Support

Documentation

Before searching for support from someone else, it's usually good to try to find an answer to your problem yourself. That way you will usually get the answers you need, and even if you don't, the experience of reading the documentation will likely be useful for you in the future.

There is a fair amount of documentation available in Debian — please refer to the Debian documentation web page.

Known problems

Limitations and severe problems of the current stable distribution (if any) are described on the release pages.

Pay particular attention to the release notes and the errata.

Wiki

Solutions to common problems, howto's, guides, tips and other documentation can be found at the Debian Wiki. Like all wikis, this wiki is constantly changing and we welcome your edits.

Mailing lists

Debian is developed through distributed development all around the world. Therefore e-mail is a preferred way to discuss various items. Much of the conversation between Debian developers and users is managed through several mailing lists.

There are several publicly available mailing lists. For more information, see Debian mailing lists page.

For user support in English, please contact the debian-user mailing list.

For user support in other languages, please check the mailing lists index for users.

There are of course many other mailing lists, dedicated to some aspect of the vast Linux ecosystem, which are not Debian-specific. Use your favorite search engine to find the most suitable list for your purpose.

Usenet newsgroups

A lot of our mailing lists can be browsed as newsgroups, in the linux.debian.* hierarchy. This can also be done using a web interface such as Google Groups or Gmane.

There are also a couple of proper newsgroups available that are related to GNU/Linux. Despite the fact they're not specific to Debian, they can still provide Debian users with a lot of information.

comp.os.linux.hardware
Hardware-related discussions
comp.os.linux.m68k
About the Linux running on the Motorola 680x0 processor.
comp.os.linux.setup
Setup and configuration of Linux systems
comp.os.linux.networking
Networking related topics.
comp.os.linux.x
Using the X Window System on Linux computers
comp.os.linux.misc
Miscellaneous topics. A catch-all group.

Please refer to this index for a more thorough list of related newsgroups.

Web sites

Forums

debianHELP and Debian User Forums are web portals on which you can discuss Debian-related topics, submit questions about Debian, and have them answered by other users.

Question & Answer

ask.debian.net is a web-based Question and Answer support system on which you can submit questions and have them answered by other members. A vote-based reputation system is also provided, enabling ranking of user-provided content.

Other web resources

Debian-Administration.org provides tips and resources for Debian system administrators.

Helpful links about Unix:

Reaching Package Maintainers

There are two ways of reaching package maintainers. If you need to contact the maintainer because of a bug, simply file a bug report (see the Bug Tracking System section below). The maintainer will get a copy of the bug report.

If you simply want to communicate with the maintainer, then you can use the special mail aliases set up for each package. Any mail sent to <package name>@packages.debian.org will be forwarded to the maintainer responsible for that package.

The Bug Tracking System

The Debian distribution has a bug tracking system which details bugs reported by users and developers. Each bug is given a number, and is kept on file until it is marked as having been dealt with.

To report a bug, you can use one of the bug pages listed below, or you can use the Debian package reportbug to automatically file a bug report.

Information on submitting bugs, viewing the currently active bugs, and the bug tracking system in general can be found at the bug tracking system web pages.

Consultants

Debian is free software and offers free help through mailing lists. Some people either don't have the time or have specialized needs and are willing to hire someone to maintain or add additional functionality to their Debian system. See the consultants page for a list of people/companies.

On-line Real Time Help Using IRC

IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is a way to chat with people from all over the world in real time. IRC channels dedicated to Debian can be found on OFTC.

To connect, you need an IRC client. Some of the most popular clients are XChat, ircII, irssi, epic5 and KVIrc, all of which have been packaged for Debian. Once you have the client installed, you need to tell it to connect to the server. In most clients, you can do that by typing:

/server irc.debian.org

Once you are connected, join channel #debian by typing

/join #debian

Note: clients like XChat often have a different, graphical user interface for joining servers/channels.

At this point you will find yourself among the friendly crowd of #debian inhabitants. You're welcome to ask questions about Debian there. You can find the channel's faq at https://wiki.debian.org/DebianIRC.

There's a number of other IRC networks where you can chat about Debian, too. One of the more prominent ones is the freenode IRC network at chat.freenode.net.

Other support resources

Check the related links.