16 Free Tutorials for Top Open Source Applications

by Ostatic Staff - Apr. 18, 2008

Get your OSS education, people. While documentation, including tutorials, is often a weakness with open source applications--even very established ones--the good news is that there are some outstanding free tutorials for top OSS applications on the web. Sometimes these are delivered by the community behind particular projects, and sometimes they are from enthusiasts and other third parties. In this post, I'll round up good, free learning resources for top-notch OSS apps, including GIMP, OpenOffice, Firefox, web development languages and more. A little time spent working on your skills at these sites will pay many dividends.

GIMP is viewed by many as the definitive open source graphics application, and there are a number of outstanding, free tutorials for it on the web. HowtoGimp is a good place to start. It features general tutorials on how to use the application, and very targeted lessons on granular topics such as images and effects. Also check out Gimp-Tutorials.net which includes video tutorials and much more.

Free Firefox tutorials abound on the web. Newbie's tutorial is worth spending some time with. Extend Firefox is a very complete site for people who want to develop extensions for the browser. Also, see OStatic's own collection of Firefox tips and favorite extensions.

Want to install a particular Linux distro and get up to speed? Here's a good video on installing Ubuntu, and take in some Learning Linux Videos. And, you can find many more tutorials for Red Hat, Debian, Fedora, OpenSUSE and more at Unix-tutorials.com.

There are many free OpenOffice tutorials on the web. You can find individual tutorials for the various applications in the suite here. My favorite OpenOffice tutorials, including Flash demos, are at LearnOpenOffice.org. Definitely check these detailed lessons out.

Many open source developers and wannabe developers can get a lot out of brushing up on web and database development topics. I'm a big fan of W3Schools' many online tutorials on these topics. Need to brush up on your CSS? Take a gander down the left rail of this site's tutorial for how much you can learn, and how you can plug in real examples and see what your finished pages will look like. The site also has free tutorials on HTML, XHMTL, JavaScript, PHP, AJAX, .NET, Flash and much more. Highly, highly recommended.

MySQL tutorials can really help demystify deploying and securing your database applications. Here's an easy-to-follow example.

Getting into open source customer relationship management? SugarCRM is the product many people reach for, and SiteGround's free tutorial will get you going. If you're interested in vTiger--also open source CRM software--Siteground has a tutorial that includes information on installing vTiger on your web site.

Do you know of any good tutorials on open source applications or operating systems?