Mailing list guidelines

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Before Posting to the List

There are a number of ways you can find help within your system. If you don't find the answer there, try to look into the list archives before posting a question. This is a high volume list and chances are that someone has already had the same problem you are now trying to fix. See Useful Resources below for a list of places to try. Refer to this presentation on mail etiquette that you should follow.

If You Still Can't Find an Answer

If you don't find a suitable answer for your question in the resources described below, then writing to the list is a good idea. These guidelines were written to make sure your message gets the attention it needs to be read and answered. You may also find useful to look at Charles Curley's netiquette guide .

Posting Guidelines

Keep it Short

The fedora-list maintains a maximum message length of 64 kilobytes; other Fedora lists may have similar length-limits. Remember that thousands of copies of your message will exist in mailboxes -- please keep your messages as short as possible. Avoid including log output (select only the most relevant lines, or place the log on a website or in a pastebin instead) or excessively quoting previous messages in the thread (trim the quoted text down to the most recent/relevant messages only).

No HTML Mail, Please

Set your mailer to send only plain text messages to the list (How? ). Why? HTML is designed for web pages, not emails, and uses a lot more bandwidth. Many list members actually block HTML because it is used for malicious code. (see "7 reasons why HTML e-mail is EVIL! ")

Starting a New Subject

When you send in a new topic, do not start by replying to an existing message, but rather, start a new message to "". This keeps messages organized by thread, for people who like to use threads (on high-volume mailing lists like this one, threads can be a great convenience).

Write a Good Subject Line

Make a subject line that clearly tells us what you need. This is a point that can't be overemphasized. Try "Can't get past partitioning on F9" instead of "Argg - help me!!!" Why? So that people with certain skills, looking for someone to help, will notice your message. That helps you get help from the right people quickly.

On a high volume list like this, many people just skim through the subject lines and only read the messages that catch their interest. So, by creating a good subject line, you increase the chances that your message is actually going to be read and eventually answered.

If You Are Replying to a Message

Make sure we can tell what you are replying to. Place each part of your reply after the text it addresses (i.e., NO Top-Posting, please see "Wikipedia - Top Posting" and links therein for more on this). Most mail readers automatically put a '>' character in front of each replied-to line. It gives a conversational flow to the text, and people know what you're replying to. Trim irrelevant material. It makes it easier to read your reply and helps the reader to stay on subject.

Let Us Know When Your Question is Answered

When you get a solution to your question (or find it yourself after posting to the list), reply to your original e-mail describing what solved your problem, adding a [SOLVED] to the end of the subject line. This will let people know that you don't need help any more with this and can look for other posts to help. Also, it makes a search in the archives easier when someone has a related problem in the future.

Be Courteous

Be courteous and polite to fellow members in the list. Never swear or be rude to anyone.


To unsubscribe from the list you can visit the Fedora Mail List web page

Avoid long signatures and disclaimers

We find value in your main content rather than signatures. One or two lines would be optimal to convey messages that must be included in your signature and avoid huge disclaimers describing how your mail is private and confidential while sending things to the mailing list. If your company/organization enforces that in the mail gateway, use a webmail with pop/imap access like gmail for instance. Such disclaimers aren't enforceable half of the time and are monumentally silly in a public mailing list.

Use the common language

Unless you are a Fedora mailing list that is dedicated to users speaking that particular language, communicate in English. Other languages might be ignored merely because the users in these lists might only know English or use it as their common language. Refer to the Communicating and getting help page for more information on other mailing lists.


Using capital letters in your sentences is considered shouting. If you want to emphasize on something *use this* or _this_.

Avoid repetitive posting

Often people helping on the mailing lists are volunteers who, just like you, have busy lives. If you do not get a response within a few minutes or hours, avoid re-posting the same question repeatedly. Give a minimum of 24-48 hours for an answer, and if you don't have one by then, give a "nudge" to the list by replying to (not re-posting) your original message.

Useful Resources

Getting Help From Your System

There are many ways to get information from your system. Get a terminal window by right clicking on the desktop. In the window type one of the following (without the '$', and substitute application-name with the name of the application you are having trouble with).

$ man application-name
$ info application-name name
$ locate stuff-you-want-to-know-about
$ rpm -qd packagename

You can also find a significant number of documents stored in /usr/share/doc.


A lot of effort is currently being put into documentation for Fedora. Some of the results of this are:

Red Hat Enterprise Linux is based on the Fedora project. So, the RHEL documentation should be helpful for the Fedora user:

Also, good help can be found here:

List Archives

Sometimes difficult to use. Try the extended search or just entering your search query again after it returns the initial 0 found.

Good search engine, preserves threads. Also can display the answer in many different formats, to suit anyone's preferences.

Another favorite of the list users. However, it seems to use subjects instead of references to sort the messages, which means that the threads are sometimes broken.

Search It!

Search for Fedora issues almost invariably returns multiple hits. Of course, if you are using google, its search criterion/criteria are important here and multiple attempts on keyword variations may be needed. One particularly helpful way to narrow the search is to include a mailing list name in the search criteria. Some examples:

fedora-list + "boot hang"
fedora-devel-list + pup

Another possibility is to include instead of the list name. It will search all the main archives, which also include fedora-test-list and fedora-devel-list (testers or developers are likely to come across problems before you do), the RHEL lists, and the old Red Hat lists.


This document grew from the work of James McKenzie, Duncan Lithgow, Gustavo Seabra, David Curry, James Wilkinson, Perry Spiller, Christofer C. Bell and various people's useful comments and is in the spirit of the: RedHat Install List (RHIL) Unofficial User's Guide and How To Ask Questions The Smart Way .

Netiquette discussions are always ongoing and previously established conventions are continually revisited. Please read these guidelines in the spirit intended: to create a living document that reflects group consensus. Remember, you are more likely to receive answers to your questions if you adhere to these guidelines.