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This is the FAQ for the FreeBSD mailing lists. If you are interested in helping with this project, send email to the {freebsd-doc}. The latest version of this document is always available from the link:.[FreeBSD World Wide Web server]. It may also be downloaded as one large link:.[HTML] file with HTTP or as plain text, PostScript, PDF, etc. from the https://download.freebsd.org/ftp/doc/[FreeBSD FTP server]. You may also want to link:https://www.FreeBSD.org/search/[Search the FAQ].
This document attempts to represent a community consensus, and as such it can never really be __authoritative__. However, if you find technical errors within this document, or have suggestions about items that should be added, please either submit a PR, or email the {freebsd-doc}. Thanks.
This depends on charter of each individual list. Some lists are more oriented to developers; some are more oriented towards the FreeBSD community as a whole. Please see http://lists.FreeBSD.org/mailman/listinfo[this list] for the current summary.
You can use http://lists.FreeBSD.org/mailman/listinfo[the Mailman web interface] to subscribe to any of the public lists.
Yes. Threaded archives are available http://docs.FreeBSD.org/mail/[here].
Yes. See http://lists.FreeBSD.org/mailman/listinfo[the Mailman web interface].
You have already taken the most important step by reading this document. However, if you are new to FreeBSD, you may first need to familiarize yourself with the software, and all the social history around it, by reading the numerous link:https://www.FreeBSD.org/docs/books/[books and articles] that are available. Items of particular interest include the link:{faq}[FreeBSD Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)] document, the link:{handbook}[FreeBSD Handbook], and the articles link:{freebsd-questions-article}[How to get best results from the FreeBSD-questions mailing list], link:{explaining-bsd}[Explaining BSD], and link:{new-users}[FreeBSD First Steps].
Please use an appropriate human language for a particular mailing list. Many non-English mailing lists are link:https://www.FreeBSD.org/community/mailinglists/[available].
Please use a standards-compliant Mail User Agent (MUA). A lot of badly formatted messages come from http://www.lemis.com/grog/email/email.php[bad mailers or badly configured mailers]. The following mailers are known to send out badly formatted messages without you finding out about them:
Microsoft(R) Exchange
Microsoft(R) Outlook(R)
Try not to use MIME: a lot of people use mailers which do not get on very well with MIME.
A lot of the information you need to supply is the output of programs, such as man:dmesg[8], or console messages, which usually appear in [.filename]#/var/log/messages#. Do not try to copy this information by typing it in again; not only it is a real pain, but you are bound to make a mistake. To send log file contents, either make a copy of the file and use an editor to trim the information to what is relevant, or cut and paste into your message. For the output of programs like `dmesg`, redirect the output to a file and include that. For example,
% dmesg > /tmp/dmesg.out
This redirects the information to the file [.filename]#/tmp/dmesg.out#.
When using cut-and-paste, please be aware that some such operations badly mangle their messages. This is of particular concern when posting contents of [.filename]#Makefiles#, where `tab` is a significant character. This is a very common, and very annoying, problem with submissions to the link:https://www.FreeBSD.org/support/[Problem Reports database]. [.filename]#Makefiles# with tabs changed to either spaces, or the annoying `=3B` escape sequence, create a great deal of aggravation for committers.
Use some technique to identify which text came from the original message, and which text you add. A common convention is to prepend "`>`" to the original message. Leaving white space after the "`>`" and leaving empty lines between your text and the original text both make the result more readable.
Please do not `top post`. By this, we mean that if you are replying to a message, please put your replies after the text that you copy in your reply.
Literally, a `bikeshed` is a small outdoor shelter into which one may store one's two-wheeled form of transportation. However, in FreeBSD parlance, the term refers to topics that are simple enough that (nearly) anyone can offer an opinion about, and often (nearly) everyone does. The genesis of this term is explained in more detail link:{faq}#bikeshed-painting[in this document]. You simply must have a working knowledge of this concept before posting to any FreeBSD mailing list.
`{grog}`