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Frequently Asked Questions About The FreeBSD Mailing Lists
<personname><surname>The FreeBSD Documentation Project</surname></personname>
<year>2004</year> <year>2005</year> <holder>The FreeBSD Documentation Project</holder>
$FreeBSD: head/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/mailing-list-faq/article.xml 51998 2018-07-12 22:45:00Z jgh $
This is the FAQ for the FreeBSD mailing lists. If you are interested in helping with this project, send email to the <link xlink:href="http://lists.FreeBSD.org/mailman/listinfo/freebsd-doc">FreeBSD documentation project mailing list</link>. The latest version of this document is always available from the <link xlink:href="https://www.FreeBSD.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/mailing-list-faq/index.html">FreeBSD World Wide Web server</link>. It may also be downloaded as one large <link xlink:href="article.html">HTML</link> file with HTTP or as plain text, PostScript, PDF, etc. from the <link xlink:href="https://download.freebsd.org/ftp/doc/">FreeBSD FTP server</link>. You may also want to <link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/search/index.html">Search the FAQ</link>.
Introduction
As is usual with FAQs, this document aims to cover the most frequently asked questions concerning the FreeBSD mailing lists (and of course answer them!). Although originally intended to reduce bandwidth and avoid the same old questions being asked over and over again, FAQs have become recognized as valuable information resources.
This document attempts to represent a community consensus, and as such it can never really be <emphasis>authoritative</emphasis>. 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 <link xlink:href="http://lists.FreeBSD.org/mailman/listinfo/freebsd-doc">FreeBSD documentation project mailing list</link>. Thanks.
What is the purpose of the FreeBSD mailing lists?
The FreeBSD mailing lists serve as the primary communication channels for the FreeBSD community, covering many different topic areas and communities of interest.
Who is the audience for the FreeBSD mailing lists?
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 <link xlink:href="http://lists.FreeBSD.org/mailman/listinfo">this list</link> for the current summary.
Are the FreeBSD mailing lists open for anyone to participate?
Again, this depends on charter of each individual list. Please read the charter of a mailing list before you post to it, and respect it when you post. This will help everyone to have a better experience with the lists.
If after reading the above lists, you still do not know which mailing list to post a question to, you will probably want to post to freebsd-questions (but see below, first).
Also note that the mailing lists have traditionally been open to postings from non-subscribers. This has been a deliberate choice, to help make joining the FreeBSD community an easier process, and to encourage open sharing of ideas. However, due to past abuse by some individuals, certain lists now have a policy where postings from non-subscribers must be manually screened to ensure that they are appropriate.
How can I subscribe?
You can use <link xlink:href="http://lists.FreeBSD.org/mailman/listinfo"> the Mailman web interface</link> to subscribe to any of the public lists.
How can I unsubscribe?
You can use the same interface as above; or, you can follow the instructions that are at the bottom of every mailing list message that is sent.
Please do not send unsubscribe messages directly to the public lists themselves. First, this will not accomplish your goal, and second, it will irritate the existing subscribers, and you will probably get flamed. This is a classical mistake when using mailing lists; please try to avoid it.
Are archives available?
Yes. Threaded archives are available <link xlink:href="http://docs.FreeBSD.org/mail/">here</link>.
Are mailing lists available in a digest format?
Yes. See <link xlink:href="http://lists.FreeBSD.org/mailman/listinfo"> the Mailman web interface</link>.
Mailing List Etiquette
Participation in the mailing lists, like participation in any community, requires a common basis for communication. Please make only appropriate postings, and follow common rules of etiquette.
What should I do before I post?
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 xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/docs/books.html">books and articles</link> that are available. Items of particular interest include the <link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/faq/index.html"> FreeBSD Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)</link> document, the <link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/index.html"> FreeBSD Handbook</link>, and the articles <link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/freebsd-questions/article.html"> How to get best results from the FreeBSD-questions mailing list</link>, <link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/explaining-bsd/article.html"> Explaining BSD</link>, and <link xlink:href="@@URL_RELPREFIX@@/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/new-users/article.html"> FreeBSD First Steps</link>.
It is always considered bad form to ask a question that is already answered in the above documents. This is not because the volunteers who work on this project are particularly mean people, but after a certain number of times answering the same questions over and over again, frustration begins to set in. This is particularly true if there is an existing answer to the question that is already available. Always keep in mind that almost all of the work done on FreeBSD is done by volunteers, and that we are only human.

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