Mailing List Guidelines

Remember, when you post to a community mailing list, you are, in effect, asking a large group of people to give you some of their time and attention - to download your message, read it, and potentially reply to it. It is simply polite to make sure your message is relevant to as many of the people receiving the message as possible. All of the guidelines below stem from this basic principle.

Please also review our Community Guidelines document for additional guidelines and consequences associated with violating any of our guidelines.

Search First

  • Believe it or not, your question might not be new. Do a thorough search of the mailing list archives to see if it has been answered before.
  • You waste everyone's time if you post repeat questions.

Post on the Right List

  • Visit our mailing list page and review the descriptions of each list before deciding where to post your question.

Keep It Short

Remember that thousands of copies of your message will exist in mailboxes:

  • Keep your messages as short as possible.
  • Avoid including log output (select only the most relevant lines, or place the log on a website or in a pastebin, instead)
  • Don't excessively quote previous messages in the thread (trim the quoted text down to only the most recent/relevant messages).

Use Proper Posting Style

  • No HTML or Rich Text: Set your mailer to send only plain text messages to avoid getting caught in our spam filters.
  • Do not top post: Top posting is replying to a message on "top" of the quoted text of the previous correspondence. This is highly unwanted in mailing lists because it increases the size of the daily digests and is highly confusing and incoherent. By default, most email clients top post. Please remove the irrelevant part of the previous communication (in case of more than a single correspondence) and use bottom, interleaved posting.
  • Using interleaved posting: Bottom, interleaved posting is replying to the relevant parts of the previous correspondence just below the block(s) of sentences. For a comment to another block of sentences of the same quoted text, you should move below that relevant block again. Do not reply below the whole of the quoted text. Also, remove any irrelevant text.
  • Use links: Please provide URLs to articles wherever possible. Avoid cutting and pasting whole articles, especially considering the fact that not everyone may be interested.
  • Don't include attached files: Instead of including attached files, please upload your file a server and post a link to the file from your email message.

Do Not Hijack Threads

  • Post new questions or new topics as new threads (new email message). Please do not reply to a random thread with a new question or start an unrelated topic of conversation in an existing thread. This creates confusion and makes it much less likely that you will get a response.

Do Not Cross Post

  • Avoid posting to multiple lists simultaneously. Pick a mailing list that is most suitable for your post and just use that. cc'ing multiple lists should be avoided.

Subscribers Only

  • Only subscribers can post to our mailing lists. If you would like to contribute to our mailing lists, we think it is only fair that you be a subscriber.
    Note: If you want to participate only occasionally, you can subscribe to a list and set your email options to digest or no mail and read the web archives when you want to catch up. 


  • Always reply to the mailing list (not the individual) when answering questions. In many cases, one person will post the question and several others will silently wait to see the answer on the list. This also helps avoid repeat questions because others can search the mailing list to get answers.
  • Do not include more than 10 other recipients in the To: or CC: fields when you post to the mailing list. This triggers the spam filter, and your message will most likely be discarded by the mailing list software.
  • Always group-reply to a message (minding the less than 10 other recipients rule, above). Some of the email recipients might not be subscribed, might have turned off email delivery, or may read list messages with lower priority than messages addressed to them directly. For the same reasons, it is advisable to add relevant people to the recipient list explicitly.

Credit to the Fedora Mailing List Guidelines as a starting point under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.