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Chapter 27. Resources on the Internet

Table of Contents
27.1. Mailing lists
27.2. Usenet newsgroups
27.3. World Wide Web servers
27.4. Email Addresses
27.5. Shell Accounts

Contributed by Jordan K. Hubbard .

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.

27.1. Mailing lists

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.

27.1.1. List summary

General lists: The following are general lists which anyone is free (and encouraged) to join:

List Purpose
freebsd-advocacy FreeBSD Evangelism
freebsd-announce Important events and project milestones
freebsd-bugs Bug reports
freebsd-chat Non-technical items related to the FreeBSD community
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

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.

List Purpose
freebsd-afs Porting AFS to FreeBSD
freebsd-alpha Porting FreeBSD to the Alpha
freebsd-doc Creating FreeBSD related documents
freebsd-database Discussing database use and development under FreeBSD
freebsd-emulation Emulation of other systems such as Linux/DOS/Windows
freebsd-fs Filesystems
freebsd-hackers General technical discussion
freebsd-hardware General discussion of hardware for running FreeBSD
freebsd-ipfw Technical discussion concerning the redesign of the IP firewall code
freebsd-isdn ISDN developers
freebsd-java Java developers and people porting JDKs to FreeBSD
freebsd-mobile Discussions about mobile computing
freebsd-mozilla Porting mozilla to FreeBSD
freebsd-net Networking discussion and TCP/IP/source code
freebsd-platforms Concerning ports to non-Intel architecture platforms
freebsd-ports Discussion of the ports collection
freebsd-scsi The SCSI subsystem
freebsd-security Security issues
freebsd-small Using FreeBSD in embedded applications
freebsd-smp Design discussions for [A]Symmetric MultiProcessing
freebsd-sparc Porting FreeBSD to Sparc systems
freebsd-tokenring Support Token Ring in FreeBSD

Limited lists: The following lists require approval from to join, though anyone is free to send messages to them which fall within the scope of their charters. It is also a good idea establish a presence in the technical lists before asking to join one of these limited lists.

List Purpose
freebsd-admin Administrative issues
freebsd-arch Architecture and design discussions
freebsd-core FreeBSD core team
freebsd-hubs People running mirror sites (infrastructural support)
freebsd-install Installation development
freebsd-security-notifications Security notifications
freebsd-user-groups User group coordination

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/src All changes to the tree (superset)

27.1.2. How to subscribe

All mailing lists live on FreeBSD.org, so to post to a given list you simply mail to <listname@FreeBSD.org>. It will then be redistributed to mailing list members world-wide.

To subscribe to a list, send mail to and include

    subscribe <listname> [<optional address>]
in the body of your message. For example, to subscribe yourself to freebsd-announce, you'd do:
    % mail majordomo@FreeBSD.org
    subscribe freebsd-announce
    ^D

If you want to subscribe yourself under a different name, or submit a subscription request for a local mailing list (this is more efficient if you have several interested parties at one site, and highly appreciated by us!), you would do something like:

    % mail majordomo@FreeBSD.org
    subscribe freebsd-announce local-announce@somesite.com
    ^D

Finally, it is also possible to unsubscribe yourself from a list, get a list of other list members or see the list of mailing lists again by sending other types of control messages to majordomo. For a complete list of available commands, do this:

    % mail majordomo@FreeBSD.org
    help
    ^D

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 the ``high points'' then it is suggested that you join freebsd-announce, which is intended only for infrequent traffic.

27.1.3. List charters

AllFreeBSD 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 , 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:

FREEBSD-AFS

Andrew File System

This list is for discussion on porting and using AFS from CMU/Transarc

FREEBSD-ADMIN

Administrative issues

This list is purely for discussion of FreeBSD.org related issues and to report problems or abuse of project resources. It is a closed list, though anyone may report a problem (with our systems!) to it.

FREEBSD-ANNOUNCE

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.

FREEBSD-ARCH

Architecture and design discussions

This is a moderated list for discussion of FreeBSD architecture. Messages will mostly be kept technical in nature, with (rare) exceptions for other messages the moderator deems need to reach all the subscribers of the list. Examples of suitable topics;

  • 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 ame drivers cleanly on many buses and architectures?

  • How do I write a network driver?

The moderator reserves the right to do minor editing (spell-checking, grammar correction, trimming) of messages that are posted to the list. The volume of the list will be kept low, which may involve having to delay topics until an active discussion has been resolved.

FREEBSD-BUGS

Bug reports

This is the mailing list for reporting bugs in FreeBSD Whenever possible, bugs should be submitted using the send-pr(1) command or the WEB interface to it.

FREEBSD-CHAT

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

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.

FREEBSD-CURRENT

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-CURRENT-DIGEST

Discussions about the use of FreeBSD-current

This is the digest version of the freebsd-current mailing list. The digest consists of all messages sent to freebsd-current bundled together and mailed out as a single message. The average digest size is about 40kB. This list is Read-Only and should not be posted to.

FREEBSD-DOC

Documentation project

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!

FREEBSD-FS

Filesystems

Discussions concerning FreeBSD filesystems. This is a technical mailing list for which strictly technical content is expected.

FREEBSD-IPFW

IP Firewall

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.

FREEBSD-ISDN

ISDN Communications

This is the mailing list for people discussing the development of ISDN support for FreeBSD.

FREEBSD-JAVA

Java Development

This is the mailing list for people discussing the development of significant Java applications for FreeBSD and the porting and maintenance of JDKs.

FREEBSD-HACKERS

Technical discussions

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.

FREEBSD-HACKERS-DIGEST

Technical discussions

This is the digest version of the freebsd-hackers mailing list. The digest consists of all messages sent to freebsd-hackers bundled together and mailed out as a single message. The average digest size is about 40kB. This list is Read-Only and should not be posted to.

FREEBSD-HARDWARE

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.

FREEBSD-INSTALL

Installation discussion

This mailing list is for discussing FreeBSD installation development for the future releases and is closed.

FREEBSD-ISP

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.

FREEBSD-NEWBIES

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.

FREEBSD-PLATFORMS

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.

FREEBSD-POLICY

Core team policy decisions

This is a low volume, read-only mailing list for FreeBSD Core Team Policy decisions.

FREEBSD-PORTS

Discussion of ``ports''

Discussions concerning FreeBSD's ``ports collection'' (/usr/ports), proposed ports, modifications to ports collection infrastructure and general coordination efforts. This is a technical mailing list for which strictly technical content is expected.

FREEBSD-QUESTIONS

User questions

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.

FREEBSD-QUESTIONS-DIGEST

User questions

This is the digest version of the freebsd-questions mailing list. The digest consists of all messages sent to freebsd-questions bundled together and mailed out as a single message. The average digest size is about 40kB.

FREEBSD-SCSI

SCSI subsystem

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-SECURITY

Security issues

FreeBSD computer security issues (DES, Kerberos, known security holes and fixes, etc). This is a technical mailing list for which strictly technical content is expected.

FREEBSD-SECURITY-NOTIFICATIONS

Security Notifications Notifications of FreeBSD security problems and fixes. This is not a discussion list. The discussion list is FreeBSD-security.

FREEBSD-SMALL

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.

FREEBSD-STABLE

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.

FREEBSD-USER-GROUPS

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. It is a closed list.