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9.1. Participating in the Fedora Mailing Lists

Red Hat runs a large number of mailing lists for Fedora, which are the communication lifeblood of the Fedora projects and are the starting point for communicating with and becoming involved in the Fedora community.

9.1.1. How Do I Do That?

The Red Hat mailing lists are accessed through the web page; the Fedora lists have names starting with "fedora-". Clicking on a list title will take you to a page where you can join the list or view archives of previous messages sent to the list.

The list archives are useful in two ways:

  • You can get a sense of the scope of discussion on the list and the volume of messages.

  • If you have a specific issue you wish to discuss, you can see any discussion that has already transpired on that same topic.

Once you find a list that looks interesting to you, sign up by entering your email address, name, and password (twice), and then select digest or individual emails and click Subscribe.

Consider using a disposable email address for your subscription because this address will be made public and will probably eventually receive some spam. See Lab 7.6, "Configuring the sendmail Server."

Receiving messages in digest form reduces the volume of email to one or two large messages a day; the nondigested form will pepper your mailbox with many small messages but will make it is easier to respond to one specific message.

Even though Fedora is used internationally, the Fedora mailing lists are in English, which serves as the lingua franca of the open source community. The exceptions are the lists used by translation projects, which are usually in the target language.

Your subscription request will generate an email like this one:

Mailing list subscription confirmation notice for mailing list

We have received a request for subscription of your email address,
"", to the mailing
To confirm that you want to be added to this mailing list, simply
reply to this message, keeping the Subject: header intact. Or visit
this web page: 

Or include the following line -- and only the following line -- in a
message to

 confirm f1a901557

Note that simply sending a \Qreply' to this message should work from
most mail readers, since that usually leaves the Subject: line in the
right form (additional "Re:" text in the Subject: is okay).

If you do not wish to be subscribed to this list, please simply
disregard this message. If you think you are being maliciously
subscribed to the list, or have any other questions, send them to

To confirm the subscription, click on the link or send a reply email without editing the subject line. You'll receive a confirmation email:

Welcome to the mailing list!

To post to this list, send your email to:

General information about the mailing list is at:

If you ever want to unsubscribe or change your options (eg, switch to
or from digest mode, change your password, etc.), visit your
subscription page at:

You can also make such adjustments via email by sending a message to:

with the word \Qhelp' in the subject or body (don't include the
quotes), and you will get back a message with instructions.

You must know your password to change your options (including changing
the password, itself) or to unsubscribe. It is:


Normally, Mailman will remind you of your mailing list
passwords once every month, although you can disable this if you
prefer. This reminder will also include instructions on how to
unsubscribe or change your account options. There is also a button on
your options page that will email your current password to you.

Keep this email! To unsubscribe or change your digest option, go to the link contained in this message and enter your chosen password. Posting on the mailing list

When posting messages on the mailing list, you must send from the same address that you used to subscribe to the list, or your message will be rejected.

Since your message will be read by hundreds or even thousands of people around the world, succinct, detailed, and informative messages are highly regarded, and off-topic and time-wasting messages are disparaged. This doesn't mean that you have to be an expert to post; most lists welcome messages from community members of all skill levels. Since most list members will only ever know you by your writing, the quality of that writing plays a key role in establishing your reputation within the community.

Start your message with a clear subject line (remember that your messages are being archived by topic). "ACPI problem with Kernel 2.6.43" is a good title; "Power problem" is too vague, and "Please help!" is completely uninformative.

The body of your message should contain a concise comment, suggestion, request for help, or announcement. Write in plain text; avoid the use of HTML, which bloats the message, since that bloat will be multiplied by the hundreds or thousands of inboxes in which your message will take residence. Tiny code fragments or extracts from logfiles or configuration files that illuminate the discussion should be included; long portions of code, screenshots, logfiles, complete configuration files, or sample data should be posted on the Web with a link to them included in your message.

Be sure to review any logfiles, configuration files, or screenshots for confidential information before posting them publicly.

When replying to a previous posting in nondigest mode, leave enough of the previous poster's comments as a quotation so that the reader will know what you're replying to. Place your reply at the end of the quoted text:

Mary Eleanor wrote:
> When I change the hostname, I can't open
> new windows on the GUI display. Does anyone
> know what causes this?

It's due to the fact that the new hostname breaks
the cross-reference to authorization information
("magic cookies") in the ~/.Xauthority file. Before 
you change the hostname, execute this command:

   xhost +localhost

That will turn off authorization checking for 
GUI programs on the same computer as the display.

Signature blocks are welcome, but should not exceed four lines in total; one or two lines is ideal. Bear in mind that any information you post will be permanently and publicly archived, so think carefully about any personal information (phone numbers, place of employment, instant messaging IDs) revealed in your signature block.

If you are replying to a message that is part of a digest, it is important to edit your reply so that the subject line relates to the message to which you are replying and not to the entire digest. For example, here is the first part of a digest message on the fedora-devel-list:

Subject:     fedora-devel-list Digest, Vol 20, Issue 40
Date:        Thu, 27 Oct 2005 08:38:38 -0400 (EDT)

Send fedora-devel-list mailing list submissions to

To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to

You can reach the person managing the list at

When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
than "Re: Contents of fedora-devel-list digest..."

Today's Topics:

   1. Re: Problems installing rawhide and reporting thereof
   2. Re: Problems installing rawhide and reporting thereof
   3. Re: Problems installing rawhide and reporting thereof
   4. Re: Problems installing rawhide and reporting thereof
   5. Re: Encouraging the use of multiple packaging systems on one
        systems, and the resulting problems
   6. initrd stage: CAP_SYS_RAWIO on /dev/iscsictl fails . help
   7. Re: rawhide report: 20051025 changes
   8. Re: initrd stage: CAP_SYS_RAWIO on /dev/iscsictl fails . help
   9. rawhide report: 20051027 changes (Build System)
 10. UTF-8 & imap folder name handling

If you reply to the digest, the subject line will read "Re: fedora-devel-list Digest, Vol 20, Issue 40." Change this to the subject of the particular posting to which you are replying; for example, if you are replying to message 10, set the subject to "Re: UTF-8 & imap folder name handling."

You'll also have to do some editing to include only some quoted text from the original message (ideally including the poster's name) and no text from the other postings in the digest.

9.1.2. How Does It Work?

The Fedora lists are managed by Mailman (the GNU mailing-list manager software), which in turn is available as part of Fedora Core.

Mailing lists are used for communication because they are easy to use, asynchronous (users don't have to be logged in at the same time, which is important when crossing time zones), and not very bandwidth-intensive. They are also very flexible on the client side, providing access from a wide range of software and network configurations.

9.1.3. What About... ...posting to a mailing list when a disposable email address is used to subscribe to the list?

You will need to create an email account configuration that lets you post from the alias address. This requires an email client that can handle multiple sending accounts.

To use the Evolution client to send email from a disposable address, add a new account under EditPreference with your name and the disposable email address, a receiving server type of None, and a sending server type of Sendmail. When sending a message to the list, select the disposable email address from the pull-down list labeled From in the mail composition window. ...subscribing to a Fedora list in nondigest mode without having the list messages cluttering up my email inbox?

Use your email client's filtering capabilities to move all of the list-related email to a separate mailbox. This will make it easy to scan the subject lines of the list postings and reply to individual messages without touching your main mailbox.

To configure this using Evolution, select the menu option ToolsFilter and create a new rule: if the message's sender contains the name of your list (such as fedora-devel-list), then move the message to a folder that you have created (such as fedora-devel).

9.1.4. Where Can I Learn More?

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