Over a year ago I founded the Ubuntu Manual Project, an open source Ubuntu project aimed at creating a comprehensive beginner’s manual for each Ubuntu release.

I led the team for around 10 months, before I had to step down as Team Lead due to other commitments (namely University, and also Ohso – the company that runs OMG! Ubuntu! etc).

The team went through a bit of a lull, with a lack of contributors, no leader and little motivation to continue this awesome project – which was a complete shame in my eyes because at its peak, the team had hundreds of contributors and was a hive of activity.

Luckily though, they’ve re-grouped and are now working on building a new website (which I designed way back in June last year), as well as head-hunting for two suitable people to act as Project Leader and Editor-in-Chief.

The new team is doing a great job rejuvenating the project, with weekly meetings that are actually producing results. They hope to get a new manual out some time this year, covering the Unity interface in detail, which will be a total help to all new Unity and Ubuntu users worldwide.

Ooh, shiny!

Help them out

This is a call to arms! The team needs help, but most importantly right now they need to fill the two (unpaid, volunteer) positions I mentioned above.

Project Leader

The Ubuntu Manual project leader is responsible for guiding and directing the project. The project leader’s responsibilities include:

  • Promoting the project in the community.
  • Recruiting new project members.
  • Scheduling regular meetings.
  • Release Planning.
  • Motivating project members.
  • Providing vision (and blueprints) for the project.


The editor in chief is responsible for the overall quality and content of the manual and ensures that it is published in a timely fashion. The editor in chief manages the chapter editors and authors. The editor in chief must commit to the following duties for the duration of the release cycle (approximately six months):

  • Check spelling, grammar, writing style, and factual accuracy.
  • Track changes between previous and current Ubuntu releases and ensure that the current edition of the manual reflects those changes.
  • Motivate and coordinate with the chapter authors/editors to contribute in a timely fashion.
  • Provide regular status updates to the mailing list.
  • Ensure proper attribution for text that has been copied from other (CC-licensed) sources.
  • Maintain the list of credits (authors, editors, translators, designers, etc.).
  • Verify that all screenshots and graphics are correct.
  • Gives the final go-ahead to publish the online and print versions of the manual.

If you think you have the cajones to handle that, and really want to get involved in an awesome non-programming project with a low barrier to entry and a tonne of awesome people, apply for the jobs!

Where you can find the team

Don’t forget that the team is also always looking for contributors such as writers, editors, translators, designers and programmers.

To get in touch with the folks in the team if you have any questions, hit them up in any of the following places:

Editorial News ubuntu manual ubuntumanual ump