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Joined: 08 Apr 2002
Posts: 661
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2002 4:01 am    Post subject: Guidelines (READ BEFORE POSTING) Reply with quote


I'm sure that many people have noticed the explosion of the Gentoo userbase, which has led to the explosion of these forums and other forms of support. In an effort to keep forums relatively organized, I have setup several guidelines:

  1. Use common sense - Just because it isn't explicitly stated as one of the rules below doesn't mean it's OK. Use common sense and good Netiquette when posting, replying and browsing these forums. This includes the following:
    • Also see General Guidelines for Off The Wall, which contains additional information suitable to the forums in general.
    • No posts for the sole purpose of increasing your postcount.
    • No "senseless" posts. Yes, its subjective. As a subjective way to help understand, if a coherent conversation cannot be read in the thread, it might be senseless.
    • Keep the forums free from SPAM. This means no SPAM posting, no personal messaging SPAM, no SPAM in signatures or elsewhere in your profile. SPAM includes unsolicited messaging. If it takes you hours to send hundreds of Personal Messages, it is still SPAM. Also, please do not reply to SPAM, just report it. Spammers will be reported to
    • No Quote pyramids.
    • Abide by the Code of Conduct.

  2. Check that your question isn't answered anywhere else - Gentoo Linux is very well documented at, but most users seem to overlook the obvious. I have started a collection of helpful links to assist everyone.

  3. Search before posting - Please try to use the search feature on the website prior to starting a new topic regarding a problem you are experiencing. Chances are, due to the rapid growth of the forum, your problem may have been solved already or a problem similar to it. By searching prior to posting, you will help yourself by find a solution sooner, and keep the newer problems in focus. Please also search the Bugzilla and file a bug if appropriate. Please also note that Off the Wall and international forums are not searched by default, you have to search them specifically from the search page. Duplicate threads will be merged, locked or moved to the Duplicate Threads forum at the moderators' discretion.

  4. Include logs and tell us commands executed - Nobody can help you if they don't know what's wrong, or what you did to get the error you recieved. Providing this information will greatly aid others in assisting you, and will allow us to diagnose your problem easier and sooner.

  5. Choose a good subject - Do not make your subject say just "Help gentoo newbie," nobody wants to hear this. Describe your problem briefly in your subject, then you can describe your problem in greater depth in the body of your article. Repeat the subject in the body if it will make things clearer. Avoid "subject says all" etc. A better subject might have been "X Windows crashes whenever I run program foo."

  6. Use BBCodes if you feel you can - BBCodes help to make articles more readable. Visit to learn more. Some additional tips:
    • Avoid long lines with no embedded whitespace. Insert spaces or line breaks to allow browsers to wrap text. Horizontal scrolling makes articles hard to read.
    • Many visitors do not have wide, high-resolution screens. Remember this when deciding whether a line is "too long."
    • URLs with non-alphanumeric characters may confuse the [url] tag. Read this tip to learn how to handle them.
    • Avoid surprises--use the Preview button on the posting form. Test URL links. Fix missing or mismatched tags. Correct accidental "smilies" (example: "see man fdisk(8)" becomes "see man fdisk(8)") or use the checkbox provided to disable them altogether.

  7. Thank those who help you - If you post a problem and someone helps you, simply replying with a thank you message or an acknowledgement that their suggestions worked are very much appreciated.

  8. No bashing - If someone is posting about a problem they are experiencing, don't simply tell them they are using the wrong program and recommend they try your recommendation. Instead, provide facts or opinions supporting your recommendation, provide positive feedback, and please keep the criticism low.

  9. Keep on topic - If you are replying about something to do with iptables for example, and someone mentions a configuration tool that runs in KDE, don't start talking about KDE, stick to the topic. Go start a new topic and post a link to the old one if there is relevant information there.

  10. No personal attacks - These forums are not a place for you to take cheap shots at somebody because he/she did something. Do that some place else (or better yet, get over it). You have been warned. Hopefully, this won't be much of a problem here.

  11. Illegal activites - Please do not discuss illegal activities, such as cracking software, breaking into web sites, etc. on these forums. While such activities might not be illegal in all countries, this server is hosted in Canada and, as such, must abide by Canadian laws. By allowing discussions about illegal activities to take place on these forums, we may expose the Gentoo project to unnecessary legal liability. Therefore, any posts that advocate activities that are illegal under Canadian laws may be deleted without notice.

  12. Cross posting - Please do not post the same question to multiple forums. Cross posting clutters up the forums and makes things like searching harder for other users. If you feel your question could fit in multiple forums, please pick the best one and post there. Please do not post about the same subject multiple times. One thread is sufficient. See Report violations, duplicates, misplaced posts, etc. if you like a thread moved.

  13. Ask Questions The Smart Way - If you are new to the internet, forums or the world of Linux, or if you just aren't sure what kinds of questions are okay to ask and how they should be phrased, then please read "How To Ask Questions The Smart Way" and "How to Report Bugs Effectively". It covers many of the same points as covered in this guide, but goes into far more detail and offers detailed explanations and suggestions.

  14. Keep image sizes within reason - If you use an avatar, please observe the following guidelines:
    • Avatars should be no larger than 80x80 pixels.
    • Avatars should be no larger than 7Kb.
    • We reserve the right to remove images with offensive, annoying or otherwise problematic content.
    • Images in posts and signatures are disabled.

  15. Job postings - Read the FAQ too: FO5: Guidelines for posting Job announcements. Job vacancies that use Gentoo Linux only. No resumes or CVs allowed. Note: Gentoo Linux is not affiliated with these job postings in any way.

  16. Multiple accounts - Each person should have only one account. If you get banned for some reason and simply create another account, it might get banned the minute the moderators become aware of it.

  17. Account deletion - Our working assumption is that your posts have added value to the community: either you've asked interesting questions which elicited informative answers or you've contributed answers to interesting questions. Even if you assert that none of your questions or answers have any technical value at all, your posts provide bridging context: removing them would make the remaining posts more confusing and harder to understand. Deleting your account and all your posts would thus be poor return to the all-volunteer community that supports the Gentoo Linux distribution. For these reasons, it is our long-standing policy not to delete user accounts.
You should periodically check this topic for updates.

Thank you.
- Kyle Manna

Please, please SEARCH before posting.

There are three kinds of people in the world: those who can count, and those who can't.
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