Applies to openSUSE Leap 42.2

A Help and Documentation


openSUSE® Leap comes with various sources of information and documentation, many of which are already integrated in your installed system:

Desktop Help Center

The help center of the GNOME desktop (Help) provides central access to the most important documentation resources on your system, in searchable form. These resources include online help for installed applications, man pages, info pages, and the SUSE manuals delivered with your product. Learn more in Section A.1, “Using GNOME Help”.

Separate Help Packages for Some Applications

When installing new software with YaST, the software documentation is installed automatically, and usually appears in the help center of your desktop. However, some applications, such as GIMP, may have different online help packages that can be installed separately with YaST and do not integrate into the help centers.

Documentation in /usr/share/doc

This traditional help directory holds various documentation files and the release notes for your system. Find more detailed information in Book “Start-Up”, Chapter 15 “Help and Documentation”, Section 15.1 “Documentation Directory”.

Man Pages and Info Pages for Shell Commands

When working with the shell, you do not need to know the options of the commands by heart. Traditionally, the shell provides integrated help by means of man pages and info pages. Read more in Book “Start-Up”, Chapter 15 “Help and Documentation”, Section 15.2 “Man Pages” and Book “Start-Up”, Chapter 15 “Help and Documentation”, Section 15.3 “Info Pages”.

A.1 Using GNOME Help

On the GNOME desktop, to start Help directly from an application, either click the Help button or press F1. Both options take you directly to the application's documentation in the help center. However, you can also start Help by opening a terminal end entering yelp or from the main menu by clicking Applications › Favorites › Help.

Main Window of Help
Figure A.1: Main Window of Help

To see an overview of available application manuals, click the menu icon and select All Help.

The menu and the toolbar provide options for navigating the help center, for searching and for printing contents from Help. The help topics are grouped into categories presented as links. Click one of the links to open a list of topics for that category. To search for an item, click the search icon and enter the search string into the search field at the top of the window.

A.2 Additional Help Resources

In addition to the SUSE manuals installed under /usr/share/doc, you can also access the product-specific manuals and documentation on the Web. For an overview of all documentation available for openSUSE Leap check out your product-specific documentation Web page at

If you are searching for additional product-related information, you can also refer to the following Web sites:

You can also try general-purpose search engines. For example, use the search terms Linux CD-RW help or LibreOffice file conversion problem if you were having trouble with the CD burning or with LibreOffice file conversion.

A.3 For More Information

Apart from the product-specific help resources, there is a broad range of information available for Linux topics.

A.3.1 The Linux Documentation Project

The Linux Documentation Project (TLDP) is run by a team of volunteers who write Linux-related documentation (see The set of documents contains tutorials for beginners, but is mainly focused on experienced users and professional system administrators. TLDP publishes HOWTOs, FAQs, and guides (handbooks) under a free license. Parts of the documentation from TLDP is also available on openSUSE Leap.

A.3.1.1 Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs (frequently asked questions) are a series of questions and answers. They originate from Usenet newsgroups where the purpose was to reduce continuous reposting of the same basic questions.

A.3.1.2 Guides

Manuals and guides for various topics or programs can be found at They range from Bash Guide for Beginners to Linux File System Hierarchy to Linux Administrator's Security Guide . Generally, guides are more detailed and exhaustive than HOWTOs or FAQs. They are usually written by experts for experts.

A.3.2 Wikipedia: The Free Online Encyclopedia

Wikipedia is a multilingual encyclopedia designed to be read and edited by anyone (see The content of Wikipedia is created by its users and is published under a dual free license (GFDL and CC-BY-SA). However, as Wikipedia can be edited by any visitor, it should be used only as a starting point or general guide. There is much incorrect or incomplete information in it.

A.3.3 Standards and Specifications

There are various sources that provide information about standards or specifications.

The Linux Foundation is an independent nonprofit organization that promotes the distribution of free and open source software. The organization endeavors to achieve this by defining distribution-independent standards. The maintenance of several standards, such as the important LSB (Linux Standard Base), is supervised by this organization.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is one of the best-known standards organizations. It was founded in October 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee and concentrates on standardizing Web technologies. W3C promotes the dissemination of open, license-free, and manufacturer-independent specifications, such as HTML, XHTML, and XML. These Web standards are developed in a four-stage process in working groups and are presented to the public as W3C recommendations (REC).

OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) is an international consortium specializing in the development of standards for Web security, e-business, business transactions, logistics, and interoperability between various markets.

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is an internationally active cooperative of researchers, network designers, suppliers, and users. It concentrates on the development of Internet architecture and the smooth operation of the Internet by means of protocols.

Every IETF standard is published as an RFC (Request for Comments) and is available free-of-charge. There are six types of RFC: proposed standards, draft standards, Internet standards, experimental protocols, information documents, and historic standards. Only the first three (proposed, draft, and full) are IETF standards in the narrower sense (see

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is an organization that draws up standards in the areas of information technology, telecommunication, medicine and health care, transport, and others. IEEE standards are subject to a fee.

The ISO Committee (International Organization for Standards) is the world's largest developer of standards and maintains a network of national standardization institutes in over 140 countries. ISO standards are subject to a fee. ,

The Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN) is a registered technical and scientific association. It was founded in 1917. According to DIN, the organization is the institution responsible for standards in Germany and represents German interests in worldwide and European standards organizations.

The association brings together manufacturers, consumers, trade professionals, service companies, scientists and others who have an interest in the establishment of standards. The standards are subject to a fee and can be ordered using the DIN home page.

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