Do not edit this page without discussing any changes with the Ubuntu IRC council who maintain this page.
Ubuntu IRC channels are growing fast, and keeping a pleasant atmosphere has been the main cause of them becoming such an attractive place to both new and experienced users. The Ubuntu IRC operators do lots of work to keep channels friendly and people happy, but this is made possible by adhering to a specific set of rules. Please also be aware that Ubuntu channels are logged, many officially and all of them unofficially by individual users, and the contents of all channels are considered to be in the public domain.
General channel guidelines
These guidelines do not cover every single aspect of the Ubuntu channels' etiquette. Specific practices are encouraged and discouraged, according to these guidelines' intent as well as to practical channel needs. Recommendations from channel operators, including those stored in the channel bots, should be followed.
The Code of Conduct should always be obeyed
- This one should not need further explanation, the Code of Conduct forms the basics of the pleasant atmosphere in Ubuntu. Being nice to each other, being cooperative and respecting each other is a must.
Don't flood the channel with messages
Sending many messages in a short amount of time is called "flooding" the channel. Flooding the channel disrupts all conversations. Please don't do it. If you want to show large texts, such as errors, use the pastebin and post the URL to the paste instead.
Don't cross post your question
- Each Ubuntu channel has distinct topic ranging from general Ubuntu chat, to specific Ubuntu technologies. Ask your question in the channel that is most relevant to your query. Don't post in multiple Ubuntu channels or in channels with unrelated topics. To check a channels topic, type "/topic" into your IRC client.
Don't use public away messages
- Some clients have the ability to announce when you are "away" from the IRC client, and also when you come back. Some clients can also be configured to change your IRC nick-name when away and back. If your client has such an option, please ensure that it is disabled, or at least disabled in the Ubuntu IRC channels. Imagine every one of the hundreds (or thousands) of people in each channel doing that. It's not a pretty sight. Changing your nick to user-away is frowned upon. If you want to set away do it silently with "/away Reason" then when someone uses your name they are told you are away and the channel is not disturbed. On that same thread, you shouldn't spam support channels with the music you are playing currently. It generates noise that's not useful to a help channel. Check the social channel (Usually listed in the channel topic) instead.
How to ask for help in the channel
This is a little HowTo that explains how to get the best out of your experience looking for help.
Time to ask
- The time of day at which you ask will influence who reads the question. People may not have an answer to your question right away, so please be patient.
Don't repeat your question every few minutes
- In a support channel, lots of people are asking questions. We do our best to answer them all but are not all knowing. If you don't get answers immediately, please wait a before asking again. If it's busy, wait even longer. If no one answers, don't get mad, maybe no one who is around right now knows.
Most Ubuntu channels have an infobot for assistance. It responds to requests both in channel and in private. Usually these requests are distinguished from other messages by them beginning with an exclamation mark. You can also suggest new items to be added to these bots by sending the bot a private message with the text (but please check if it already exists first!). Please do not abuse our bots. Trying to add silly items (including spam), or calling lots of triggers quickly is considered to be abuse. If you ignore warnings to stop, you may be excluded from channels. More info about Ubuntu bots can be found on their wikipage.
Don't abuse the !ops trigger
The !ops trigger is used for call all the channel operators. This trigger is only to be used in case of channel abuse (flooding, trolling etc...). Abusing this trigger for other things will annoy the channel operators and is considered bot abuse. If you do it repeatedly, you may be removed from the channel.
Respect the channel's language
All Ubuntu Core Channels are English language channels. There are Ubuntu channels in other languages. If you speak in a channel with a different language you will be asked to join a channel for your language. The infobot has triggers like !es for Spanish, !nl for Dutch, !fr for French and so on. Please ask the user to speak in the correct language before firing one of these triggers at them.
Language and Subject
- All Ubuntu IRC channels are visited by people whose ages vary, and whose tolerances of language and subject choice vary equally as much. Please be considerate of everyone and keep all the Ubuntu IRC channels friendly places for everyone. This means that you should avoid any language which may be considered offensive, including acronyms and obfuscation of such language. Support channels are usually very busy places, and we prefer them strictly for support only.
For general chatter you can visit our social channels, but please be aware that there are limits to behaviour and subjects in there also. When using any Ubuntu IRC channel, please take care of your topic choice. Some topics are controversial and often end in fighting. Some examples of touchy subjects are war, race, religion, politics, gender, sexuality, drugs, potentially illegal activities and suicide. Discussions on these subjects regularly upset people, so please be aware and drop a discussion if you are asked. Our offtopic channels are designed to be places where people can be in company of others while talking about subjects that they enjoy. We realize that many of us enjoy figuring out computer problems, but we respectfully ask that if a conversation is turning into something that you would more likely see in our support channels, that you bring it there instead. That said, if someone asks you to move your support conversation into one of our support channels, please do so.
This is not a blanket ban on any and all mention of these topics, however common sense is compulsory. Please be respectful and take the discussion elsewhere if someone takes exception. Please always adhere to Freenode Policy when you join any channels.)
Don't be annoying
- Flooding, away messages, repeating yourself, CTCP messages, and bot abuse are not the only ways you can be annoying. Personal attacks when things don't go as planned, other attention-seeking behaviour, and continued misbehaving after you have been asked to stop is disruptive and obnoxious. Such behaviour may result in a removal from the channel.
When helping: be helpful
Ubuntu IRC channels welcome any help, but we do ask you to stay as helpful as possible. If you get stuck, then please say so, instead of guessing; someone else will step up and continue. There is heaps of information available on the wiki, in the infobot, and at other places. Try to familiarize yourself with that information. Telling people to "RTFM" or to "just google it" is not very polite. Ideally, you should find them a link, or at least give them some directions to documentation they can use. Please use official Ubuntu documentation (help.ubuntu.com or wiki.ubuntu.com) wherever possible. Try to avoid outdated resources, such as from previous releases, or possibly wrong information such as for other distributions. While we encourage everyone to offer Ubuntu support to other users, the channel operators will try to ensure that the advice given is sound and safe, and they will use their best judgement to ensure that the channel as a whole follows the recommendations of developers, official support staff and ultimately the Ubuntu Technical Board. Please also read the more comprehensive guide for supporters.
Please don't bring bots
- Ubuntu already provides bots for channel logging, for help, and factoid related queries - there really is no need for more bots. If you think another bot would be helpful, contact the channel operators first.
Please don't enable talking scripts
This includes "!seen" scripts. Can you imagine if just five or six people had one of these scripts enabled against ! and someone called it? That's half a dozen lines of spam which is just not needed. Please "/msg nickserv info <nick>" instead if you want a similar network-wide service.
Here are several common questions that get asked time and again
Common Questions that get asked time and again on IRC, they may save you frustration and time if you check it out.
The operators of the Ubuntu IRC channels have all signed the Ubuntu Code of Conduct. Most of them are also Ubuntu Members, which means they are active contributors to Ubuntu and the Ubuntu community. This however does not mean they stand above others. They do their best to keep Ubuntu IRC channels a friendly place, but they're also human so they make mistakes. If you disagree with the decision of an operator, then talk to that operator about it in a polite manner. Cursing and swearing will not help, so please don't do that. If talking to the operator personally does not give you a solution you like, you are more than welcome to join the operators channel.
In #ubuntu-ops you will be able to publicly discuss your matter regarding any of the Ubuntu Core channels with other Ubuntu IRC operators. Please join this channel for conflict escalation/resolution and not other channels. The people in other channels cannot and will not help you. If no other operators are available, you can contact the IRC Council via the irc-council mailinglist.
- The #ubuntu-irc channel is similar to the #ubuntu-ops channel, except that it is for discussing issues relating to any channels relating to the recognised Ubuntu derivatives that are not core channels. This may include discussing bans or other matters relating to IRC.
Further information on raising issues "up the chain" can be found on the appeal process page. This also explains how to pass the issue to the Ubuntu Community Council. You should make full, unedited logs available of anything you don't agree with. Most of the main Ubuntu IRC channels are publicly logged and so you do not need to create your own logs of those channels. So far, this measure has been needed in less than a handful of instances, which is a good indication that simply talking to operators will work.
Guidelines for logged channels
Also note that the use of our IRC channels implies the acceptance of the Ubuntu IRC Terms of Service, please read that document before participating in the main, publicly logged, IRC channels.
Ubuntu Core Channel Guidelines
Don't ask for operator privileges
Whenever a Core IRC channel needs new operators, the Ubuntu IRC Council will ask the community to nominate themselves for positions as described by the operator requirements page. Please don't ask to become an operator or get upset if you're turned down. Being an operator in the Ubuntu IRC channels is not a privilege, it is a responsibility.
Guidelines for network and host providers
We have a set of instructions and guidelines for network and shell host providers who provide access to Ubuntu IRC channels on their facilities. If you are a user or provider of such services, please study this document as well.