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<chapt id="support">Getting support for &debian;

<sect id="debiandocs">What other documentation exists on and for a
  Debian system?

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  <item>Installation instructions for the current release:  see
    <url id="">.
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  <item>The Debian GNU/Linux reference covers many aspects of system
   administration through shell-command examples. Basic tutorials, tips, and
   other information are provided for many different topics ranging from 
   system administration to programming.
    <p>Get it from the <package/debian-reference/ package, or at
    <url id="">.
  <item>The Debian Policy manual documents the policy requirements for the
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    distribution, i.e. the structure and contents of the Debian archive,
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    several design issues of the operating system etc. It also includes
    the technical requirements that each package must satisfy to be
    included in the distribution, and documents the basic technical
    aspects of Debian binary and source packages.
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    <p>Get it from the <package/debian-policy/ package, or at
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    <url id="">.
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  <item>Documentation developed by the Debian Documentation Project.
    It is available at <url id=""> and includes
    user guides, administration guides and security guides for the
    Debian GNU/Linux operating system.
  <item>Documentation on installed Debian packages:
    Most packages have files that are unpacked into <tt>/usr/share/doc/PACKAGE</tt>.
  <item>Documentation on the Linux project:
    The Debian package <package/doc-linux/ installs all of the most recent
    versions of the HOWTOs and mini-HOWTOs from the <url name="Linux
    Documentation Project" id="">.
  <item>Unix-style `man' pages:  Most commands have manual pages written in
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    the style of the original Unix 'man' files.  For instance, to see
    the manual page for the command `ls', execute <tt>man ls</tt>.
    Execute <tt>man man</tt> for more information on finding and viewing
    manual pages.
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    <p>New Debian users should note that the 'man' pages of many general
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    system commands are not available until they install these packages:
      <item><tt>man-db</tt>, which contains the <tt>man</tt> program
        itself, and other programs for manipulating the manual pages.
      <item><tt>manpages</tt>, which contains the system manual pages.
        (see <ref id="nonenglish">).
  <item>GNU-style `info' pages:  User documentation for many commands,
    particularly GNU tools, is available not in `man' pages, but in `info'
    files which can be read by the GNU tool <tt>info</tt>, by running
    <tt>M-x info</tt> within GNU Emacs, or with some other Info page viewer.
    <p>Its main advantage over the original `man' pages is that it is
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    a hypertext system.  It does <em>not</em> require the WWW, however;
    <tt>info</tt> can be run from a plain text console.  It was designed
    by Richard Stallman and preceded the WWW.

<p>Note that you may access a lot of documentation on your system by using a
WWW browser, through `dwww', `dhelp' or `doccentral' commands, found in
respective packages, or by using `yelp'.
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<sect id="onlineresources">Are there any on-line resources for discussing

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<p>Yes. In fact, the main method of support Debian provides to our users is by
the way of e-mail.  We'll give some details on that, and mention some other
useful resources.  Even more resources are listed at the <url name="Debian
Support webpage" id="">.
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<sect1>Mailing lists

<p>There are a lot of <url name="Debian-related mailing lists"

<p>On a system with the <package/doc-debian/ package installed there
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is a complete list of mailing lists in

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<p>Debian mailing lists are named following the pattern
debian-<var>list-subject</var>. Examples are debian-announce,
debian-user, debian-news.  To subscribe to any list
debian-<var>list-subject</var>, send mail to
debian-<var>list-subject</var> with the word
"subscribe" in the Subject: header. Be sure to remember to add
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<em>-request</em> to the e-mail address when using this method to
subscribe or unsubscribe. Otherwise your e-mail will go to the
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list itself, which could be embarrassing or annoying, depending on
your point of view.

<p>You can
subscribe to mailing lists using the <url name="WWW form"
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You can also un-subscribe using a <url name="WWW form"
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<p>The list manager's e-mail address is <email/, in
case you have any trouble.

<p>The mailing lists are public forums.  All e-mails sent to the lists are also
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copied to the public archive, for anybody (even non-subscribers) to browse or
search.  Please make sure you never send any confidential or unlicensed
material to the lists. This includes things like e-mail addresses. Of
particular note is the fact that spammers have been known to abuse e-mail
addresses posted to our mailing lists.  See the <url
id="" name="Mailing
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Lists Privacy policy"> for more information.

<p>Archives of the Debian mailing lists are available via WWW at
<url id="">.

<sect2 id="mailinglistconduct">What is the code of conduct for the mailing
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<p>When using the Debian mailing lists, please follow these rules:
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  <item>Do not send spam. See the <url name="Debian mailing list
    advertising policy" id="">.
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  <item>Do not flame; it is not polite. The people developing Debian are
    all volunteers, donating their time, energy and money in an attempt to
    bring the Debian project together.
  <item>Do not use foul language; besides, some people receive the lists
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    via packet radio, where swearing is illegal.
  <item>Make sure that you are using the proper list. <em/Never/ post your
    (un)subscription requests to the mailing list itself.<footnote>Use the
    debian-<var>list-subject</var> address for that.</footnote>
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  <item>See section <ref id="bugreport"> for notes on reporting bugs.

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<sect1>Web forums

<p><url name="debianHELP" id=""> and <url name="Debian
User Forums" id=""> are web forums on which you can
submit questions about Debian and have them answered by other users.  (These
are not officially part of the Debian project.)


<p>Solutions to common problems, howtos, guides, tips and other documentation
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can be found at the constantly changing <url name="Debian Wiki"

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<p>Users can address questions to individual package maintainers using
e-mail. To reach a maintainer of a package called xyz, send e-mail to
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<sect1>Usenet newsgroups

<p>Users should post non-Debian-specific questions to one of the Linux
USENET groups, which are named comp.os.linux.* or linux.*.
There are several lists of Linux Usenet newsgroups and other related
resources on the WWW, e.g. on the <url name="Linux Online"
id=""> and <url name="LinuxJournal"
id=""> sites.
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<sect id="searchtools">Is there a quick way to search for information on

<p>There is a variety of search engines that serve documentation related
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to Debian:
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  <item><url id="" name="Debian WWW search site">.

  <item><url id="" name="Google Groups">: a search
    engine for newsgroups.

    <p>For example, to find out what experiences people have had with
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    finding drivers for NVIDIA graphic cards under Debian, try searching
    the phrase <tt>NVIDIA Linux driver</tt>. This will show you all the
    posts that contain these strings, i.e. those where people discussed
    these topics. If you add <tt>Debian</tt> to those search strings, you'll
    also get the posts specifically related to Debian.
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  <item>Any of the common web spidering engines, such as
    <url id="" name="DuckDuckGo"> or
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    <url id="" name="Google">, as long as you use
    the right search terms.

    <p>For example, searching on the string "evince" gives a more detailed
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    explanation of this package than the brief description field in its
    control file.
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<sect id="buglogs">Are there logs of known bugs?

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<p>Reports on unsolved (and closed) issues are publicly available: Debian
promissed to do so by stating "We will not hide problems" in the <url
id="" name="Debian Social Contract">.

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<p>The &debian; distribution has a bug tracking system (BTS) which files
details of bugs reported by users and developers. Each bug is given a
number, and is kept on file.  Once it has been dealt with, it is marked as such.
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<p>Copies of this information are available at
<url id="">.

<p>A mail server provides access to the bug tracking system database via
e-mail.  In order to get the instructions, send an e-mail to with "help" in the body.

<sect id="bugreport">How do I report a bug in Debian?

<p>If you have found a bug in Debian, please read the instructions for
reporting a bug in Debian.  These instructions can be obtained in one of
several ways:
  <item>From the WWW.  A copy of the instructions is shown at
  <url id="">.
  <item>On any Debian system with the <package/doc-debian/ package installed.
  The instructions are in the file
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  <item>By anonymous FTP.  Debian mirror sites contain the instructions in
  the file <tt>doc/bug-reporting.txt</tt>.
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<p>You can use the package <package/reportbug/ that will guide you
through the reporting process and mail the message to the proper
address, with some extra details about your system added
automatically. It will also show you a list of bugs already reported
to the package you are reporting against in case your bug has been
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reported previously, so that you can add additional information to the
existing bug report.
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<p>Expect to get an automatic acknowledgement of your bug report. It will
also be automatically given a bug tracking number, entered into the bug
log and forwarded to the debian-bugs-dist mailing list.
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