need help getting the audacity manual


I am attempting to become a new user of Audacity. I’ve recently taken up piano and would like to record some files to share with others.

As usual, I am unable to get part of the program to work. As a comment on my skill level, I rarely am able to get any linux downloaded program for ubuntu to work, as, I just don’t have the computer knowledge, background, or degrees to be able to decifer the technical instructions that always come with the programs (i.e, “packages”, “gedit” and other nomenclature that the expert computer users understand.

My specific problem is that I cannot get the manual to move from my downloads folder (where it landed when I downloaded it) over to the “usr/share/audacity” folder. The instructions from the audacity website say that the help folder should be moved there, but, I can’t get it to go. The computer says something like “You don’t have appropriate permissions to transfer these files”, or something very similar. Hence, I don’t have any help files or instructional materials from which to learn how to use this program.

I am already 62 years old and fear that I will not get this thing to work before I depart the planet from natural causes. Would any of you be so kind as to email me a pdf or other common file format containing the user manual? Without that, I will have no use for the program as there is not a snowball’s chance in hell that I will ever decipher it on my own.

Thank you in advance for any assistance you can provide me.


Have you asked on the Ubuntu novices forum: They are usually reasonably forgiving there but it depends - some of the helpers can be arrogant to someone who displays ignorance.

Is there a reason you don’t use Windows or Mac?

A “package” contains the application itself plus “libraries” of files that are needed to make the application run, and/or “dependencies” (instructions that make the application use system libraries that already come with Ubuntu). It is not totally unlike an EXE installer on Windows, except that you cannot see inside the installer in the way that you can see inside the package.

If you use the “Ubuntu Software Centre” to install applications you don’t need to worry about packages and libraries. Just press “Install”.

Gedit is a text editor application.

Which version of Audacity do you have? Look at Help > About Audacity… . And which version of Ubuntu?

You will need to open a computer terminal to issue an instruction as sudo (the “root” or privileged user than can modify system files). To open a terminal, hold down CTRL and ALT on your computer keyboard and press T.

When you open the terminal you are “in” your own home folder.

If you have not yet unzipped the manual, copy the following command. This command assumes you have not yet unzipped the Manual and that you have the Manual for Audacity 2.1.0:

sudo unzip ~/Downloads/ -d /usr/share/audacity/

If you have the manual for another version of Audacity, change “2.1.0” as necessary to the version you have.

Right-click in the terminal window and choose “Paste”.

You will see your copied command in the terminal.

Press ENTER on your keyboard. ENTER always executes any command written in the terminal, so will do the unzip of the Manual to /usr/share/audacity.

If you have already unzipped the Manual so that you see the “help” folder in your Downloads folder, type this command instead (“mv” moves the folder you specify with all the folders it contains):

sudo mv ~/Downloads/help /usr/share/audacity/

If you are using Audacity 2.1.0 then you can just view the Manual online:
Audacity Manual. That link always contains the Manual for the current release of Audacity, which is 2.1.0 at the moment.

Another problem is that the version of Audacity that comes with Ubuntu 15.04 is extremely buggy, because Ubuntu built it with a version of the “wxWidgets” library that they know Audacity does not work with. So again, please tell us your Audacity version and version of Ubuntu.


Gale Andrews:

Thanks you so much for taking the time to compile such a comprehensive response to my difficulties. Here is the information your requested:

Audacity Version: audacity 2.0.0-1ubuntu0.1 (This info is from the pull down menu from the Audacity program “Help” button) (somewhere during the course of my adventure I came to the conclusion that I was downloading Audacity 2.1.0, 2.0.0 is apparently what I ended up with).

Ubuntu Version: 12.04 LTS

I just tried the instructions you provided near the end of your response, the ones about opening a terminal. Everything went as you explained (your instructions were very clear and well written) and the help/manual now appears when I click the help pulldown and click the manual button. In my case, I need the manual to reside in my Audacity as I will primarily be using it while not connected to the internet.

In the process, I discovered where I got the 2.1.0 mis information from. Apparently I downloaded the manual for 2.1.0, even though the Audacity program I downloaded was the 2.0.0 version. So, my manual probably is a bit of a mismatch for my Audacity version.

With the confidence your instructions provide me, I think I am going to see about downloading the manual for 2.0.0 and transferring it to my Audacity. Or, seeing about downloading Audacity 2.1.0 and connecting the 2.1.0 manual to it.

Thanks again for the time you have given me, and for the carefully crafted instructions you provided. Your thoughtfulness is greatly appreciated. as is, another human being who still knows how to communicate. :slight_smile:


I also meant to thank you for your tip about the novices forum. I’ll check that out as I am sure I’ll have many questions that I cannot answer on my own.

OK. 2.0.0 is very old now and 2.1.0 is very different. I don’t think there are any online manuals for 2.0.0 but you can get the manual for 2.0.1 which will not be too different here:

Any modern versions of Audacity supplied by Ubuntu will have the problem I mentioned that they will be built with incorrect Widgets version. If you want 2.1.0, the only viable solution is to uninstall the packaged version of Audacity 2.0.0 you have and install this unofficial 2.1.0 “PPA” of Audacity for Ubuntu 12.04 which is built correctly: Install Audacity Audio Editor 2.1.0 in Ubuntu From PPA | UbuntuHandbook.

To install the PPA you can follow the commands given at the bottom of that page.


Thank you, again, Gale. As before, your instructions were perfect. I have successfully uninstalled 2.0.0, downloaded the 2.1.0 PPA, and now have both 2.1.0 and the manual installed and available.

You have been a great help. Thank you so much.

Now, I look forward to fun with Audacity.


Sounds like you’re learning fast :wink:

If you have any more questions about Audacity, please start a new topic, as that makes it easier for others who may be looking for help.