The rapid pace of FreeBSD progress makes print media impractical as a means of following the latest developments. Electronic resources are the best, if not often the only, way stay informed of the latest advances. Since FreeBSD is a volunteer effort, the user community itself also generally serves as a ``technical support department'' of sorts, with electronic mail and USENET news being the most effective way of reaching that community.
The most important points of contact with the FreeBSD user community are outlined below. If you are aware of other resources not mentioned here, please send them to the FreeBSD documentation project mailing list so that they may also be included.
Though many of the FreeBSD development members read USENET, we cannot always guarantee that we will get to your questions in a timely fashion (or at all) if you post them only to one of the comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.* groups. By addressing your questions to the appropriate mailing list you will reach both us and a concentrated FreeBSD audience, invariably assuring a better (or at least faster) response.
The charters for the various lists are given at the bottom of this document. Please read the charter before joining or sending mail to any list. Most of our list subscribers now receive many hundreds of FreeBSD related messages every day, and by setting down charters and rules for proper use we are striving to keep the signal-to-noise ratio of the lists high. To do less would see the mailing lists ultimately fail as an effective communications medium for the project.
Archives are kept for all of the mailing lists and can be searched using the FreeBSD World Wide Web server. The keyword searchable archive offers an excellent way of finding answers to frequently asked questions and should be consulted before posting a question.
General lists: The following are general lists which anyone is free (and encouraged) to join:
|cvs-all||Changes made to the FreeBSD source tree|
|freebsd-announce||Important events and project milestones|
|freebsd-arch||Architecture and design discussions|
|freebsd-bugbusters||Discussions pertaining to the maintenance of the FreeBSD problem report database and related tools|
|freebsd-chat||Non-technical items related to the FreeBSD community|
|freebsd-config||Development of FreeBSD installation and configuration tools|
|freebsd-current||Discussion concerning the use of FreeBSD-CURRENT|
|freebsd-isp||Issues for Internet Service Providers using FreeBSD|
|freebsd-jobs||FreeBSD employment and consulting opportunities|
|freebsd-newbies||New FreeBSD users activities and discussions|
|freebsd-policy||FreeBSD Core team policy decisions. Low volume, and read-only|
|freebsd-questions||User questions and technical support|
|freebsd-stable||Discussion concerning the use of FreeBSD-STABLE|
|freebsd-test||Where to send your test messages instead of one of the actual lists|
Technical lists: The following lists are for technical discussion. You should read the charter for each list carefully before joining or sending mail to one as there are firm guidelines for their use and content.
|freebsd-afs||Porting AFS to FreeBSD|
|freebsd-aic7xxx||Developing drivers for the Adaptec® AIC 7xxx|
|freebsd-alpha||Porting FreeBSD to the Alpha|
|freebsd-amd64||Porting FreeBSD to AMD64 systems|
|freebsd-arm||Porting FreeBSD to ARM® processors|
|freebsd-atm||Using ATM networking with FreeBSD|
|freebsd-audit||Source code audit project|
|freebsd-binup||Design and development of the binary update system|
|freebsd-cluster||Using FreeBSD in a clustered environment|
|freebsd-database||Discussing database use and development under FreeBSD|
|freebsd-doc||Creating FreeBSD related documents|
|freebsd-emulation||Emulation of other systems such as Linux/DOS/Windows®|
|freebsd-firewire||FreeBSD FireWire® (iLink, IEEE 1394) technical discussion|
|freebsd-gnome||Porting GNOME and GNOME applications|
|freebsd-hackers||General technical discussion|
|freebsd-hardware||General discussion of hardware for running FreeBSD|
|freebsd-ia32||FreeBSD on the IA-32 (Intel® x86) platform|
|freebsd-ia64||Porting FreeBSD to Intel's upcoming IA64 systems|
|freebsd-ipfw||Technical discussion concerning the redesign of the IP firewall code|
|freebsd-java||Java™ developers and people porting JDK™s to FreeBSD|
|freebsd-kde||Porting KDE and KDE applications|
|freebsd-lfs||Porting LFS to FreeBSD|
|freebsd-libh||The second generation installation and package system|
|freebsd-mips||Porting FreeBSD to MIPS®|
|freebsd-mobile||Discussions about mobile computing|
|freebsd-mozilla||Porting Mozilla to FreeBSD|
|freebsd-new-bus||Technical discussions about bus architecture|
|freebsd-net||Networking discussion and TCP/IP source code|
|freebsd-openoffice||Porting OpenOffice.org and StarOffice™ to FreeBSD|
|freebsd-performance||Performance tuning questions for high performance/load installations|
|freebsd-platforms||Concerning ports to non-Intel architecture platforms|
|freebsd-ports||Discussion of the ports collection|
|freebsd-ports-bugs||Discussion of the ports bugs/PRs|
|freebsd-ppc||Porting FreeBSD to the PowerPC®|
|freebsd-qa||Discussion of Quality Assurance, usually pending a release|
|freebsd-realtime||Development of realtime extensions to FreeBSD|
|freebsd-scsi||The SCSI subsystem|
|freebsd-security||Security issues affecting FreeBSD|
|freebsd-small||Using FreeBSD in embedded applications|
|freebsd-smp||Design discussions for [A]Symmetric MultiProcessing|
|freebsd-sparc64||Porting FreeBSD to Sparc® based systems|
|freebsd-standards||FreeBSD's conformance to the C99 and the POSIX® standards|
|freebsd-threads||Threading in FreeBSD|
|freebsd-testing||FreeBSD Performance and Stability Tests|
|freebsd-tokenring||Support Token Ring in FreeBSD|
Limited lists: The following lists are for more specialized (and demanding) audiences and are probably not of interest to the general public. It is also a good idea to establish a presence in the technical lists before joining one of these limited lists so that you will understand the communications etiquette involved.
|freebsd-hubs||People running mirror sites (infrastructural support)|
|freebsd-user-groups||User group coordination|
|freebsd-vendors||Vendors pre-release coordination|
|freebsd-www||Maintainers of www.FreeBSD.org|
Digest lists: All of the above lists are available in a digest format. Once subscribed to a list, you can change your digest options in your account options section.
CVS lists: The following lists are for people interested in seeing the log messages for changes to various areas of the source tree. They are Read-Only lists and should not have mail sent to them.
|List||Source area||Area Description (source for)|
|cvs-all||/usr/(CVSROOT|doc|ports|projects|src)||All changes to any place in the tree (superset of other cvs commit lists)|
|cvs-doc||/usr/doc||All changes to the doc tree|
|cvs-ports||/usr/ports||All changes to the ports tree|
|cvs-projects||/usr/projects||All changes to the projects tree|
|cvs-src||/usr/src||All changes to the src tree|
To subscribe to a list, click on the list name above or go to http://lists.FreeBSD.org/mailman/listinfo and click on the list that you are interested in. The list page should contain all of the necessary subscription instructions.
To actually post to a given list you simply send mail to <listname@FreeBSD.org>. It will then be redistributed to mailing list members world-wide.
To unsubscribe yourself from a list, click on the URL found at the bottom of every email received from the list. It is also possible to send an email to freebsd-[listname][email protected] to unsubscribe yourself.
Again, we would like to request that you keep discussion in the technical mailing lists on a technical track. If you are only interested in important announcements then it is suggested that you join the FreeBSD announcements mailing list, which is intended only for infrequent traffic.
All FreeBSD mailing lists have certain basic rules which must be adhered to by anyone using them. Failure to comply with these guidelines will result in two (2) written warnings from the FreeBSD Postmaster <[email protected]>, after which, on a third offense, the poster will removed from all FreeBSD mailing lists and filtered from further posting to them. We regret that such rules and measures are necessary at all, but today's Internet is a pretty harsh environment, it would seem, and many fail to appreciate just how fragile some of its mechanisms are.
Rules of the road:
The topic of any posting should adhere to the basic charter of the list it is posted to, e.g. if the list is about technical issues then your posting should contain technical discussion. Ongoing irrelevant chatter or flaming only detracts from the value of the mailing list for everyone on it and will not be tolerated. For free-form discussion on no particular topic, the FreeBSD chat mailing list is freely available and should be used instead.
No posting should be made to more than 2 mailing lists, and only to 2 when a clear and obvious need to post to both lists exists. For most lists, there is already a great deal of subscriber overlap and except for the most esoteric mixes (say ``-stable & -scsi''), there really is no reason to post to more than one list at a time. If a message is sent to you in such a way that multiple mailing lists appear on the Cc line then the Cc line should also be trimmed before sending it out again. You are still responsible for your own cross-postings, no matter who the originator might have been.
Personal attacks and profanity (in the context of an argument) are not allowed, and that includes users and developers alike. Gross breaches of netiquette, like excerpting or reposting private mail when permission to do so was not and would not be forthcoming, are frowned upon but not specifically enforced. However, there are also very few cases where such content would fit within the charter of a list and it would therefore probably rate a warning (or ban) on that basis alone.
Advertising of non-FreeBSD related products or services is strictly prohibited and will result in an immediate ban if it is clear that the offender is advertising by spam.
Individual list charters:
Andrew File System
This list is for discussion on porting and using AFS from CMU/Transarc
Important events / milestones
This is the mailing list for people interested only in occasional announcements of significant FreeBSD events. This includes announcements about snapshots and other releases. It contains announcements of new FreeBSD capabilities. It may contain calls for volunteers etc. This is a low volume, strictly moderated mailing list.
Architecture and design discussions
This list is for discussion of the FreeBSD architecture. Messages will mostly be kept strictly technical in nature. Examples of suitable topics are:
How to re-vamp the build system to have several customized builds running at the same time.
What needs to be fixed with VFS to make Heidemann layers work.
How do we change the device driver interface to be able to use the same drivers cleanly on many buses and architectures.
How to write a network driver.
Source code audit project
This is the mailing list for the FreeBSD source code audit project. Although this was originally intended for security-related changes, its charter has been expanded to review any code changes.
This list is very heavy on patches, and is probably of no interest to the average FreeBSD user. Security discussions not related to a particular code change are held on freebsd-security. Conversely, all developers are encouraged to send their patches here for review, especially if they touch a part of the system where a bug may adversely affect the integrity of the system.
FreeBSD Binary Update Project
This list exists to provide discussion for the binary update system, or binup. Design issues, implementation details, patches, bug reports, status reports, feature requests, commit logs, and all other things related to binup are fair game.
Coordination of the Problem Report handling effort
The purpose of this list is to serve as a coordination and discussion forum for the Bugmeister, his Bugbusters, and any other parties who have a genuine interest in the PR database. This list is not for discussions about specific bugs, patches or PRs.
Non technical items related to the FreeBSD community
This list contains the overflow from the other lists about non-technical, social information. It includes discussion about whether Jordan looks like a toon ferret or not, whether or not to type in capitals, who is drinking too much coffee, where the best beer is brewed, who is brewing beer in their basement, and so on. Occasional announcements of important events (such as upcoming parties, weddings, births, new jobs, etc) can be made to the technical lists, but the follow ups should be directed to this -chat list.
FreeBSD core team
This is an internal mailing list for use by the core members. Messages can be sent to it when a serious FreeBSD-related matter requires arbitration or high-level scrutiny.
Discussions about the use of FreeBSD-CURRENT
This is the mailing list for users of FreeBSD-CURRENT. It includes warnings about new features coming out in -CURRENT that will affect the users, and instructions on steps that must be taken to remain -CURRENT. Anyone running ``CURRENT'' must subscribe to this list. This is a technical mailing list for which strictly technical content is expected.
FreeBSD CVSweb Project
Technical discussions about use, development and maintenance of FreeBSD-CVSweb.
This mailing list is for the discussion of issues and projects related to the creation of documentation for FreeBSD. The members of this mailing list are collectively referred to as ``The FreeBSD Documentation Project''. It is an open list; feel free to join and contribute!
FireWire (iLink, IEEE 1394)
This is a mailing list for discussion of the design and implementation of a FireWire (aka IEEE 1394 aka iLink) subsystem for FreeBSD. Relevant topics specifically include the standards, bus devices and their protocols, adapter boards/cards/chips sets, and the architecture and implementation of code for their proper support.
Discussions concerning FreeBSD file systems. This is a technical mailing list for which strictly technical content is expected.
Discussions concerning The GNOME Desktop Environment for FreeBSD systems. This is a technical mailing list for which strictly technical content is expected.
This is the forum for technical discussions concerning the redesign of the IP firewall code in FreeBSD. This is a technical mailing list for which strictly technical content is expected.
Porting FreeBSD to IA64
This is a technical mailing list for individuals actively working on porting FreeBSD to the IA-64 platform from Intel, to bring up problems or discuss alternative solutions. Individuals interested in following the technical discussion are also welcome.
This is the mailing list for people discussing the development of ISDN support for FreeBSD.
This is the mailing list for people discussing the development of significant Java applications for FreeBSD and the porting and maintenance of JDKs.
Discussions concerning KDE on FreeBSD systems. This is a technical mailing list for which strictly technical content is expected.
This is a forum for technical discussions related to FreeBSD. This is the primary technical mailing list. It is for individuals actively working on FreeBSD, to bring up problems or discuss alternative solutions. Individuals interested in following the technical discussion are also welcome. This is a technical mailing list for which strictly technical content is expected.
General discussion of FreeBSD hardware
General discussion about the types of hardware that FreeBSD runs on, various problems and suggestions concerning what to buy or avoid.
Announcements and discussion for people who run FreeBSD mirror sites.
Issues for Internet Service Providers
This mailing list is for discussing topics relevant to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) using FreeBSD. This is a technical mailing list for which strictly technical content is expected.
Newbies activities discussion
We cover any of the activities of newbies that are not already dealt with elsewhere, including: independent learning and problem solving techniques, finding and using resources and asking for help elsewhere, how to use mailing lists and which lists to use, general chat, making mistakes, boasting, sharing ideas, stories, moral (but not technical) support, and taking an active part in the FreeBSD community. We take our problems and support questions to freebsd-questions, and use freebsd-newbies to meet others who are doing the same things that we do as newbies.
Discussions concerning the porting and maintenance of OpenOffice.org and StarOffice.
Discussions about tuning or speeding up FreeBSD
This mailing list exists to provide a place for hackers, administrators, and/or concerned parties to discuss performance related topics pertaining to FreeBSD. Acceptable topics includes talking about FreeBSD installations that are either under high load, are experiencing performance problems, or are pushing the limits of FreeBSD. Concerned parties that are willing to work toward improving the performance of FreeBSD are highly encouraged to subscribe to this list. This is a highly technical list ideally suited for experienced FreeBSD users, hackers, or administrators interested in keeping FreeBSD fast, robust, and scalable. This list is not a question-and-answer list that replaces reading through documentation, but it is a place to make contributions or inquire about unanswered performance related topics.
Porting to Non Intel platforms
Cross-platform FreeBSD issues, general discussion and proposals for non Intel FreeBSD ports. This is a technical mailing list for which strictly technical content is expected.
Core team policy decisions
This is a low volume, read-only mailing list for FreeBSD Core Team Policy decisions.
Discussion of ``ports''
Discussions concerning FreeBSD's ``ports collection'' (/usr/ports), ports infrastructure, and general ports coordination efforts. This is a technical mailing list for which strictly technical content is expected.
Discussion of ``ports'' bugs
Discussions concerning problem reports for FreeBSD's ``ports collection'' (/usr/ports), proposed ports, or modifications to ports. This is a technical mailing list for which strictly technical content is expected.
This is the mailing list for questions about FreeBSD. You should not send ``how to'' questions to the technical lists unless you consider the question to be pretty technical.
This is the mailing list for people working on the SCSI subsystem for FreeBSD. This is a technical mailing list for which strictly technical content is expected.
FreeBSD computer security issues (DES, Kerberos, known security holes and fixes, etc). This is a technical mailing list for which strictly technical discussion is expected. Note that this is not a question-and-answer list, but that contributions (BOTH question AND answer) to the FAQ are welcome.
Notifications of FreeBSD security problems and fixes. This is not a discussion list. The discussion list is FreeBSD-security.
Using FreeBSD in embedded applications
This list discusses topics related to unusually small and embedded FreeBSD installations. This is a technical mailing list for which strictly technical content is expected.
Discussions about the use of FreeBSD-STABLE
This is the mailing list for users of FreeBSD-STABLE. It includes warnings about new features coming out in -STABLE that will affect the users, and instructions on steps that must be taken to remain -STABLE. Anyone running ``STABLE'' should subscribe to this list. This is a technical mailing list for which strictly technical content is expected.
C99 & POSIX Conformance
This is a forum for technical discussions related to FreeBSD Conformance to the C99 and the POSIX standards.
User Group Coordination List
This is the mailing list for the coordinators from each of the local area Users Groups to discuss matters with each other and a designated individual from the Core Team. This mail list should be limited to meeting synopsis and coordination of projects that span User Groups.
Coordination discussions between The FreeBSD Project and Vendors of software and hardware for FreeBSD.
The FreeBSD mailing lists are filtered in multiple ways to avoid the distribution of spam, viruses, and other unwanted emails. The filtering actions described in this section do not include all those used to protect the mailing lists.
Only certain types of attachments are allowed on the mailing lists. All attachments with a MIME content type not found in the list below will be stripped before an email is distributed on the mailing lists.
Note: Some of the mailing lists might allow attachments of other MIME content types, but the above list should be applicable for most of the mailing lists.
If an email contains both an HTML and a plain text version, the HTML version will be removed. If an email contains only an HTML version, it will be converted to plain text.
This, and other documents, can be downloaded from ftp://ftp.FreeBSD.org/pub/FreeBSD/doc/.
For questions about FreeBSD, read the documentation before contacting <[email protected]>.
For questions about this documentation, e-mail <[email protected]>.