clues about where to look. Be aware that by default, this wiki's search engine only searches the titles of pages, not the whole text. Click the "Text" button to force a full-text search if the Title search doesn't find what you need.
Ubuntu Web Forums: the Ubuntu forum: where users ask and answer questions: it is VERY likely that any problem you have will have already been asked and answered here!
The Official Ubuntu User Email list - Search the mailing lists! Someone may have asked your question before, and received an answer.
Search Launchpad. You may have encountered a known bug. Information about workarounds and package updates can be found in Launchpad. If you find a bug which corresponds to your problem, please add comments to the bug if you have information which is not already recorded there. Instructions on filing bugs can be found at the bottom of this page.
Unofficial Ubuntu links
Following is a selection of unofficial Ubuntu resource on the web, offering general information on Ubuntu. If you can't find what you are looking for in the official resources, you might find it here.
Ubuntu Document Storage Facility - A centralized archival repository for information that is produced on the forums: a public forum library, a knowledge base.
Search the Web. You may find information from other sources as well. A global web search is a good place to start.
Ubuntu Geek - Ubuntu How to's,Tutorials and Articles.
Ubuntu Tutorials - Ubuntu Tutorials .
Simple Ubuntu Tutorials - Simple ubuntu tutorials for Ubuntu Admins and Users.
Ubuntu Video Clips - Video clips that show how to accomplish common tasks in Ubuntu. Great for users who are completely new to Ubuntu.
Ubuntu is derived from Debian Linux. Find more information about Debian here.
Debian Tutorials and Articles Debian System administration Resources and Tips
Gnome and KDE links
Ubuntu uses Gnome as the windowing system, Kubuntu uses KDE. Find more information here.
General Linux links
Following is a selection of general Linux resources on the web.
UsefulDocumentation - Useful documentation not specific to Ubuntu from External sites
Linux Command: good basic CLI tutorial
Tuxfiles: newbie-friendly command-line information
Really Linux - Website for Beginning Linux Users.
Linux Gazette - making Linux just a little more fun!
All About Linux - Tips and Tricks in using and administering Linux.
HowtoForge - Linux - the open source howto development web site.
How to ask for help
If none of these resources led you to a solution, take a moment to formulate your question before asking for help. This is important! If your question is unclear, you are less likely to receive answers. If someone does reply, they may need to ask for more information in order to help you. This process requires time and effort on both parts which could otherwise be avoided.
Here are some simple ideas which will help you to ask your question effectively:
Describe your problem clearly and precisely. Explain what you did, and what you saw when you did it.
If you have received an error message, reproduce it *exactly* as it is shown on the screen, for example via cut-and-paste or a screenshot.
Whenever possible, provide a step-by-step procedure which would allow anyone to see the problem for themselves. Given this information, most bugs are much easier for developers to isolate.
Avoid making assumptions about what the problem might be, since this may greatly confuse the issue if you are mistaken.
Don't ask whether it is OK to ask a question. Go ahead and ask! One question is better than two.
Along the same lines, don't ask whether someone will help you. If someone is willing to help you, they will respond to your question when you ask it.
A more detailed discussion of these and related ideas can be found here: How To Ask Questions The Smart Way (Note: Don't ask authors Eric & Rick about Ubuntu: They're not Ubuntu help resources.)
Where to ask for help
IRC is the fastest way to get help, because you can converse "live" with other users about your problem.
When on IRC remember you may be talking to someone who is a lot older or a lot younger to you, from a different culture, it is an interesting place, if you watch what is going on for a few minutes you may find that you can get a better response. The people in these channels are volunteers. Please be aware there are a lot of questions, but only maybe few who might know the answer for you, and be available.
Mailing lists and Forums
The mailing lists and forums are discussion groups where users can correspond and hold longer conversations.
Mailing lists: http://www.ubuntulinux.org/community/lists/
You can try get free, live help from the qunu.com experts at http://www.qunu.com
Hopefully, after following this procedure, you will have arrived at a solution to your problem. However, there may still be work to be done. Perhaps you did not find your answer easily, and arrived at it only after much searching, or by receiving a direct answer from someone else. If so, think about how to make that information more readily available to the next person who encounters a similar problem. Perhaps a new entry in the FAQ, or a how-to article. HowDoc: Doc writing howto.
TODO: how to submit suggestions for placement of documentation
If you think you have found a bug
The ReportingBugs page will guide you on how to report it so that it can be fixed.