How to tell if “Linux HOWTOs” are installed on Linux systems such as Korora?

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Problem :

While doing exercises found at this “Introduction to Linux” site one of the questions asks “Are the HOWTOs installed on your system?”

Great question, says I. But how would I find that out?

Here is the output of lsb_release -a just in case that’s important.

LSB Version:    :core-4.1-amd64:core-4.1-noarch:cxx-4.1-amd64:cxx-4.1-noarch:desktop-4.1-amd64:desktop-4.1-noarch:languages-4.1-amd64:languages-4.1-noarch:printing-4.1-amd64:printing-4.1-noarch
Distributor ID: Korora
Description:    Korora release 21 (Darla)
Release:        21
Codename:       Darla

Korora is a flavour of Fedora.

Solution :

This answer may or may not be relevant, since I use mostly Ubuntu derivative (Xubuntu) with little bit of Debian and recently Fedora Xfce 22 for experience.

[..] one of the questions asks “Are the HOWTOs installed on your system?”

I assume the question implies the LDP HOWTOs itself, which is distributed in packages. I said this, because I know the HOWTOs packages exist in Debian and Ubuntu repositories.

But how would I find that out?

The HOWTOs are found under /usr/share/doc/HOWTO, if the package has been installed. An obsolete Debian manual had once mentioned here.

HOWTOs on Ubuntu/Debian

Running apt-cache search howtos may return result like this:

doc-linux-html - Linux HOWTOs and FAQs in HTML format
doc-linux-text - Linux HOWTOs and FAQs in ASCII format
twisted-doc - Official documentation of Twisted
doc-linux-nonfree-html - Linux HOWTOs in HTML format (non-free)
doc-linux-nonfree-text - Linux HOWTOs in ASCII format (non-free)
doc-linux-de - Linux HOWTOs in German
doc-linux-fr-html - Linux docs in French: HOWTOs, MetaFAQs in HTML format
doc-linux-fr-text - Linux docs in French: HOWTOs, MetaFAQs in ASCII format
doc-linux-ja-html - Linux HOWTOs and FAQs in Japanese (HTML format)
doc-linux-ja-text - Linux HOWTOs and FAQs in Japanese (TEXT format)
pcp-doc - Documentation and tutorial for the Performance Co-Pilot
python-turbogears2-doc - documentation for the TurboGears2 web framework

I got even lesser result when searching in repositories on newer releases of Ubuntu/Debian. Anyway, the relevant packages are found as doc-linux* in two format: ASCII and HTML.

HOWTOs on Fedora

On Fedora 22, yum has been deprecated and replaced with dnf. Instead of yum search howtos, I ran dnf search howtos and the result didn’t list any of doc-linux* packages.

HOWTOs availability

The HOWTOs are not included in the Ubuntu/Debian installation by default. You need to install those manually, if available. On Fedora, the HOWTOs are not found at all.

If you are not running Ubuntu/Debian system, it is still possible to search for the HOWTOs packages on Debian site, as well as packages on Ubuntu site.

Alas, the search results above already hint that HOWTOs are less likely to be distributed as packages in newer releases. For example, you can’t find English version of HOWTOs on Debian Wheezy or Ubuntu Trusty. Yet the French, Japanese, Polish translations are available.

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