From: email@example.com (Matt Welsh)
Subject: Welcome to the comp.os.linux.* hierarchy!
Date: 2 Oct 1993 17:02:44 GMT
Last-modified: 8 August 93
Welcome to the comp.os.linux.* hierarchy!
This posting is an introduction to the comp.os.linux.* hierarchy
of USENET newsgroups.
Linux is a free implementation of UNIX for 80386/80486 machines
covered by the GNU GPL. Most of the development of the Linux
kernel has been done by Linus Torvalds, an internationally
reknowned UNIX wizard from Helsinki, Finland.
For the past two years or so, the newsgroup comp.os.linux has
grown be one of the most popular groups on USENET. Late in 1992,
a CFV for splitting comp.os.linux was posted; the only group which
passed was comp.os.linux.announce, a moderated newsgroup for Linux
announcements and patches.
Six months later, during the summer of 1993, another CFV for
splitting comp.os.linux was posted. The voting period for the
comp.os.linux reorganization results ended at 23:59:59 UTC on
4 August 1993 (4:59PM US Pacific Time, 7:59PM US Eastern Time.)
The results are as follows:
comp.os.linux reorganization results - 1842 votes
Yes No : 2/3? >100? : Pass? : Group
---- ---- : ---- ----- : ----- : -------------------------------
1692 135 : Yes Yes : Yes : comp.os.linux.admin
1741 90 : Yes Yes : Yes : comp.os.linux.development
1647 177 : Yes Yes : Yes : comp.os.linux.help
1660 155 : Yes Yes : Yes : comp.os.linux.misc
Because of this split, the newsgroup comp.os.linux will be
deleted on 11 November 1993. The new newsgroups will be created
on 11 August 1993. This posting describes these newsgroups,
including comp.os.linux.announce, which will remain entact.
The general policy for the Linux newsgroups is simple. Who sets
the policy? We all do. All of us on USENET are interested in
communicating openly about a number of topics. That's why we
have USENET. If you want the Linux newsgroups to work for you,
a few suggestions:
* Read the Linux FAQ and follow the newsgroups for some time
before posting questions. This is very important. comp.os.linux
suffered from HUGE amounts of noise and traffic because much
of the growing readership never bothered to READ the newsgroup;
they only posted questions.
The same thing will happen with the new newsgroups unless you
read the FAQ (found on sunsite.unc.edu in the file
pub/Linux/docs/FAQ) and read the newsgroup for some time before
posting questions. Chances are, your question has already been
recently answered, and a simple browsing of the newsgroup
will answer it. We suggest using a threaded newsreader such as
"trn" which will allow you to browse and mark articles by
subject, so you don't have to read each and every article in
* Crossposting between the Linux newsgroups is STRONGLY
discouraged. If you do crosspost questions between Linux
newsgroups, expect to be flamed to oblivion. The reason we
have a newsgroup split is to categorize discussions into
separate newsgroups. Crossposting negates this effect.
If your posting cannot fit into ONE of the newsgroups
c.o.l.admin, c.o.l.help, or c.o.l.development, then you
should post it to c.o.l.misc.
The one exception is for announcements. Occasionally, an
important announcement (such as this one) will be crossposted
between c.o.l.announce and one or more of the other c.o.l.*
groups. These announcements must be approved by the .announce
moderator; see below.
* Reply to questions via e-mail if at all possible. While
discussion in the newsgroups is encouraged, if someone is
asking a simple question to which the answer is well-known,
there is no reason to post the reply. Don't assume that
the person posting the question actually reads the newsgroup
or will even note your followup if they do. Reply via e-mail
unless the reply is of general interest.
* Don't flame newbies. Over the course of the past few months,
the Linux community has developed an oversensitive ego and
a reputation for being unfriendly towards newcomers, mostly
because of unwarranted flaming by a handful of righteous
individuals. If someone posts, saying, "Hi! I'm new to
this group! What is Linux?" (which will inevitably happen
as the new newsgroups are propagated), DO NOT FLAME THEM.
When someone sees a new newsgroup pop up within "rn", they
are justifiably curious about the new group and probably
don't know that well over 80,000 people who know EVERYTHING
about Linux read the group. Right?
Instead of being rude, you can send a polite note to the
poster, saying, "Hello, Linux is a free implementation of
UNIX for the 386 and 486. You can get the FAQ from
sunsite.unc.edu in /pub/Linux/docs. Let me know if I can
be of help!". That's all. Not difficult, eh? You can even
save your stock reply in a file and simply send form-letters
to newbies if you wish. But there is very little point in
flaming or ever being rude. It goes against everything that
Linux can and should be.
Just remember that nobody knows everything---not even Linus---
and that you were a newbie once, too. :)
Comp.os.linux.announce is a moderated newsgroup for Linux
announcements and source patches. The purpose of this group was
to get all of the ``important'' Linux information out of the
regular newsgroup and into a place where all Linux users could see
the important announcements without having to wade through a
jungle of other postings. So far, this group has been very
The moderators for this group are myself (Matt Welsh,
firstname.lastname@example.org) and Lars Wirzenius (email@example.com).
We will be sharing the moderator duty, and backing each other up
to make sure that postings to this group will be approved as soon
as possible after they're submitted.
Submissions to this group should be mailed to the address:
If you have any problems or questions about c.o.l.announce, please
send mail to the moderators at
Or simply mail us directly. This is not a request address for
mailing list subscription; see below.
A separate posting details the guidelines for submitting to this
group. I plan to approve just about anything that's posted to this
group, except for questions or discussions about Linux. So, please,
post away. :)
There are also archives of comp.os.linux.announce available at a
number of Linux FTP sites: check
There is a mailing list mirror of the comp.os.linux.announce
newsgroup; to join, send mail to
With the line
X-Mn-Admin: join ANNOUNCE
at the top of the body (not in the subject). Approved postings to
c.o.l.announce will automatically be mailed to this mailing list
This newsgroup was created simply to thwart the unique newsgroup
acronym "c.o.l.a", previously used by c.o.l.announce. However,
this newsgroup is also used for discussions and questions about
running Linux systems, either in a single-user or multi-user
Clearly, there is no large distinction between c.o.l.admin and
c.o.l.help. However, .admin should be mostly used for discussions
about RUNNING Linux, not USING or PROGRAMMING it. Unfortunately,
especially with Linux, the line between system administrator and
system user is very fuzzy. In short, we anticipate c.o.l.admin
to be mostly about questions with installing, setting up, and
configuring Linux systems, as well as other discussions relating
to system administration.
c.o.l.development, or "c.o.l.d" for short, is a newsgroup for
questions and discussions about Linux kernel and systems-level
development. Please note that this is a newsgroup about
development OF Linux, not development FOR Linux. In other words,
c.o.l.d isn't for questions about programming or porting software
to Linux. Instead, this is a newsgroup for discussions about
developing the Linux kernel itself, including writing device
drivers, adding new features, and so on. In addition, discussions
about development of shared libraries, and other essential
systems-level projects, are welcome here.
Hopefully, this newsgroup will embody some of the content and
scope of the linux-activists mailing list channels such as GCC,
KERNEL, SCSI, and NET.
Comp.os.linux.help is perhaps the most general of Linux
newsgroups. It is for any general user, programming, or
setup questions and discussion about Linux. If your question
is about Linux development, post to c.o.l.development. If
it is about system administration, post to c.o.l.admin.
However, if your question is of a more general nature, such
as "How do I set up Linux for use with an NE2000 card?",
c.o.l.help is your place.
Remember that you should not crosspost between .help and
other Linux newsgroups. This means that if you are asking for
help in .development, that's fine, but .help is for those
questions which don't fit into .admin and .development.
This group is the canonical ``catch-all'' for discussions and
questions which don't fit into the other Linux newsgroups.
While c.o.l.help is generally for questions, c.o.l.misc is for
discussions of a general nature about Linux, such as setting up
a file hierarchy standard, questions about Linus' personal life
and virtual beer, and the inevitable flame war. Again, it should
be noted that crossposting between c.o.l.misc and other Linux
newsgroups is strongly discouraged. If your posting or question
does not fit into ONLY ONE of the other Linux newsgroups, post
it to .misc.
If you have questions or comments about this document, please
direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Flames to /dev/null; cheques
and money orders to Linus Torvalds. Thanks.
Send submissions for comp.os.linux.announce to: email@example.com