Wanna Help Ubuntu?

Have you ever has that desire to help Ubuntu, but didn’t know how to do it? I know that I’ve always searched for ways to help out, but I’m and not a programmer by any means. I typically help out in the best ways I can..

Well, now there’s another way to help out. While this is not a new way of helping, it’s new to me. What is it?

Have you ever wondered where those screen shots come from in the Ubuntu Software Center (USC)? Who uploads them? Why are some so outdated? Well, they come from screenshots.debian.net. And guess what.. You can upload screenshots to them! All you have to do is follow their simple guidelines and submit a screenshot. If your screenshot is accepted, it will be available for all to see in the Ubuntu world!

What are the guidelines?

  • Screenshots are published under the terms of the packaged software itself.
  • Your screenshots must be in PNG format.
  • Due to legal reasons screenshots for non-free packages aren’t accepted.
  • Images larger than 800×600 pixels will automatically be reduced to that size (retaining the aspect ratio of course). So if you like to control the exact result of what you upload then make sure your image size is no larger than that.
  • Your screenshot should contain a typical scene when working with it. When snapshotting a browser load the debian.org home page. A screenshot of a graphics program should have a drawing loaded. Of a game please make a screenshot while you are playing and not of the start screen.
  • Nice tools for taking screenshots are shutter, ksnapshot (KDE), gimp, xwd or scrot. See the Debian wiki for more information on how to make screenshots under Debian.
  • You need not artificially switch off your window decorations.
  • Please set your language to english so that everybody understands it. If you don’t use english by default please start your application from a shell using after setting “export LANG=C”.
  • Please only take a screenshot of the respective application and not of your whole desktop (unless the screenshot is meant for a window manager).
  • Interlaced PNG files cannot be processed currently. Please use non-interlaced images.

Remember: your uploaded screenshot will not be visible immediately. It will first be checked by the admin team. It is already visible to you though.

It’s simple, easy, and allows you to help the FOSS world. Happy uploading!


5 responses to this post.

  1. While I do admire those who help via bug reports, and posting screen shots for the software center. Those people who devote time on the Ubuntu Forums deserve credit as well. There are lots of ways to provide help to Ubuntu, Users, Interested People, and FOSS projects. One way that has worked well for us at ubuntuvideotutorials.org has been to provide comprehensive tutorials of Ubuntu in a fun and easy format. I think that you may want to consider writing about those ways you can help the end users as well. Thanks as always.


    • I 100% agree with you. I strive to do the best I can with helping the end users that came after me…and before me if I can. When I encounter a problem with one of my machines that I am able to fix, I try my best to write down how I fixed it so that I can post it here and help out those who may have the same problem. Unfortunately, as Canonical releases newer and newer versions of Ubuntu, the number of problems that I experience gets to be fewer and fewer. (Which is a good thing)

      One of the ways that I have thought about helping the community is by making my posts in English text as well as in American Sign Language (ASL). I actually know quite a bit of deaf Ubuntu and general Linux users.

      I’ve actually never heard of your site, but I’m definitely going to give it a look after I submit this reply. 🙂


      • We are only a few months old and started as a simple wordpress.com account. We gained a lot of support and a month ago purchased our domain. It is not surprising that you haven’t heard of it yet. Also we are run by me at the moment, but I don’t expect this to last long as the site matures. We are silently looking for volunteers at the moment but we don’t want to get people started with out general guidelines. I am really looking for 9 authors/producers for ubuntu, kubuntu, and xubuntu. But we won’t go public about this need until after October 10th. Now of course I have gone public here but they won’t know what to do with this information until I create the “contribute” page.

      • Sounds good. Good luck to you. 🙂

  2. Thanks. Actually it is suprizing that I have been able to create so many video tutorials in so little time. Right now there are a little less than 100 video tutorials.


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