How to support other people

It is not so hard to support other people. Even if you don’t know the answer of a question, you can help. At the following lines I try do describe how to do this.


  • setting up an environment for testing
  • read a lot of threads, you will collect experience by that
  • try to keep in mind the subject of the threads you read
  • optional you can install and configure some applications manually, I build a debian server with squid and sogo before I started with nethserver
  • also if you can’t get it run, it helps understanding what happens at the modules


  • start with reading support questions
  • ask yourself if you have enough information to help, if not ask the thread creator for more information like relevant logs and his configuration
  • ask the threat creator for possible custom configurations, especially custom templates
  • easiest solution is that you know the answer and you can help him
  • if you don’t know the answer, often you remember, that you have read a similar question and you can search the forum for it
  • if you don’t have an idea you can also search the forum, the internet, the wiki and the documentation for it
  • please don’t only post sentences like “you can find it at the manual”.
    Always give a link to the position at the manual
  • also you can try to reproduce the error with your test environment and compare your configuration with the configuration of the thread creator
  • if you don’t have an idea how to help you can tag other people or teams, where you think they can help. For example @m.traeumner or @support_team.

Finding the right search terms

  • try to imagine that you have the problem, what would be your header for it
  • take the important points from thread creators subject
  • read a lot other threads with similar questions, even if there is no answer, you can find new search terms at this threads, which brings you closer to the solution

Some general points

  • supporting people can be made by everyone
  • always be patience and friendly
  • best way to get the solution kept in mind is to give tips to the thread creator which help to find the solution by himself

@m.traeumner don’t forget another important howto.
How to being kindly and efficiently being supported.

  • Describe briefly and completely your environment; also take your time to describe the problem; assume that people on the other side of the community could have no idea of what’s going on your side.
  • Explain what are you trying to do, what is your goal and why you choose this particular path for succeed.
  • Don’t assume that everyone will fully comprehend the specifics of your setup, job, environment or necessity. Be kind and specific if someone will asks you more details.
  • Sometimes a hint is just a way to make you think around your issue.
  • Failure is always an option: sometimes it’s not possible in the way you like better (or possible at all)
  • You’re the one that’s having the problem and asking for help. Please, help the people who are trying to help you.

(i hope that this list will be easy to understand also for not-italian people. Unfortunately i am not that good on build catchy clauses)