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Getting Support

OpenWrt is free software, support for it is provided on a voluntary basis by the developers and fellow users. We will try to answer all questions but please understand that it is not our duty to support you; if that seems like a strange concept then you need to read the following essay:

How To Ask Questions The Smart Way” by Eric Raymond et al.
Reading this essay will certainly save you a lot of time and headaches.

If you feel a slightly grumpy tone in the following sections, please take it as a sign that developers and admins are serious about this. Imagine being one of them, hearing the same questions over and over again. However, don't be frightened, but see it as a guide on how to solve your problems quickly, efficiently, and without annoying too many people all around the globe.

General help

  • Attempt to solve the problem yourself. We hate being asked about every trivial thing that might possibly go wrong, especially if it's something we've already answered numerous times before. Read the wiki documentation (including the Troubleshooting page) and search the forum first. Be sure to tell us what you've read and already tried.
  • Don't be annoying. The firmware is free, any support you get is provided on a voluntary basis. Nobody has any obligation to fix your problem, especially if they don't think you deserve it. Be polite, be patient and don't repeat your question or post it to multiple places.
  • RTFM I can't stress this enough – don't just skim the manual looking for key words and phrases, actually read the documentation so you understand the terminology involved. If you get a reply that says “RTFM” it means that the answer is clearly provided in the documentation and if you had actually read the documentation you wouldn't have asked the question. If no link was provided, it means that we think you're being too lazy and we're going to make you read the whole damned thing – don't ask for a link.
  • Use the latest firmware release. If the bug was ever reported, there's a very good chance it was fixed in the next release. We do not provide any support for old releases, unreleased versions, or firmwares not found on openwrt.org. If you didn't download it from http://downloads.openwrt.org/ we won't support it. Period.
  • Don't guess. Tell us the symptoms and the facts, don't tell us random guesses.
  • OpenWrt isn't for everyone. If you're having too much trouble trying to use OpenWrt, then don't use it. If you can't manage to get OpenWrt running on your device and have to ask for each and every next little step, you won't be able to manage it without help in the future, which will be no fun for you and all others involved in helping you.

FIXME Some content of Reporting Bugs should be included / refered to under “General help”, i.e. the criteria at When reporting bugs please make sure to…

Getting help on the forum

  • Use the preview button, that's what it's for. [tmomas: OpenWrt forum only; LEDE forum has instant preview]
  • If later you find an error in your post you may edit it; generally this is done by adding an “EDIT:” post script to explain the changes. This helps to avoid misleading other readers.
  • Attempt to add to an existing thread before creating a new one, this will help keep information organized and make it easier to search. Make sure your question fits to the topic. Cross posting to multiple categories is not tolerated and may get your account suspended. [tmomas: I wouldn't go that far to suspend users]
  • If you don't frequent the forums and need an email notification then please use the “Subscribe to this topic” link at the bottom of the pages to receive an email when a new post is made. Asking for an email reply is considered rude.
  • Please use “Preformatted text </>” for long logs, scripts and configs. This improves readability and keeps your message compact, so other users do not have to scroll down half a kilometer to get to the next message.
  • Be patient. We have users from all over the world, therefore give your posting at least 24h time to reach the whole globe. Even if you do not get an answer within 24h, be more patient. If after a reasonable amount of time (3…7 days) there is still no answer, you may bump your question. Still no answer? Maybe there is nobody in the forum that can answer your question.

OpenWrt Forum

Getting help on IRC

We really hate getting support questions on IRC. Why? IRC is a way to chat with the developers and other OpenWrt users, it's not a toll free technical support hotline. We have no tolerance for people who clearly haven't read the manual or require painfully detailed step by step instructions for even the most trivial task.

“But I have a really serious important question that I need answered URGENTLY!”

What part of “it's not a toll free technical support hotline” didn't you understand? The problem with IRC is that it's instant; you really only get a chance to talk to whoever happens to be around, not whoever happens to actually know something about the subject – post to the forums instead. All too often people don't understand this concept and they think that they're just being ignored so they'll repeatedly ask the exact same question over and over, annoying everyone until they finally get a response.

IRC: irc.freenode.net #openwrt (IRC tutorial)

Asking questions

  • “Nobody is answering my questions”. If nobody expresses an interest in your questions then don't keep asking them. Be patient; if someone wants to answer your question they will. Don't expect an answer to every question; we're more likely to answer one good question than 20+ trivial questions. People are generally more interested in chatting than providing support.
  • Do not repeat the exact same question just because someone new has entered. Do not repeat the exact same question just because something has been said since you asked two minutes ago.
  • Connection problems? Stay off IRC. We really hate seeing the spam of users constantly reconnecting and asking if they missed anything since the last time they disconnected. If we notice you constantly reconnecting we will ban you for several hours.
  • If you're having trouble getting a response to your question it may be an indication that you're asking a bad question – did you try looking through the manual or google first? Did you use the correct terminology? Did you give enough information? Did you give too much information?
  • Remember, nobody is going to look through the logs to see if your question was answered correctly; you might get bad advice and you'll probably be gone before anyone notices.

General

  • Don't be lazy. While it's common to see sentences with improper spelling or grammar due to the casual nature of IRC, please don't be excessively lazy. Excessive abbreviation is not tolerated – This is not AOL and this isn't an SMS message. If I need a magic decoder ring just to figure out what you're saying I'll probably just kick you from the channel. Hint - “u” is actually spelled “you”.
  • Disable any scripts which may become annoying. Away/back messages should not be printed publicly; it's fine if you're in the middle of a conversation and need to excuse yourself for a few minutes but don't use a script to announce it to the entire irc network. Colors and text attributes (bold, inverse) are not widely supported and tend to be an eyesore even when they're supported.
  • Don't give bad advice. Try to refer to documented solutions whenever possible, the worst thing you can do is tell someone the wrong way to do something and then have them repeat that to other people. If you have to guess make sure that it's clearly labeled as a guess. Remember, just because something works doesn't mean it's right.
  • Many times there are multiple conversations that can be difficult to keep track of; when replying to an individual please prefix the message with their username, this will usually highlight the message in their IRC client. (Username: <message>)
  • Slow responses are often irritating to those trying to quickly answer questions. If you're a slow typist, try giving short answers first and then clarify with longer answers. Careful – we get annoyed if your answers are excessively terse.

mbm at alt dot org

Source: https://openwrt.org/support.html

inbox/support.txt · Last modified: 2018/09/03 17:57 by tmomas