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Board rules

These rules are disclosed to clarify the various responsibilities of all community members here on Debian User Forums. They shall be adhered to by everyone to ensure that our board runs smoothly and provides a fun and productive experience for all of our community members and visitors.

  1. Guidelines

    1. Before you start using Debian User Forums, please observe the following guidelines:
      1. Do not cross post. Posting the same topic in more than one category only creates confusion and makes it hard to keep track on the various replies. Double posts will be locked.
      2. Be descriptive. Use a meaningful headline and try to make your question as clear as possible. Include as much information as possible such as what Debian branch you are using, error messages, what you did that may have caused the problem etc. This greatly increase the chances of getting useful help.
      3. Be patient. Not everyone knows everything and not everyone is online all the time. If you don't get a reply chances are that no one is online that knows the answer at the moment. Do not 'bump' your questions just because there have been a few hours with no reply.
      4. Do not post a reply to obvious SPAM. Please use the report button and a member of the moderation team will attend to the post or user.
      5. Be polite. Remember that the skill level of the forum members ranges from the absolute beginner to the very seasoned Linux user and what might be obvious to you might be very hard to understand for others. It's OK to point someone to other resources or suggest means of learning but do so politely; 'RTFM' has no place on this board.
      6. Do not engage in flame wars. Threads that evolve into flaming will be locked. If you feel attacked; be the better person and ignore it. The moderators are not omnipresent, so if you feel some actions need to be taken please e-mail the moderator team on
      7. Stay on topic. Sometimes threads morph into something completely off topic, this is unavoidable when a bunch of people communicate. However, try to limit the off topic discussions to the off topic category. Long off topic discussions in other categories might get moved or locked.
        Discussions in "Off topic" should still be in the spirit of this board, that is related to Linux/ Computers/ Software etc. Political, religious or racial discussions do not belong on this board.
        Avoid 'thread hijacking'. Unless your question is directly related to the thread's topic, start a new one.
      8. As a rule we do not accept commercial content.
      9. For the benefit of our members and readers, the administration team will be closely monitoring and removing any AI-generated posts which are inaccurate, too wordy, not self-identified as AI, or not directly specific to Debian.
        We do not allow AI or chatbots to interact with members of these forums without express permission.
        We do not allow for any non-human articulated posts.
        We MAY allow the use of AI as a tool to better understand a problem, provided that this use has been clearly stated and introduced as part of the discussion.
        See announcement for more details - viewtopic.php?t=159006
      10. This is primarily a Debian Operating System forum. While we are aware that Debian has many derivatives, some of them vary greatly in how they function, as such, threads about derivatives or other Operating Systems may not find solutions from users here who are based strictly on the Debian O/S. Therefore, those thread requests may be removed or shifted to the offtopic section at the moderators discretion. It may be best to seek solutions for derivatives and other Operating Systems on their own native forums.
      11. The language on this board is primarily English but we do not exclude people with little or no English. When replying to posts in other languages please include an English translation. It's a good idea to help non-English speakers find resources in their language.
        A forum is a means of written communication so make sure your posts are as readable as possible. That means: Use capital letters and punctuation, and use the formatting features of the forum wisely in order to make your post attractive. Try to avoid 'l33t speak', 'chatspeak,' and 'SMS language'.
        There is no need to apologize for poor English skills. We have users from all over the world and trying your best is more than adequate.
      12. Moderators might move your thread to a more suitable category (for instance from 'General Discussion' to 'General Questions'). This is no cause for alarm.
      13. If you feel like your post/ thread has been locked, edited or even removed in error please contact the moderator team via e-mail at
      14. Occasionally we receive requests for account deletions, we are unable to comply with this request as it would massively disrupt existing threads and conversations. Also consider anything posted here (or anywhere for that matter) has already been indexed and copied by search engines. At best we suggest you make up a long gibberish password for your account and after changing it do not log in again.
      15. Moderation

        The following WILL get your post EDITED or REMOVED and may have your account locked:
        -Links to inappropriate websites such as pornography, illegal software downloads, and browser exploits or hijacks

        The following might get your post/thread LOCKED:
        - Flaming/ personal attacks
        - Obvious trolling
        - A thread which has wandered way off topic
        - Cross posting the same thread in multiple areas of the forum

        The following WILL get your post/thread REMOVED and your account warned or banned:
        - Advertising/ Spamming
        - Obvious racist/ sexist/ hateful content
        - Obvious overly political/ religious content
        - Obvious pornographic content

        The following WILL have your account warned and banned:
        - Several direct interactions from the moderation team
        - Being discourteous to other users on a consistent basis
        - Being disruptive on the forums
      16. Summary
        - Please help us by following these guidelines to ensure that the community stays safe and welcome to all.

        Admin and moderator team
  2. Code of conduct

    1. A resolution instituting a Code of Conduct for Debian has been passed by the general membership.

      • Debian Code of Conduct
      Be respectful
      In a project the size of Debian, inevitably there will be people with whom you may disagree, or find it difficult to cooperate. Accept that, but even so, remain respectful. Disagreement is no excuse for poor behaviour or personal attacks, and a community in which people feel threatened is not a healthy community.

      Assume good faith
      Debian Contributors have many ways of reaching our common goal of a free operating system which may differ from your ways. Assume that other people are working towards this goal.

      Note that many of our Contributors are not native English speakers or may have different cultural backgrounds

      Be collaborative
      Debian is a large and complex project; there is always more to learn within Debian. It's good to ask for help when you need it. Similarly, offers for help should be seen in the context of our shared goal of improving Debian.

      When you make something for the benefit of the project, be willing to explain to others how it works, so that they can build on your work to make it even better.

      Try to be concise
      Keep in mind that what you write once will be read by hundreds of persons. Writing a short email means people can understand the conversation as efficiently as possible. When a long explanation is necessary, consider adding a summary.

      Try to bring new arguments to a conversation so that each mail adds something unique to the thread, keeping in mind that the rest of the thread still contains the other messages with arguments that have already been made.

      Try to stay on topic, especially in discussions that are already fairly large.

      Be open
      Most ways of communication used within Debian allow for public and private communication. As per paragraph three of the social contract, you should preferably use public methods of communication for Debian-related messages, unless posting something sensitive.

      This applies to messages for help or Debian-related support, too; not only is a public support request much more likely to result in an answer to your question, it also makes sure that any inadvertent mistakes made by people answering your question will be more easily detected and corrected.

      In case of problems
      While this code of conduct should be adhered to by participants, we recognize that sometimes people may have a bad day, or be unaware of some of the guidelines in this code of conduct. When that happens, you may reply to them and point out this code of conduct. Such messages may be in public or in private, whatever is most appropriate. However, regardless of whether the message is public or not, it should still adhere to the relevant parts of this code of conduct; in particular, it should not be abusive or disrespectful. Assume good faith; it is more likely that participants are unaware of their bad behaviour than that they intentionally try to degrade the quality of the discussion.

      Serious or persistent offenders will be temporarily or permanently banned from communicating through Debian's systems. Complaints should be made (in private) to the administrators of the Debian communication forum in question. To find contact information for these administrators, please see the page on Debian's organizational structure.

      Further reading
      Some of the links in this section do not refer to documents that are part of this code of conduct, nor are they authoritative within Debian. However, they all do contain useful information on how to conduct oneself on our communication channels.

      - Debian has a diversity statement.
      - The Debian Community Guidelines by Enrico Zini contain some advice on how to communicate effectively.
      - The Mailing list code of conduct is useful for advice specific to Debian mailing lists. #
  3. AI Generated Use and Content

    1. For the benefit of our members and readers, the administration team will be closely monitoring and removing any AI-generated posts which are inaccurate, too wordy, not self-identified as AI, or not directly specific to Debian.

      We do not allow AI or chatbots to interact with members of these forums without express permission.

      We do not allow for any non-human articulated posts.

      We MAY allow the use of AI as a tool to better understand a problem, provided that this use has been clearly stated and introduced as part of the discussion.

      We do not allow the use of these forums as a dataset or testing bed for AI nor for their engines to relentlessly crawl the forums in excess of 100+ sessions (600 the other day as a matter of fact) which slow the forum down for our actual users. We consider such crawling to be DDoS attacks. In response we no longer send emails to the abuse@ addresses but lookup the provider resource and block their entire ranges. These forums are a human resource and not a data resource. Persons or organizations are encouraged to reach out the administration staff prior to evoking a swath of machines on this resource.

      - What is the concern here?

      We are finding AI bots or accounts using AI generated content offer questionable understanding of the topics, with poor and misleading advice. Most AI instances do not properly cite sources which would, at least, partially allow for the verification of the information. It is generally expected when giving advice or with second hand material that unknowns and caveats are clearly expressed.
      For a relatable example we have a sub-forum set aside here that is specifically designated for the testing branch of Debian. Advice from the testing and bleeding edge of software should never be mixed with or frame advice given to a beginner. AI lacking understanding of this distinction will provide advanced and untested solutions to users asking questions with potentially disastrous results. #