-   Linux Mint (
-   -   'Help' doesn't work (

genogebot 07-03-2010 02:14 AM

'Help' doesn't work

A few days ago I installed Linux Mint 9. I'm a new Linux user - I've tried using Linux before but this is the first time I've thought that I could comfortably switch from Windows to Linux - and I was hoping to use the built-in help system to get me up to speed as I played around with it. I know there are man pages and the internet, but I thought it would be easier to use the 'Help' buttons in the apps.

Unfortunately almost every time I click on a 'Help' button in a window I get an error - for example:
Nautilus: The requested URI "ghelp:user-guide#gosnautilus-1" is invalid
Help Browser: The requested URI "ghelp:user-guide#yelp" is invalid
Appearance Preferences: The requested URI "ghelp:user-guide#goscustdesk-7" is invalid
Panel: The requested URI "ghelp:user-guide?gospanel-1" is invalid
etcetera etcetera...

Synaptic Package Manager's help file works, so the help system can't be completely broken.

So what's going on?

I did a google search and found quite a few people with the same problem going back several years.

The only possible solution I found was a suggestion that maybe the help documentation packages haven't been installed, but I hunted through Synaptic and I couldn't see any packages that seemed to be relevant.

If I need to download some packages, can someone give me a pointer to which packages are required?

Failing that, any other ideas?


genogebot 07-03-2010 02:42 AM

Found it!
Ok, it turns out that I needed to download a package containing the documentation.

Eventually I tried Mint's 'Software Manager' instead of Synaptic and I found it in 'System Tools' when I searched for 'Gnome'.

I didn't find it in Synaptic because I was searching for 'help' and 'documentation' - neither of those terms are used in the entry (searching for 'Gnome' in Synaptic produced way too many entries to hunt through, and the search engine seems to only search for a literal string - is there some way to do a boolean search in Synaptic?) It's listed as 'gnome-user-guide' in Synaptic.

After I downloaded it the help system is working. Woohoo!

I can't help wondering why it isn't included in the standard Mint install - the package is only 1 MB.

gasdim 07-03-2010 02:44 AM

First of all in my machine for example help works fine!!! So this should be a distro prob.
It is checked by me in OpensSUse 11.2 and Ubuntu 10.04! These are the simplest distros in my opinion.If you want try google because in nautilus help is for basic things for example.
Second you want to download a package. What package is that? A program? A library?
If you want a program from synaptic all required packages are downloaded automatically.
If you download a .tar.gz app when you extract there are two files usually README and INSTALL with help how to install it. For example if you have to give ./configure if a package is missing an error message with the missing library appears and the name is shown.So google it and download it. If another library is missing another message will appear. If the error is another send us the prob to give you a solution. It is very simple!!!

mabloom 10-14-2012 01:57 PM

Re: Help still does not work, at least not in U.S.
I get the same message for many programs in ubuntu 11.10

For example, clicking help on the gnome top panel yields: The URI ‘ghelp:user-guide?menubar#menubar’ does not point to a valid page.

I do have the gnome-user-guide package installed, but the necessary files are not in the package. Here are the contents of /usr/share/help:
ar C cs de en_AU es fi gl hi hu it lt nl pl pt_BR sk sr sv tr zh_CN
ast ca da el en_GB eu fr he hr id ja nb oc ps ru sl sr@latin th vi zh_TW

Note the absence of en_US. although C can usually suffice. In this case, it does not. Three guides (gnome/help/gnome-access-guide, gnome/help/system-admin-guide, and gnome/help/user-guide from 10.x) have been condensed into one guide in 11.x, and not completely, at that.

/usr/share/help/en_GB/ just contains aisleriot and deja-dup

/usr/share/help/en_AU just contains: ubuntu-help

/usr/share/help/C contains: aisleriot deja-dup gnome-help ubuntu-help

C/ubuntu-help/ and en_AU/ubuntu-help/ contain the same named files, but their contents differ, apparently mostly, if not entirely, simply because they were maintained separately. For example:

@@ -18,7 +17,7 @@

<desc>Ignore quickly-repeated keypresses of the same key.</desc>
- <include href="legal.xml" xmlns=""/>
+ <include xmlns="" href="legal.xml"/>

While this particular difference had no direct bearing on the problem. it does point to a maintenance issue which probably IS the reason why some people can access the help files they need while others can not do so.

I just checked a disk containing Maverick. It has a file named /usr/share/gnome/help/user-guide/C/user-guide.xml, which ends with:


<include href="gosbasic.xml" xmlns="" />      <!-- Basic skills -->
  <include href="gosoverview.xml" xmlns="" />    <!-- Overview-->
  <include href="gosstartsession.xml" xmlns="" /><!-- Sessions -->
  <include href="gospanel.xml" xmlns="" />      <!-- Panels -->
  <include href="goseditmainmenu.xml" xmlns="" /><!-- Menus -->
  <include href="gosnautilus.xml" xmlns="" />    <!-- Nautilus -->
  <include href="gostools.xml" xmlns="" />      <!-- Tools & utilities -->
  <include href="goscustdesk.xml" xmlns="" />    <!-- Preferences -->
  <include href="glossary.xml" xmlns="" />      <!-- Glossary -->
  <include href="gosfeedback.xml" xmlns="" />    <!-- Feedback -->

All of those files are in Maverick and are named in /var/lib/dpkg/info/gnome-user-guide.list
None are named in that file in Oneiric, and with a couple of exceptions, there are no equivalent substitutes.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:04 PM.