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01-C.25: Asynchronous Linux Help Resources

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    Newsgroups and Forums

    Source Name Description Where is it?
    Usenet Newsgroups

    Usenet is a worldwide distributed discussion system available on computers. It was developed from the general-purpose Unix-to-Unix Copy (UUCP) dial-up network architecture. Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis conceived the idea in 1979, and it was established in 1980. Users read and post messages (called articles or posts, and collectively termed news) to one or more categories, known as newsgroups. Usenet resembles a bulletin board system (BBS) in many respects and is the precursor to Internet forums that are widely used today. Discussions are threaded, as with web forums and BBSs, though posts are stored on the server sequentially. The name comes from the term "users network."

    "Usenet" Wikimedia Foundation is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

    Newsgroups are usually a subscription service. You can find a LOT of options if you search on the web for "usenet newsgroup providers."

    These groups can also be found on Google groups.

    Mailing Lists A mail list is a discussion group where users communicate via email with others who have subscribed to a particular topic. All users who belong to a mailing list receive every message posted to that list via e-mail as users post questions/answers. Linux topics can be found on several mail lists.

    The Linux Foundation hosts a Linux specific mail list.

    Example: Ubuntu hosts such a distro specific list

    Online Communities Question and answer websites have become a place to get feedback regarding questions on a particular topic. A user will post a question and other users are allowed to comment on the question. Many of these sites have the capability for users to "upvote" questions/responses they feel are useful, or that offer a good solution. The most popular Q&A site for IT topics is Stack Exchange, which has a Unix & Linux category available at

    Stack Exchange is one of the most popular Linux Q&A sites.


    Online Forums/Social Media

    An Internet forum, or message board, is an online discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages. They differ from chat rooms in that messages are often longer than one line of text, and are at least temporarily archived. Also, depending on the access level of a user or the forum set-up, a posted message might need to be approved by a moderator before it becomes publicly visible.

    "Internet Forum" Wikimedia Foundation is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

    Linux Questions is an example of a forum.

    Reddit, a network of communities based on people's interests, has a Linux community.

    This page titled 01-C.25: Asynchronous Linux Help Resources is shared under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Patrick McClanahan.

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