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IRC and General Chat

IRC is a common communication tool used in the open source community. Several channels of Mattermost and Libera IRC channels are bridged together to ensure the community can communicate effectively and not be splintered.

The Rocky Linux teams manage and maintain the mattermost channels and the various Libera IRC channels such as #rockylinux and #rockylinux-social. A list of our channels can be found in IRC Mattermost Bridge Info on the left hand side of this wiki page.

Contact Information

IRC/Mattermost Contacts bc @brian
IRC/Mattermost Contacts Sokel/label/Sombra @label @nazunalika
IRC/Mattermost Contacts mustafa @mustafa
IRC/Mattermost Contacts neil @neil
IRC/Mattermost Contacts tg @tgo
IRC/Mattermost Contacts pgreco @pgreco
IRC/Mattermost Contacts pj @pj

Bridge Information

Current mappings below:

IRC Mattermost
#rockylinux ~general
#rockylinux-devel ~development
#rockylinux-docs ~documentation
#rockylinux-infra ~infrastructure
#rockylinux-legal ~legal
#rockylinux-security ~security
#rockylinux-sig-altarch ~altarch
#rockylinux-sig-kernel ~sig-kernel
#rockylinux-social ~off-topic
#rockylinux-testing ~testing
#rockylinux-www ~web

General

It is likely that there will be a lot of boxes running Rocky Linux and thus there will be many folks who will occasionally look for help in the main Rocky IRC channel #rockylinux or ~General on mattermost, typically on what the distribution ships. It is important to maintain focus on a Rocky Linux specific matter as the channel does not have the ability nor bandwidth to support non-Rocky Linux topics.

Here is a general rule of thumb:

  • Unless a question or thread is about an application or program supplied by Rocky, it is likely off topic (see the exceptions section)
  • Discussing the usage of non-Rocky packages or problems (which the Rocky project has no control over) are off-topic (see exceptions)
  • Polling for general usage/preferences or other opinion matter is considered off-topic
  • Requesting support or discussing the usage of other distributions is considered off-topic (more info here)

Exceptions

There are cases where it may do more harm than good to deny or to not provide assistance to a user who is using something that others may consider unsupported as a whole. While this is on a case by case basis and we are unable to list all exceptions, these are some of the more obvious exceptions:

  • If the question is related to software in EPEL

  • If a problem is reproducible or its an issue out of our control, it is recommended to go #epel

  • If the question is related to drivers from elrepo

  • It is common for users to be using hardware that is either not supported in a current Rocky release or needs a better driver (eg nouveau -> nvidia). Providing general assistance for getting such drivers should be considered semi-topical. Other issues should go to #elrepo or where topical.

What is not supported?

  • Kernel Rebuilds
  • Other Derivatives/Forks

  • This includes, but is not limited to RHEL, OEL, Alma, Springdale, SL

  • Broken "V" Servers

  • Old minor/point releases of Rocky Linux
  • Upgrades or upgraded Rocky Linux systems (eg, upgrading 8 to 9)
  • Politics or Profanity
  • Distro X is better/worse than Rocky
  • Personal drama from other channels, namespaces, or other users

  • Repeat offenders will be quieted or banned from the #rockylinux* namespace

Etiquette

This section goes over general etiquette expected of all users of IRC or Mattermost on the bridge.

How to ask questions

When coming into the IRC or Mattermost channels, it's important to be able to field your question in a manner in which the other users will be able to understand the question and provide assistance. Here's some general ideas:

  • Don't ask to ask - Just ask your question
  • Don't paste large quantities of text into the channel

  • This can be disruptive to users on both sides of the IRC/MM bridge

  • If at all possible, use a paste bin such as rpaste

  • Be patient - You may not get an instant answer. We are all volunteers, so it may take minutes or hours to receive an answer to your question.

  • Read the Topic - The topic may contain useful information you may want to know about.

Expectations

As #rockylinux is the general Rocky Linux support and discussion channel on Libera, it is not a primary support area for learning Linux or general chatting and off topic matter. Off topic matter should go to #rockylinux-social. With that being said, below is a list of things you should probably be aware of:

  • The channel is filled with supporters of Rocky, end users, volunteers with wide ranges of skillsets and knowledge who use the distribution on a professional or personal level
  • Polite and on-topic people get answers to their queries

  • Insulting, rude, or off topic users are generally ignored or warned for their behavior

  • Consider the human, be civil - Treat people how you would want to be treated
  • Those who are consistently disruptive (or "trolls") will be removed from the channel by a quiet or ban

  • The channel can be busy with several threads running in parallel

  • We support what we ship
  • Do not be surprised if you are asked to provide some information about your system

  • rpaste -s

  • uname -a
  • rpm -V packageName
  • If you refuse to provide such information, volunteers may stop trying to assist you.

It is normal for a channel to not be all business all the time. Passing snarkiness or even random off topic matter can occur. However, it can be a problem if it takes over the channel, where a user is unable to get their question in or the discussion turns into animosity, insults, or rude behavior (see the above points).

A recommendation would be to join the channel and observe for a while to get an idea of how the channel operates; try to avoid dropping in, asking a question, and disappearing.

Note: The channels are logged and routinely checked. What is seen in IRC is also seen in Mattermost and vice versa. It is also likely we are not the only ones who monitor the channel. This means that your conversations are considered public.

Persistent abusers and those who act out in bad faith in a consistent manner will receive a ban or quiet, if they have been repeatedly warned. If you find you have been banned and do not know why, you may want to ask in #rockylinux-ops and an available channel operator will try to assist you.

IRC For Beginners

It is possible that you may have not used IRC before. Hopefully this guide will get you started.

You will need an IRC client. There are many out there. Here are examples:

  • ChatZilla (firefox add on)
  • Pidgin
  • Kiwi (web client)
  • weechat (text client)
  • irssi (text client)

Once you have your IRC client setup/configured, you'll need to go to irc://irc.libera.chat/. To set your nickname, type /nick nickname in the box and press enter.

Note that our channels require users to be registered on Libera in order to participate. Libera chat provides instructions for you to do so here. If you require assistance, you can type /join #libera and request help.

Once you have registered and you are identified with NickServ, you can type /join #rockylinux or another related channel.

Note that subsequent logins will require you to identify. /msg nickserv identify password will help you to ensure you don't get locked out of the #rockylinux* channels.

Matrix

If you are a user of Matrix, most of the above still applies to you. You will need to login through the bridge on matrix to login with NickServ on libera. After that, you will be able to communicate in the #rockylinux* channels through your matrix client.

Context

This section provides context to some things mentioned throughout this document that would've likely crowded the section entirely. These sections may end up on different pages entirely but they are here for now.

Kernel Rebuilds

Kernel rebuilds are not recommended nor supported for Rocky Linux. Before building a custom kernel or even considering it, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the functionality you need available by installing a kernel module from elrepo?
  • Is the functionality you need available as a separate module from the kernel itself?
  • Are you willing to maintain your own security posture?
  • Are you sure? Rocky Linux and most other EL derivatives were designed to function as a complete environment. Replacing critical components can affect how the system acts.
  • Are you ABSOLUTELY sure? 99.9% of the users no longer need to build their own kernel. You may simple need a kernel module/driver, in which case, you can use elrepo or build your own kernel module (kmod/dkms)
  • Are you sure you don't just want a newer kernel version? Newer kernels can be found at elrepo

As a final warning, you if you break the kernel, you are on the hook for your system. Rocky Linux volunteers or developers are unable to assist you with these issues.

Broken V Servers

Our distribution, like others, use a variant of yum/dnf. All Rocky Linux releases are shipped with dnf and a certain set of matching configuration files (like .repo files). This allows your system to work with the mirror system provided by Rocky. Some downstream forks break these configurations and make their system incompatible with what we provide off the shelf.

Regulars (developers/volunteers) will decline to help in this type of scenario. Below are examples of "broken V servers" where dnf is either missing, misconfigured, or outright crippled.

VPS

So you have a VPS and you've discovered dnf is not working as it should. This means you are not using Rocky Linux. If you are using an installation "based on" Rocky Linux but dnf is missing, you don't have a real Rocky Linux installation. Common examples of providers who do this:

  • OpenVZ
  • cPanel
  • Plesk
  • webmin
  • Direct Admin
  • BlueQuartz
  • Asterisk
  • Trixbox
  • Elastix

The above tend to only install parts of Rocky Linux on their virtual servers and some are known for entirely removing dnf from the system entirely or altering the settings entirely. Typical changes are that they exclude locally modified packages from our base repositories. You can verify this by running grep -ir exclude /etc/{yum,dnf}* which will show what they are excluding. Some will also manage the box outside of the package manager.

Why these provides do this is unclear. Regardless of their reasons, this approach is seen negatively as dnf has mechanisms to protect specific packages from change.

Before you try anything, please STOP and ask your provider why they removed dnf and how are you supposed to keep your system up to date/secure without it.

Wait, you're saying I was lied to?

In essence, yes. A true Rocky Linux installation has a Rocky kernel and the rocky-release packages, as well as dnf, without modifications to the contents in /etc/yum.repos.d (other than possibly a local mirror or staged repositories). All dependencies will be satisified and with the exception of configuration files, they will be kept up to date and maintained.

A true Rocky Linux system can:

  • Be updated at any time
  • Provide a list of usual groups that is reproducible across systems
  • Has SELinux enforcing by default
  • Has a working firewall by default

You will be asked to run some commands by volunteers. Such as:

  • dnf install rpaste -y ; rpaste --sysinfo
  • lsb_release -a ; uname -a ; rpm -V dnf rocky-release rocky-repos ; ls /etc/yum.repos.d/ ; dnf repolist all

The former produces a sysinfo output (the package is installed from extras). The second produces multi-line output that you can provide at https://rpa.st. Alternatively, you will be asked just to run uname -a which is typically sufficient enough.

When it's clear it's not a Rocky Linux system, the regulars of the channel will not continue to offer further assistance. They do not wish to suggest a course of action that can potentially break your system further. Most regulars cannot and don't know all the ways hosting providers may have altered the functions which a Rocky Linux system provides by default.

If you were lied to, we ask that you request your provider to mend their ways. You could ask your provider:

  • Stop misrepresenting what they offer as Rocky Linux
  • Deliver to you what they promised or receive a refund

Is it possible to get dnf back?

Yes it is possible. However, it may come at a cost of breaking your system. Thus, we cannot provide such advice here.


Last update: 2022-08-17