Readme First

Essential Reading for all New Members of the Fora.
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Readme First

Post by toracat » 2010/11/02 15:16:56

Welcome to CentOS and the CentOS fora.

Before posting a question to these forums, we would ask that you take the time to read this post. Please also read the Where to Find Answers post.

This information is provided to help you get answers to your questions more quickly. Everyone who provides answers are volunteers and their time is valuable. Following the guidelines below will help them make the best use of that time to aid as many as possible including, of course, you.

CentOS Forum Guidelines

The guidelines here are not meant to be a comprehensive set of rules. We strongly advise that forum members exercise discretion and common decency, rather than trying to rigorously follow rules. CentOS is a community endeavor, and forum members are encouraged to be considerate, respectful towards others, and to promote a culture of sharing and learning. Part of the respect toward others should include "doing your homework" before posting a question, as explained in other material in this introductory section.

1. Post Content

Please use clear, concise, and appropriate language. Use of texting abbreviations ("u" for "you", "ur" for "your", etc.) is discouraged. Links may be (and often should be) used to reference external or internal material appropriate to the content of the post. Flames, trolling, foul language, insults, name-calling, or other personal attacks are not acceptable. Members may privately report posts they consider to be abusive or inappropriate to the forum moderators. Posts regarding potentially inflammatory topics such as politics of any description are off topic and will be removed.

2. Forum Moderators

All of the moderators on the CentOS fora are members who volunteer to provide their time and good judgment free of charge. The moderating team may, at their discretion, remove, edit, move, or lock posts or threads at any time. Habitual and flagrant violators of these guidelines are subject to having their forum accounts locked or terminated. If in doubt moderators will consult among themselves, or with core CentOS team members, before taking action. Clicking on a moderator's name will bring up their account profile page, which in turn has the option to send a Personal Message [PM] if you have a need to contact a moderator.

3. Complaints

The fora are an inappropriate venue for publicly discussing any personal issues you may have with the forum guidelines or administration. Please contact the moderators or administrators by email or private message if you have such concerns. If you disagree with a moderator's action concerning your posts please contact the moderator in question for clarification. The moderators are perfectly willing to privately and civilly discuss any disagreements.

4. SPAM Policy

Please do not post solely for purposes of advertisement. The moderators reserve the right to edit, remove from public view, or delete any posts they consider to be spam. In addition, members who sign up solely for the purpose of posting spam will be removed and their posts deleted. Forum members are encouraged to (and regularly do) privately report suspected spam to the moderators.

5. Signatures

Signature blocks must not contain any offensive or objectionable material, and should not exceed 4 lines of standard sized text. Images are not permitted, nor are spam links - defined as any commercial or other links not of relevance to CentOS or Linux. A small emoticon, either static or animated, personal web pages, personal blogs, non-commercial howtos, etc., are permissible. Forum moderators have the final say on the appropriateness of any signature, but are open to reasonable discourse on any disagreements.

6. Post your question to the correct forum and do not double-post

This may seem obvious but please try to ensure you post your question to the correct forum and in the correct section (eg, for CentOS 4, 5 or 6 etc). If you are unsure in which forum your question belongs, please do NOT double post in multiple fora. Most of us read ALL the fora so we will see your question. Therefore, posting in multiple places would not increase the chance of getting replies and it only results in scattering of the responses instead of an organized single thread of the discussion. Double posting will result in 1) you being asked not to double post as opposed to being provided with an answer and 2) multiple posts being removed by a moderator.

It is also best not to post simultaneously to multiple venues (such as Forum and Mailing List) but may sometimes be desirable if no useful response to the original post is received in a reasonable amount of time - a day or so. If posting to multiple venues please cross-reference so current contributors can see the whole picture, and so future searchers can benefit from the knowledge gained.

7. Use a descriptive title for your thread

Firstly, post your own thread. Do not hijack someone else's thread, even if you think your question is related. You may post a link to any related threads that you feel are appropriate. Posting at the end of an old thread will also make it much less likely that you will get attention, and thus answers to your questions.

Use a succinct descriptive title for your thread. This is your one chance to advertise what it is you require help with and persuade people to actually read and potentially answer your question. Do not SHOUT and your question is not urgent (at least not to anyone else). Please do not use txt speak or exclamation marks (!!!!).

Bad example:

Urgent: pls hlp, can't get it to work!!!!!!

This tells us nothing other than it's urgent to you and that something isn't working. It is unlikely to even attract views, let alone answers. If you can't get your title right, what hope do we have that you've actually asked a coherent question in such a way that we may be able to help.

Better example:

Installed CentOS 6, need help getting GUI to automatically start (Nvidia GF7600 GS).

Now we know what you've done and those who have dealt with Nvidia cards will know that it's an issue where they can possibly help. (This also holds for other hardware such as wireless and other ethernet cards. Someone might ignore a subject of Wireless doesn't work but answer a post of Atheros AR5007EG card not working if they've had experience dealing with that particular card.)

See also LinuxQuestions' How_To_Ask_a_Question.

8. Composing your question

Again, do not SHOUT and your question is not urgent (at least not to anyone else). Please do not use txt speak and no excessive exclamation marks. Do use good spelling, grammar and punctuation, and split your post up as appropriate into separate paragraphs. We acknowledge that although English is the preferred language of the forums, it is not everyone's first or native language. You do not need to apologize if English is not your native language, just do the best that you can to clearly and concisely describe your problem.

Before posting your question, first think about what your question is. If you don't know what your question is and how to articulate it, it is highly unlikely anyone else will be able to provide a reply. We don't have crystal balls & we can't read minds and make sure you actually ask a question.

Bad example:

Q: My nic doesn't work!
A: That's a shame, but thank you for sharing it with us. Did you have a question?

Better example:

Q: My nic isn't detected after a default installation of CentOS 6. Please could anyone assist me in getting it working?

Don't ask questions that can be answered with yes or no, unless you want a yes or no answer, as that's what you'll most likely get.

Bad example:

Q: I can't get Foo to work. Has anyone else managed to get this working?
A: Yes.

9. Ask realistic questions

Saying you're totally new to Linux and asking how to set up a domain server to authenticate users, provide roaming profiles, file sharing and email services with spam and virus filtering to replace your current server provided by some other company demonstrates totally unrealistic expectations on your behalf. No one is going to be able to help you, as this is likely to be a long term project and not something you are going to achieve over the weekend by asking a couple of questions on a forum.

10. Provide the relevant information

Research your question or problem. You may find an answer is already provided. Demonstrating that you have researched your question by describing what you have previously done to try to resolve your problem is more likely to persuade a volunteer to help you than if you sit back and expect the answer to land on your plate.

Provide as much useful information as possible to assist others in helping you solve your problem. We don't know what hardware/software you are running, or how you have configured your system unless you tell us. We also can not guess at what error message you may have received. Avoid the use of images where text will do. It is far preferable to just copy/paste the exact text into the edit window. In some instances the helpers really need the text to enable searching for an answer. Some sites where images may be posted are often blocked by corporate firewalls, and most force the user to be exposed to their advertising.

If you have a hardware-related problem, please provide information about your hardware. We can not help answer questions like "help, my nic isn't working" without knowing what nic you have and what attempts you have made to configure it.

Use commands such as lspci, lsmod, lsusb or dmidecode to gather information about your hardware and provide that in your post.

If you have a software-related question, please provide as much relevant information about your configuration as possible. Provide the version numbers of any software you are using, post the configuration file for the package you are having problems with and check your logs for relevant errors, and post these too (only the relevant errors please, not the whole log file).

If your question relates in any way to the kernel, please show us what kernel(s) you have installed and running by providing the output from the following commands:

Code: Select all

uname -a
rpm -qa kernel\* | sort
This will help to speed up the process of getting your problem resolved and is likely the first information you will be asked for if you haven't provided it.

See also How to provide information about your system.

11. Formatting your post.

Formatting guidelines can be found in the forums FAQ about BBCode. Proper use of BBCode can allow you to tailor many aspects of the appearance of your post. Please note that although the forum does support colors and larger than normal text, , overuse of large fonts and colors is highly discouraged and such formatting tags ma be removed by a moderator without notice.
Posts with extra colors or overly large sized fonts are more likely to have the opposite of the desired effect of gaining extra attention, and cause members to ignore your post.

12. What to do if no one answers

Please wait for at least 24 hours. The volunteers on this forum live all over the world. If it's day time where you live, it's going to be night time somewhere else and the person able to answer your question may be sleeping, so give everyone a chance to read your question. Be sure that you have refreshed the page if you left it open - new messages do not cause an auto-refresh. Also, be sure to check your Notification Method - at the bottom of each page when logged in - as it defaults to "Private Message", not email as many people seem to expect.

If after 24 hours you haven't received any answers, then you may bump your thread by posting more information. By more information, we mean what you have tried during the last 24 hours to fix the problem. You have been trying to fix your problem, haven't you and not just waiting for someone else to fix it for you?

13. What to do once you have an answer

It would be nice to thank the member(s) who helped you. We are all the more inclined to help those who take the time to acknowledge the help they have received.

Provide feedback as to what the solution was. This will help the next person with the same problem to identify the solution and so share this knowledge with others. It is also good form to edit your initial post and change the subject to prefix it with [SOLVED] or [RESOLVED] to indicate the status. This will help others looking for a solution in the future.

Congratulations, now you have an answer to your problem, you have gained some valuable knowledge that, hopefully, you'll be willing to share when another Community member asks a similar question. Before you know it, you will be one of the people answering some of the questions, not just asking them. This is how a community works, by giving a little back occasionally. So once you have an answer we hope you'll stay around and become part of the Community.

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