This page redirects to page "IRC/Guidelines"

Clear message

Warning /!\ Do not edit this page without discussing any changes with the Ubuntu IRC council who maintain this page.


The #ubuntu IRC channel is growing very quickly, with over a thousand people in the channel all the time. Keeping a pleasant atmosphere in #ubuntu has been the main cause for it to be such an attractive place to both new and experienced users. #ubuntu is the home for quite a few people that provide support to anyone that needs it. The operators of the channel do lots of work to keep the channel friendly and to keep people happy.

This is made possible because they adhere to a certain set of unwritten rules, which over time have become stricter. Lately, more people have been wondering about what is allowed and what not, especially since the operators are becoming more strict.

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.

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

  • Flooding the channel disrupts all conversations. Please don't do it. If you want to show large texts, such as errors, use the pastebin.

Don't use public away messages

  • Really, dont! Imagine 600 people doing that. It's not a pretty sight. Changing your nick to user-away is frowned upon. If you use away messages, you may get kicked without warning. Given that you are away, a warning would not help anyway; consider a kick to be a warning since it can be followed by a ban if you don't stop using them. 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 the channel with the music you are playing currently. This is a help channel, not a social one. #ubuntu-offtopic is the social channel frequented by quite a few users of #ubuntu.

How to ask for help in the channel

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

  • #ubuntu is a support channel, this means lots of people are asking questions. We do our best to answer them all but are not omniscient. If you don't get answers immediately, please wait a few minutes 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.

    It is worth considering the Forums or Ubuntu-users Mailing List if you have not tried them already.

Bot abuse

  • #ubuntu has an infobot called ubottu. It responds to queries both in channel and in private, that have an exclamation mark at the beginning. You can also suggest new items by sending the bot a private message with the text (but please check if it already exists first!).

    Please do not abuse this bot. 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 on ubottu can be found on her wikipage.

English, please

  • #ubuntu is an English language channel. There are Ubuntu channels in other languages. If you speak in #ubuntu in another language you will be pointed to these channels. The infobot has triggers like !es for Spanish, !nl for Dutch, !fr for French and so on. Please ask the user to speak english before firing one of these triggers at them.

Language and Subject

  • All the #ubuntu 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 channels friendly places for everyone. #ubuntu (and #kubuntu) is really busy and we prefer it to be kept for support only. For general chatter you can visit #ubuntu-offtopic (or #kubuntu-offtopic), but please be aware that there are limits to behaviour and subjects in there also. When using any #ubuntu or #kubuntu channels, 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. Many people also prefer that in-depth discussion of Microsoft and Apple software occurs in ##windows and ##mac respectively.

    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, CTCPs 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 advised to stop is disruptive and obnoxious. Such behaviour may result in a removal from the channel.

When helping: be helpful

  • #ubuntu welcomes any help, but we do ask you to stay as helpful as possible. If you get stuck, say so instead of guessing; someone else will step up and continue. There are 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 url, or at least give them some directions to documentation they can use. Please use official Ubuntu documentation ( or wherever possible. Try to avoid outdated 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.

Don't ask for operator privileges

  • Whenever #ubuntu needs new operators, we will ask the helpful and polite members of the chat whether they want to take on the responsibility. Please don't ask to become an operator or get upset if you're turned down. Being an operator in #ubuntu is not a privilege, it is a responsibility.

Don't abuse the !ops trigger

  • Ubottu has a trigger called !ops which will call all #ubuntu 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.

Please don't bring bots

  • Ubuntu provides two bots. One for channel logging and one for help and factoid related queries - there really is no need for more bots.

Please don't enable talking scripts

  • This includes !seen scripts, can you imagine if just five or six people had one 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.

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 in #ubuntu 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 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 the matter with other Ubuntu operators. Please join this channel for conflict escalation/resolution and not #ubuntu-devel. The people in there cannot and will not help you. If no other ops are available, you can contact the IRC council via the ubuntu-irc mailinglist.

If neither helps, write down the issue and bring it to the next Community Council meeting. You should make full, unedited logs available of anything you don't agree with. 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.

IrcGuidelines (last edited 2010-01-17 09:50:27 by cpc2-smal7-0-0-cust203)