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How to get Best Results from the FreeBSD-questions Mailing List
This document provides useful information for people looking to prepare an e-mail to the FreeBSD-questions mailing list. Advice and hints are given that will maximize the chance that the reader will receive useful replies.
This document is regularly posted to the FreeBSD-questions mailing list.
`FreeBSD-questions` is a mailing list maintained by the FreeBSD project to help people who have questions about the normal use of FreeBSD. Another group, `FreeBSD-hackers`, discusses more advanced questions such as future development work.
The term "hacker" has nothing to do with breaking into other people's computers. The correct term for the latter activity is "cracker", but the popular press has not found out yet. The FreeBSD hackers disapprove strongly of cracking security, and have nothing to do with it. For a longer description of hackers, see Eric Raymond's http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/hacker-howto.html[How To Become A Hacker]
This is a regular posting aimed to help both those seeking advice from FreeBSD-questions (the "newcomers"), and also those who answer the questions (the "hackers").
Inevitably there is some friction, which stems from the different viewpoints of the two groups. The newcomers accuse the hackers of being arrogant, stuck-up, and unhelpful, while the hackers accuse the newcomers of being stupid, unable to read plain English, and expecting everything to be handed to them on a silver platter. Of course, there is an element of truth in both these claims, but for the most part these viewpoints come from a sense of frustration.
In this document, I would like to do something to relieve this frustration and help everybody get better results from FreeBSD-questions. In the following section, I recommend how to submit a question; after that, we will look at how to answer one.
How to Subscribe to FreeBSD-questions
FreeBSD-questions is a mailing list, so you need mail access. Point your WWW browser to the {freebsd-questions}. In the section titled "Subscribing to freebsd-questions" fill in the "Your email address" field; the other fields are optional.
The password fields in the subscription form provide only mild security, but should prevent others from messing with your subscription. _Do not use a valuable password_ as it will occasionally be emailed back to you in cleartext.
You will receive a confirmation message from mailman; follow the included instructions to complete your subscription.
Finally, when you get the "Welcome" message from mailman telling you the details of the list and subscription area password, __please save it__. If you ever should want to leave the list, you will need the information there. See the next section for more details.
How to Unsubscribe from FreeBSD-questions
When you subscribed to FreeBSD-questions, you got a welcome message from mailman. In this message, amongst other things, it told you how to unsubscribe. Here is a typical message:
Welcome to the
freebsd-questions@freebsd.org mailing list!
To post to this list, send your email to: