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XavierP 12-26-2006 05:25 PM

Why Is There No Forum For My Distro?
Following this thread and the subsequent comment from Jeremy, I am writing this stickied thread to explain fully why there may not be a forum for a particular distro and what you as a member or distro maker can do about it.

How do distro sub-forums come about?
From LQ's very beginnings it has been a policy that we will only create a sub-forum for a particular distro if that distro maker will participate in it. Beyond that, any additional support is optional. Support can mean a few things: for example, the Slackware distribution has a forum here. If you go to their Support page you will see the following:

We provide very limited installation support and technical support to our users through email, and only if time and resources allow. Probably the best place to turn for free support from the Slackware user community is the Slackware forum on - "Where newbies come for help!"

This site runs our favorite Slackware questions forum. If you have general Slackware-related questions or need help, this is a great place to join in discussions with a user community that's friendly and eager to help.
We run the official Slackware support site and are recognised by Patrick Volkerding. Patrick has also been known to participate in discussions on the forum.

In the case of the PuppyLinux sub-forum, you will see from some of the posts that the Puppy devs post here and answer questions.

As you can see, "support for the sub-forum" can take more than one guise. However, this is a fixed requirement.

It should be clearly noted though, that monetary support is not a requirement. In fact, LQ does not ask for monetary support and does not receive it from any of the distros who have sub-forums. What we need is for that distro maker to participate in some way in LQ and help maintain the level of activity in the forum.

There are two main ways that a forum can get started: the distro maker contacts Jeremy and requests a sub-forum or a member contacts the distro maker and gets them to contact Jeremy to organise a sub-forum.

What does the distro get out of it?
Most importantly, they and their customers have access to a very busy, very lively forum with a great number of very very knowledgeable people.
They get an official support area away from their inboxes. This means that support for the distro can go on even if the devs are unavailable - especially important around the time of a new release!

How can I help?
Firstly, requesting a sub-forum on the forums is a pointless exercise. All we will do is to explain the policy to you. As shown in the list below:
Why no Gentoo distro forum? (from 2005)
Why is Gentoo not in the Distro Forum? (from 2004)
Why no Suse distro Forum ? (from 2003)

What you can do is this:
Politely email the distro makers and point out that LQ has over 250,000 members and that is firstly a lot of people who help with any support questions and secondly a good sized number of people to read any "new release" press releases they may write
If you see any of the distro devs on an IRC channel, suggest they get in touch with Jeremy with a view to setting up a forum - point out the low overheads for them: we will do the moderating, Jeremy will set up the forum and all they need to do is turn up to answer questions
Point out that you and a number of other <distro> users are members here and you would love to be able to ask and answer questions on a dedicated forum.

There are other things you could do, but those are the main ones.

I should point out that this is not a foolproof way to have a support forum created - in the past, when a distro maker has been contacted they have responded by setting up their own forums. That's fine, the offer of a sub-forum is open to any distro - whether they wish to take it up or not.

Good luck and let's see the number of sub-forums increase in 2007.

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