Code of conduct
The Arch community is a technical community whose shared purpose is to support and enhance Arch Linux.
Arch Linux is a community-driven distribution; the developers, support staff and people who provide assistance in the various fora all do so in their own time, motivated by a shared desire to provide a minimal base system that can be configured by an individual to suit their specific requirements. The code of conduct here has been developed over a number of years and reflects the community's ethos of a functional support system with a high signal-to-noise ratio and an explicit expectation of self-sufficiency, willingness to learn and contribution.
Familiarising yourself with the principles and guidelines here is both a courtesy to the community and an effective way of making your initial interactions with other Arch Linux users mutually beneficial.
Common sense introduction
- If you choose to use the Arch Linux distribution, you are welcomed, and encouraged to embrace the Arch Linux principles.
- When asking for help, read the manual, do your research and provide details for those you are asking for assistance.
- When offering help, be as patient and tactful as possible.
Arch is a community of volunteers. Rather than providing a complicated pattern of balanced freedoms and restrictions, as well as the time, resources and personnel required to interpret and administer such rules, we have chosen a simple principle to embrace for the benefit of all. Therefore, this entire document may be condensed into one simple admonition:
Proactively seek to give of yourself and to bring only benefit to your peers and community.
Code of conduct
The minimum necessary standards when interacting with others in the Arch Linux community comprise four main points. In addition to those points, there are guidelines specific to each of the community fora; the #Forums, #Wiki, #IRC, #Mailing lists, #AUR and #Bug tracker.
Respect other users
Arch Linux is a respectful, inclusive community. Anti-social or offensive behaviour will not be tolerated. Simply put, treat others as you would be treated; respect them and their views, even if you disagree with them. When you do find yourself disagreeing; counter the idea or the argument, rather than engage in ad hominem attacks.
Respect other operating systems and projects
Maligning other FOSS projects or distributions, or any other operating systems and their users is prohibited. The entire Arch team is happy to volunteer their time and energy to provide you with the Arch Linux distribution, documentation and forums. Kindly show respect toward the volunteers, users and communities of other projects, distributions and operating systems as well. Views, experiences and opinions are always welcome, but unproductive slander is not.
Respect the staff
Support staff have been chosen for their ability to exercise consistently good judgement and shall have the final say. Note that Arch Linux is not run as a democracy. The staff shall always attempt to implement universally peaceful solutions, but in the end, are charged with the responsibility of maintaining peaceful, civil order for the majority of the community. Therefore, they cannot always please everyone with the decisions made. Please do your part to contribute to a healthy community and environment.
A "troll" is a person who misuses their forum freedoms to intentionally disrupt, cause controversy, incite an argument, and/or receive negative attention by deliberately posting provocative content. The term may also be used as a verb, to refer to the act of posting such content, or as a noun, to refer the content itself.
Trolls can be deceitful and frequently use indirect expressions of hostility through ambivalence and implicit messages as a method of covertly insulting, intimidating, or inciting a person or persons for their own sadistic pleasure. They often pick their words very carefully and are therefore able to defend their masked attempts at creating unrest, redirecting the blame onto the community and its supposed failure to understand them properly. Trolling is strictly prohibited.
Do not flame
Flaming, in the most common sense definition, is directing negative, disrespectful, and/or insulting comments toward someone. An equally or more negative response, resulting in a cycling exchange of insults is often the consequence. Flaming fellow members (including the Arch team) will not be tolerated. Please avoid personal insults and sarcastic or patronizing language. Discussions can be productive, but quarreling is always destructive.
If an interpersonal issue arises, please be open-minded to the possibility that your behavior or intent, actual or perceived, may have contributed to the problem. Arch Linux users are encouraged to cultivate self awareness and remain peaceable toward their peers. Taking responsibility for our actions is often a good first step toward a peaceful reconciliation.
Please limit your fora membership to one account only. Having multiple accounts is an unnecessary use of resources. Further, it may be interpreted as trolling behavior.
Any form of sockpuppetry or impersonation is strictly prohibited.
Criminal solicitation is strictly forbidden in this community. In this context, "criminal solicitation" shall mean, "To actively or implicitly facilitate, incite, move, or persuade others to some act of lawlessness or illegal activity."
Therefore do not post discussions which demonstrate, or link to, criminal solicitation in any form. This includes, but is not limited to information or links to facilitate illegal drug use, theft, network intrusion, creation of code for malicious purposes, prohibited software copying, prohibited use of copyrighted/patented material, so-called "warez", or sites which provide torrents or links to such content. Illegal content shall be removed swiftly and dealt with in full accordance with known applicable law.
Spamming is forbidden. Please alert staff to the presence of spam should you encounter it. Offending spam accounts and associated IP addresses will be banned. Do not reply to spam posts as it increases the amount of work required to clean them up.
Publicity, if it is related to Arch (as a project or community) or GNU/Linux/FOSS, will usually be allowed. Promoting web-invites, blog posts or commercial promotions are actively discouraged, or outright prohibited. Registering just to promote your issue/cause, FOSS-related or not, treats the community as a resource and is not acceptable; if unsure about the appropriateness of your content, contact the support staff before posting. Also be aware that posting shortened/obscured links is a technique of spammers and deliberately inhibits the communities ability to judge the propriety of the link. Therefore, please only post links that include a clear destination.
The Arch Linux community value technical correctness. When seeking or giving help, remember to strive for accuracy, completeness and correctness. An excellent introduction to the expectations of the Arch community is ESR's How To Ask Questions The Smart Way.
Other considerations in this category include:
Arch Linux distribution support ONLY
Arch-based distributions have their own support fora and users of those distributions should be actively encouraged to seek support there. These distributions often use different packages, package versions, repositories, or make custom system configurations silently, practically rendering support for such projects within Arch Linux impossible. Community technical support shall only be provided for the Arch Linux distribution and the Arch User Repository. Posting issues with, and requesting support for, derivative distributions or operating systems other than Arch Linux are prohibited.
Rants and complaints are actively discouraged. This type of content is much better suited to a blog or other personal web space and is considered undesirable in the Arch community. Your contributions should be open, productive and inviting to all participants. Also see Respect other operating systems and projects.
Avoid controversy/controversial topics
There is no explicit list of topics considered to be "trollish", controversial or provocative, but in the past, posts pertaining to Religion, Sports, Race, Nationalism and Politics have invariably been closed. Therefore, specifically avoid these and all divisive topics in the Arch community. The staff certainly realize that such issues are deeply ingrained human realities. However, this is a technical community and is not intended nor able to effectively facilitate such commentary nor the resulting unrest.
Ineffective discussion ("bikeshed")
Discussions stating the equivalent of "there is a problem with the Arch system and methodology, we need to discuss it" (sometimes referred to as "bikeshedding") have been repeatedly proven ineffective and inflammatory and will usually be closed down after a warning from the support staff. Arch is a Do It Yourself community. If you have identified a systemic issue, find a solution that works for you, implement it, then post.
Furthermore, questioning or discussing the methods used by the Arch Linux development team will be monitored closely and locked or removed if deemed unhelpful and/or unproductive. Harsh, unproductive criticism is also uncalled for.
If you have a question regarding Arch development, please ensure that your topic poses a specific question and be open-minded to responses. If possible, provide a solution or partial solution. Submitting code and patches for discussion is always more pragmatic than asking others to do it for you.
Liberty is the state of being unencumbered by oppressive authority, whereas freedom is the ability to demonstrate self determination. Therefore, we must all sacrifice a small degree of liberty in order to enjoy certain freedoms. While the free and open exchange of assistance, speech, ideas and opinions is highly regarded and encouraged in the Arch community, it must be noted that the freedom granted to participants is not unbounded; rather, it is relative freedom. It co-exists, along with the entire Arch Linux distribution, within the boundaries of the above guidelines and principles. Complaints of censorship or intolerance are therefore baseless and unfounded, since this necessary framework must simultaneously provide reasonable limitations. To illustrate, we are aware of the physical laws which govern energy and matter, yet we do not complain of their oppression. Instead, we recognize that such laws are essential for our welfare. Likewise, the Arch community's high standards reflected in these guidelines regulate community freedom for the common good and protection of all. The key, then, to true freedom in this community is to cultivate benevolence toward others and to harmonize our attitude with the Arch Way by bringing only benefits to our peers. This allows members to satisfy all contributive impulses without aggravating themselves or encroaching on the freedom of others. Embracing the above principles and obeying the guidelines therefore benefits the entire community by providing freedom from the disorder and other oppressive, harmful and negative consequences of a more chaotic approach.
Specific fora guidelines
In addition to the common code, each of the fora has its own specific guidelines summarized in the following subsections.
Guidelines specific to the Arch forums.
How to post
- Choose clear, informative subjects. This is more likely to elicit response from experienced users who have knowledge about that particular topic. It also makes the topic easy to reference and find in forum searches by future users with similar problems. Further, avoid extraneous phrases such as [HELP!], [URGENT], etc.
- A sincere effort to use modest and proper language and grammar is a sign of respect toward the community that will certainly be appreciated and is quite likely to elicit positive responses. Please refrain from using so-called "textspeak", "netspeak", "leetspeak" and all other forms of internet slang.
- When asking questions, provide as much information as possible, including error messages, terminal output, logs, what you have previously tried, what documentation and searches you have attempted, and related configuration files.
- Choose one topic per thread. Long threads are typically discouraged in the technical issue subforums.
- Post your question in only one subforum; pick the most relevant, and post there.
- Do not post tutorials or "how to's": documentation belongs in the wiki, where it can be maintained.
- When responding to an existing thread, always read the original post and attempt to focus on the original topic.
- Finally, when a solution is found, mark your thread as solved by editing the first post and prepending the tag [SOLVED] to the title in the "Subject" field.
Note that you should avoid using [CLOSED], which is instead used by the system to mark a thread which is no longer accessible for new posts.
- If a thread is marked as [SOLVED], do not reply stating the equivalent of "I am having a similar issue.."; start a new thread and link to the [SOLVED] thread, if relevant.
Pasting pictures and code
LC_ALL=C to posted commands so that the output will be in English. Do not post full screen pictures; use links to the images instead, optionally with thumbnails. Any image with dimensions greater than 250×250px or over 50 KiB in size will be removed. Do not post screenshots of text output; post the actual text.
Life is a two-way street
A simple, yet profound and undeniable truth. Ensure your thread includes details and information that others will find useful. Share your findings with the community. Share your failures as well. Posting the equivalent of "Nevermind, I fixed it." in your thread or deleting your own posts for similar reasons is not only selfish and useless to the community, but a complete waste of resources and everyone's time. Also, demanding help or showing an obvious impatience toward getting it is unwanted here. Arch is provided by a community of volunteers. Arch users are strongly encouraged to do research, make an effort, report back in the thread, help others, get involved, and contribute to the community.
Please do not be a "help vampire".
Product recommendation requests
Threads seeking advice about computer product recommendations are discouraged. Such topics, like the technology they discuss, quickly become obsolete and are unlikely to provide any lasting benefit to the wider community. You are expected to be able to do your own research and draw your own conclusions about which product best suits your individual requirements.
Do your part to keep the forums tidy. As the wiki is where Arch is documented, posting in old threads ("necrobumping") is generally discouraged in the technical issue subforums, since it can potentially create disjointed "zombie" information; outdated posts with data which is no longer relevant due to Arch's rolling nature, combined with more recent posts reflecting more current circumstance.
Rules of thumb:
- If you have a question, start a new thread and link to the old if relevant. You can also report the old thread so staff can close it.
- If you have something to add and judge that your information is related, but more up-to-date, start a new thread and link to the old if desired, but avoid duplicating effort by posting information already contained in the Arch wiki.
- If you have a version-agnostic or corresponding solution, necrobumping may be appropriate if the thread is not more than a year or two old.
No power-posting/empty posts
Power-posting is best described as posting empty and worthless messages. It is not tolerated. People may have two reasons to do this: to increase their post count meaninglessly, or to lend support to an idea as if it were a vote. Examples of power-posting include, but are not limited to, replying with "+1", "lol", "me too", "I agree", or ":)".
When posting or replying to messages, make sure you have something to say. These empty posts clutter up threads and discussion, invalidate the 'Show New Posts' function, and waste bandwidth and server space.
Threads that degenerate into a series of "+1/-1" or "me too/I agree/I disagree" will be locked. Individual power posts may also be deleted.
Posting a single word or useless message (bumping) to attract attention to your thread is not allowed. Do your own research, continue to troubleshoot, post the results, and be patient with the community. If people are reading your thread without answering or offering help, you may try supplying more details, or ask to be pointed in the right direction. Often, the reason for posts remaining unanswered is due in large part to the sparse details in the original post itself, or, the obvious availability of solutions in the wiki, on the forum or on the web, and the community's unwillingness to point out the obvious.
Cross-posting is posting the same question multiple times in different subfora (for example, posting in both Newbie Corner and Installation), or posting slight variants of the question in the same or different subfora . This is a waste of resources and is not permitted. Any cross-posted topic will be immediately locked and marked for deletion.
Thread hijacking is the process of replying to an existing thread with a different topic. This is generally discouraged. It is better to start a new thread if you have a problem that is related to an existing posted issue but clearly different. Posts that hijack a serious thread with off-topic discussion are also discouraged.
Dustbin policy (marked for deletion)
Threads that are locked/closed because they are either already documented on the boards or Wiki or are inconsistent with the Arch Way will be moved to Dust/troll-bin. After a period of five days, the thread will be eligible for deletion at the discretion of the staff. The Moderator responsible will clearly mark the thread as "Binned" or "For deletion."
There is never an excuse for top posting. Please, do not.
Only quote the necessary elements from a previous email. Bulk quoting quickly bloats threads and reduces the legibility while simultaneously increasing the cognitive load on the entire list. Prune all of the redundant material and just reply to the relevant quoted material.
Plain text is the Unix and email standard. HTML is unnecessary and, for those using command line clients, unwelcome. Please keep your line lengths reasonable: 72 characters is considered the default to wrap at.
The official language of the #archlinux channel is English. If you need help in another language, search international arch channels.
- The main topic of #archlinux is support for and discussion about Arch Linux. General conversation on software and hardware is allowed so long as it does not interfere with the main topic of discussion. If you are asked to take something to another channel or private message you should do so.
- Read the channel topic on a regular basis with
/topic. It often contains important information.
- There is only one official channel bot.
phrik!~archbot@archlinux/bot/phrik. Do not spam bot commands and limit your usage to things that are helpful. If you want to bring your own bot into any Arch Linux channel, ask the operators before doing so.
- Do not flood the channel with text. This includes ASCII art, bot commands and error logs.
- Use a paste bin to share something longer than three lines.
program &> program-output.txtin combination with pastebin clients can ease this step.
- If you want to try out bot commands or look through the help function, then do it in a
/query phrik help command.
- Use a paste bin to share something longer than three lines.
- Auto-response in channel or in private message is not allowed with a single exception for away responses at nick highlights in a private message.
- Do not ask whether anyone is alive or uses your software, just state your question.
- Do not demand help; ask for it. Wait patiently for a few minutes before restating questions. Most questions get answered by 'just another user', like you.
- When asking for help, always reply to people that ask you for more information, if you do not know the answer then say so.
Guidelines for the wiki can be found in:
If the staff in any of the fora considers that a member's behavior is unacceptable and warrants intervention, a warning will typically be issued unless the occurrence is judged to be especially flagrant, in which case a ban may be issued immediately. Warnings will not be discussed on the Arch Forums, IRC channels, or mailing lists by the staff. If the warning goes unheeded, further action will be taken. This may range from locking the offending user account, to deletion or banning of the user, out of consideration for a peaceful forum and community. Actions are usually conducted on a case-by-case basis.
Each of the fora has an appeal process and if someone feels they were unjustly dealt with, they are encouraged to plead their case for reinstatement through the appropriate channel (see below).
Contacting the staff
If you feel that an egregious oversight has been made, or if you need to alert the staff of any abusive behavior, there are a number of ways you can ask for assistance or redress. These include: