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Set of FAQs for kernelnewbies mailing list

If you are new to this list please read this page before you go on your quest for squeezing all the knowledge from fellow members. For more details on how to ask good question, please read ESR's Smart Questions

What is this mailing list about?

This list is a list for budding kernel hackers, so the idea is to ask queries which are mostly related to Linux Kernel, directly and sometimes indirectly. This site is not a homework help site, so please refrain asking your assignment questions directly. However if you have a relevant doubt which is related to kernel please do ask, but after reading all the text below.

What should be asked?

Questions related to:

1. Linux kernel subsystems.

2. Linux kernel modules.

3. Kernel compilation.

4. Sometimes question related to the kernel Code, which you are not able to understand because you are unfamiliar with the syntax.

5. Relevant utilities like git, build tools like gcc et al, patch, kermit etc; But ensure you are not deviating too much from central theme of this list.

6. Kernel coding style/standard.

7. Issues related to the GPL in the kernel.

How to ask

1. Use a descriptive headline

"hi", "help" and generic headlines are shooting offences. Not only are these headlines annoying, but they waste a lot of time and precious computing power. These headlines will lower your chances of getting correct answer, you will be ignored, and you may loose credibility on the mailing list.

2. Give relevant information about your question

a. Since you have already given description of your problem, now its time to assist others with the details of the problem at hand.

b. The kernel is complex beast, give references to what you are really asking about(File name, Function name, Line number, etc.).

c. A code snippet is the best thing to include. This shows that you have really dug into the code and you know what you are asking.

d. Give details of what you have tried and where you are really stuck. This makes life easy for everyone.

e. Anything else like including logs, test results, coredumps are a great idea.

3. When to ask questions?

This is most relevant part of this entire process. If you master this art, you will be the _winner_ of this mailing list. First ask yourself "have you really done your own bits?" what comprises of doing your own bits? Have you read the relevant texts or man pages? Have you used a search engine? Have you checked the mailing list archive at http://lists.kernelnewbies.org/pipermail/kernelnewbies/

FAQs: kernel newbies has its own FAQ: http://kernelnewbies.org/FAQ.

Kernel Documentation: You can find a lot of useful reading inside the kernel/Documentation directory of the kernel source.

4. What to keep in mind, while posting on kernel newbie mailing list?

1. "Be polite", that means not just the language or keywords, but in the attitude.

2. Pay attention to the Netiquette: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netiquette.

3. Please do not TOP POST. On almost all open source mailing list top-posting is considered RUDE. Don't know what TOP POSTing is?


4. Learn a bit about hacker culture! How does that help? Well, since most people on kernel newbies are developers, or wannabe developers, they derive their ways of problem solving in similar fashion. That will give you a cultural insight on how most open source projects work.

5. State your point and argument correctly but remember there are chances that the people on the list know more than you. Ensure you make a valid argument.

6. Don't add noise to list by replying to irrelevant posts. Resist temptation for off-topic discussion.

7. Nobody gets too upset about grammar on this list. Just make sure you try to write a good e-mail; One that is legible and makes sense.

What not to do?

1. My manager want me to develop driver for the superslicksuperawesomeDevice and I have no clue about Linux, can you guys help me? BIG BLOODY NO. Before jumping here please "lurk more", this mailing list is not some kind of code churning machine.

2. I want to be uber leet Kernel Haxor in 20 days, Please help me. It takes years of hard work and dedication to learn kernel coding, so be patient and follow the process. You will improve slowly and community can help you only when you do it in the right way.

3. cn i use ths lngo: Bloody hell no, use proper words. We are not grammar nazis. We are fine with bad spellings, but undecipherable text makes it hard to read. Use of good abbreviations is encouraged, as pointed out previously please read about hacker culture. It will help you in learning these kind of things.

4. I want a job in kernel Programming please help. This is not really a job portal or job training list. It's meant for learning kernel coding, and how you use that learning is totally up to you. We encourage you to take up this profession but this is not the right place to talk about your job needs.

5. How does C work? This is definitely not the right place for such queries. There are mailing lists dedicated to do that. It's expected that you have good grasp of C.

6. Hey this device driver doesn't work on my totalcluessArch, help. Please refrain from asking very arch specific/board specific questions on this mailing list, there are dedicated mailing list for these kinds of issue. But you can ask some basic level questions, which are good for everyone. However be a bit more intelligent while asking such questions. If you are hacking such stuff you should be intelligent enough to really decide "what to really ask?".

7. Please do not use HTML format mail. Use plain text mails. HTML mail does not serve any purpose on this mailing list and there are chances a lot of people will filter them out.

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last edited 2013-01-08 15:28:23 by anuz