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I'm a programmer -- I know python, and I can work my way around a linux box, but since our company doesn't have anyone in ops, I find myself rapidly over my head when crises happen.

Is there an appropriate venue on IRC for things like this? #ubuntu is way too noisy an unhelpful when it comes to technical problem solving.

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If you want live 'chat' help on an ubuntu server system, try #ubuntu-server on irc.freenode.net; I have found them most helpful for the occasional question.

I found the same thing you did, #ubuntu was full of noise and not helpful at all.

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Why does it have to be IRC? Use serverfault for the learning and knowledge development.

SF isn't a venue for urgent support, but for the other things you mention it is excellent. Questions do not have to be specific in order to get good answers. And you can edit the question or ask follow ups.

Ask a question, update it, comment to answers, etc. You'll learn quickly!

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I don't think IRC is the appropriate venue for a crisis. In most channels you find, there will be lots of AFK people who won't be able to help in a crisis, and lots of people asking really easy question that they could have handled with a quick google search.

You may want to find a local expert who will answer the phone when you need help. If what your having is truly a crisis, I don't think you should depend on IRC.

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Mmm... good point. What about building up foundations and increasing my general sysops knowledge? –  user8900 Jun 9 '09 at 17:22

You might find a local ubuntu IRC channel, like there's a #ubuntu-uk for people in the UK. They will probably be smaller. You might find a number of IRC channels dedicated to a particular piece of software, like #exim or #puppet etc.

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The problem with ubuntu is that I find most people trying to debug why their soundcard isn't working -- i.e. consumber, rather that systems problems. –  user8900 Jun 9 '09 at 17:23
    
(#ubuntu, that is) –  user8900 Jun 9 '09 at 17:25

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