Ubuntu – How are typical users expected to read the documentation in /usr/share/doc


I recently learned that there is a huge pile of documentation in /usr/share/doc.

It seems like much of it is gzipped so that it is not directly accessible without administrative privileges:

$ gunzip examples/letter.tex.gz 
gzip: examples/letter.tex: Permission denied

While one solution to this would be for every user to duplicate each item in their home directory just to read it, this arrangement hardly seems conducive to regular browsing.

How do normal people read this documentation?

I am not inclined to believe that the typical user is expected to install and maintain a web server just to read local text documentation.

Best Answer

Most has been said and very nicely explained by jgbelacqua for use in terminal. Just adding this for people that are on a desktop manager:

From a graphical desktop (here GNOME) the easiest way to read docs from /usr/share/doc is to (double-)click open the zipped files with your standard archive manager (here File Roller) from where you can (double-)click open and read them in your standard editor (here Gedit). No write permissions needed as long as you don't unzip the files.