4. FreeBSD Mailing Lists
Introduction to FreeBSD

A mailing list is an easy way for a group of people to keep in contact about a specific topic. Once you have subscribed to a particular mailing list, you will receive a copy of all the e-mail sent to that list. You will see people's questions as well as the answers. FreeBSD has several mailing lists designed to help people with their questions, to report problems, and to announce new releases.

Sending a question to the appropriate mailing list is an easy way to get a fast, correct answer. Responses come back usually in a couple of hours, but may take just minutes if someone knows the answer and responds immediately. You will not only get answers---you'll get solutions to your problems, because the participants on the list have often had the same experience, and a few of them were probably involved in writing the software in question.

Before you post a question, however, you will want to search the mailing list archives and read the on-line documentation mentioned previously. If you can't find what you are looking for in the documentation, pick the right list, and send the e-mail.

There are several lists available to open subscription. You will probably want to subscribe only to the lists you are actually going to use, and then just send letters to the other lists as the need arises. Otherwise, your message traffic will be unbearable.

You should avoid ``cross-posting''; that is, posting the same question to more than one list. Many of the people who receive your e-mail are members of several lists, and if you cross-post, they'll see your message several times. Pick the list you think the message should go to, and if it's wrong, you will be told, and your message will probably get forwarded for you.

Most likely you will start out subscribing to the freebsd-questions List. All questions pertaining to how to use and run FreeBSD belong on this list.

When writing to the mailing list about a problem, try to include as much information as possible about the system you are using, such as:

  • The version of FreeBSD you are using.

  • Amount of RAM installed

  • Hard drive type and size.

  • Hardware make and model,

  • All other computer configuration stuff related to the problem.

  • Include all error messages exactly as they appear.


Also mention that you have searched the online documentation, and specify which documentation, because they may be able to direct you to something that you haven't looked at yet.

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