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The Debian GNU/Linux FAQ
Chapter 12 - Getting support for Debian GNU/Linux


12.1 What other documentation exists on and for a Debian system?

Note that you may access a lot of documentation on your system by using a WWW browser, through `dwww', `dhelp' or `doccentral' commands, found in respective packages, or by using `yelp'.


12.2 Are there any on-line resources for discussing Debian?

Yes. In fact, the main method of support Debian provides to our users is by the way of e-mail. We'll give some details on that, and mention some other useful resources. Even more resources are listed at the Debian Support webpage.


12.2.1 Mailing lists

There are a lot of Debian-related mailing lists.

On a system with the doc-debian package installed there is a complete list of mailing lists in /usr/share/doc/debian/mailing-lists.txt.

Debian mailing lists are named following the pattern debian-list-subject. Examples are debian-announce, debian-user, debian-news. To subscribe to any list debian-list-subject, send mail to debian-list-subject-request@lists.debian.org with the word "subscribe" in the Subject: header. Be sure to remember to add -request to the e-mail address when using this method to subscribe or unsubscribe. Otherwise your e-mail will go to the list itself, which could be embarrassing or annoying, depending on your point of view.

You can subscribe to mailing lists using the WWW form. You can also un-subscribe using a WWW form.

The list manager's e-mail address is mailto:listmaster@lists.debian.org, in case you have any trouble.

The mailing lists are public forums. All e-mails sent to the lists are also copied to the public archive, for anybody (even non-subscribers) to browse or search. Please make sure you never send any confidential or unlicensed material to the lists. This includes things like e-mail addresses. Of particular note is the fact that spammers have been known to abuse e-mail addresses posted to our mailing lists. See the Mailing Lists Privacy policy for more information.

Archives of the Debian mailing lists are available via WWW at http://lists.debian.org/.


12.2.1.1 What is the code of conduct for the mailing lists?

When using the Debian mailing lists, please follow these rules:


12.2.2 Web forums

debianHELP and Debian User Forums are web forums on which you can submit questions about Debian and have them answered by other users. (These are not officially part of the Debian project.)


12.2.3 Wiki

Solutions to common problems, howto's, guides, tips and other documentation can be found at the constantly changing Debian Wiki.


12.2.4 Maintainers

Users can address questions to individual package maintainers using e-mail. To reach a maintainer of a package called xyz, send e-mail to xyz@packages.debian.org.


12.2.5 Usenet newsgroups

Users should post non-Debian-specific questions to one of the Linux USENET groups, which are named comp.os.linux.* or linux.*. There are several lists of Linux Usenet newsgroups and other related resources on the WWW, e.g. on the Linux Online and LinuxJournal sites.


12.3 Is there a quick way to search for information on Debian GNU/Linux?

There is a variety of search engines that serve documentation related to Debian:


12.4 Are there logs of known bugs?

Reports on unsolved (and closed) issues are publicly available: Debian promissed to do so by stating "We will not hide problems" in the Debian Social Contract.

The Debian GNU/Linux distribution has a bug tracking system (BTS) which files details of bugs reported by users and developers. Each bug is given a number, and is kept on file. Once it has been dealt with, it is marked as such.

Copies of this information are available at http://www.debian.org/Bugs/.

A mail server provides access to the bug tracking system database via e-mail. In order to get the instructions, send an e-mail to request@bugs.debian.org with "help" in the body.


12.5 How do I report a bug in Debian?

If you have found a bug in Debian, please read the instructions for reporting a bug in Debian. These instructions can be obtained in one of several ways:

You can use the package reportbug that will guide you through the reporting process and mail the message to the proper address, with some extra details about your system added automatically. It will also show you a list of bugs already reported to the package you are reporting against in case your bug has been reported previously, so that you can add additional information to the existing bug report.

Expect to get an automatic acknowledgement of your bug report. It will also be automatically given a bug tracking number, entered into the bug log and forwarded to the debian-bugs-dist mailing list.


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The Debian GNU/Linux FAQ

version 5.0.2, 2 June 2013

Authors are listed at Debian FAQ Authors