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Specify as much information as possible. This is a difficult area, and we need to expand on what information you need to submit, but here is a start:
In nearly every case, it is important to know the version of FreeBSD you are running. This is particularly the case for FreeBSD-CURRENT, where you should also specify the date of the sources, though of course you should not be sending questions about -CURRENT to FreeBSD-questions.
With any problem which <emphasis>could</emphasis> be hardware related, tell us about your hardware. In case of doubt, assume it is possible that it is hardware. What kind of CPU are you using? How fast? What motherboard? How much memory? What peripherals?
There is a judgement call here, of course, but the output of the <citerefentry><refentrytitle>dmesg</refentrytitle><manvolnum>8</manvolnum></citerefentry> command can frequently be very useful, since it tells not just what hardware you are running, but what version of FreeBSD as well.
If you get error messages, do not say <quote>I get error messages</quote>, say (for example) <quote>I get the error message 'No route to host'</quote>.
If your system panics, do not say <quote>My system panicked</quote>, say (for example) <quote>my system panicked with the message 'free vnode isn't'</quote>.
If you have difficulty installing FreeBSD, please tell us what hardware you have. In particular, it is important to know the IRQs and I/O addresses of the boards installed in your machine.
If you have difficulty getting PPP to run, describe the configuration. Which version of PPP do you use? What kind of authentication do you have? Do you have a static or dynamic IP address? What kind of messages do you get in the log file?
A lot of the information you need to supply is the output of programs, such as <citerefentry><refentrytitle>dmesg</refentrytitle><manvolnum>8</manvolnum></citerefentry>, or console messages, which usually appear in <filename>/var/log/messages</filename>. Do not try to copy this information by typing it in again; it is a real pain, and 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 <citerefentry><refentrytitle>dmesg</refentrytitle><manvolnum>8</manvolnum></citerefentry>, redirect the output to a file and include that. For example,
<prompt>%</prompt> <userinput>dmesg &gt; /tmp/dmesg.out</userinput>
This redirects the information to the file <filename>/tmp/dmesg.out</filename>.
If you do all this, and you still do not get an answer, there could be other reasons. For example, the problem is so complicated that nobody knows the answer, or the person who does know the answer was offline. If you do not get an answer after, say, a week, it might help to re-send the message. If you do not get an answer to your second message, though, you are probably not going to get one from this forum. Resending the same message again and again will only make you unpopular.
To summarize, let's assume you know the answer to the following question (yes, it is the same one in each case). You choose which of these two questions you would be more prepared to answer:
Message 1
Subject: HELP!!?!??
I just can't get hits damn silly FereBSD system to
workd, and Im really good at this tsuff, but I have never seen
anythign sho difficult to install, it jst wont work whatever I try
so why don't you guys tell me what I doing wrong.
Message 2
Subject: Problems installing FreeBSD

I've just got the FreeBSD 2.1.5 CDROM from Walnut Creek, and I'm having a lot
of difficulty installing it. I have a 66 MHz 486 with 16 MB of
memory and an Adaptec 1540A SCSI board, a 1.2GB Quantum Fireball
disk and a Toshiba 3501XA CDROM drive. The installation works just
fine, but when I try to reboot the system, I get the message
<quote>Missing Operating System</quote>.
How to Follow up to a Question
Often you will want to send in additional information to a question you have already sent. The best way to do this is to reply to your original message. This has three advantages:
You include the original message text, so people will know what you are talking about. Do not forget to trim unnecessary text out, though.
The text in the subject line stays the same (you did remember to put one in, did you not?). Many mailers will sort messages by subject. This helps group messages together.
The message reference numbers in the header will refer to the previous message. Some mailers, such as <link xlink:href="http://www.mutt.org/">mutt</link>, can <emphasis>thread</emphasis> messages, showing the exact relationships between the messages.
How to Answer a Question
Before you answer a question to FreeBSD-questions, consider:
A lot of the points on submitting questions also apply to answering questions. Read them.
Has somebody already answered the question? The easiest way to check this is to sort your incoming mail by subject: then (hopefully) you will see the question followed by any answers, all together.
If somebody has already answered it, it does not automatically mean that you should not send another answer. But it makes sense to read all the other answers first.
Do you have something to contribute beyond what has already been said? In general, <quote>Yeah, me too</quote> answers do not help much, although there are exceptions, like when somebody is describing a problem they are having, and they do not know whether it is their fault or whether there is something wrong with the hardware or software. If you do send a <quote>me too</quote> answer, you should also include any further relevant information.
Are you sure you understand the question? Very frequently, the person who asks the question is confused or does not express themselves very well. Even with the best understanding of the system, it is easy to send a reply which does not answer the question. This does not help: you will leave the person who submitted the question more frustrated or confused than ever. If nobody else answers, and you are not too sure either, you can always ask for more information.
Are you sure your answer is correct? If not, wait a day or so. If nobody else comes up with a better answer, you can still reply and say, for example, <quote>I do not know if this is correct, but since nobody else has replied, why don't you try replacing your ATAPI CDROM with a frog?</quote>.
Unless there is a good reason to do otherwise, reply to the sender and to FreeBSD-questions. Many people on the FreeBSD-questions are <quote>lurkers</quote>: they learn by reading messages sent and replied to by others. If you take a message which is of general interest off the list, you are depriving these people of their information. Be careful with group replies; lots of people send messages with hundreds of CCs. If this is the case, be sure to trim the Cc: lines appropriately.

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Source information

Source string comment
(itstool) path: example/title
Flags
read-only
Source string location
article.translate.xml:477
String age
a year ago
Source string age
a year ago
Translation file
articles/freebsd-questions.pot, string 72