Ubuntu Forums FAQ

Here you can find answers to questions about how the board works. Use the links or search box below to find your way around.

The Very Basics : What are Forums, Threads and Posts

What is a bulletin board?

A bulletin board is an online discussion site. It's sometimes also called a 'board' or 'forums'. It may contain several categories, consisting of forums, threads and individual posts.

How is all this structured?

The bulletin board as a whole contains various categories (broad subject areas), which themselves contain forums (more specific subject areas) which contain threads (conversations on a topic) which are made up of individual posts (where a user writes something).

The board home page has a list of categories and forums, with basic statistics for each - including the number of threads and posts, and which member posted the most recent message.

How do I find my way around?

When you click on a forum's name, you are taken to the list of threads it contains. A thread is a conversation between members. Each thread starts out as a single post and grows as more individual posts are added by different users. Threads from some forums can be rated (?) to show how useful or popular they are and may contain polls (?).

To start a new thread simply click on the Big Orange + Post New Thread button. Please note that you will not be able to post a thread or an answer to an existing thread if :

  • you are not logged in
  • you have not confirmed your email
  • you are trying to post to a closed, view only, forum such as the Archive section.

Threads can be ordered in many different ways. The default is to have the thread with the most recent activity at the top. But you can easily change this ordering, for example to have the thread with the most posts at the top, or the highest rating. Simply click on the appropriate column heading at the top of the list of threads (Thread, Thread Starter, Rating, Last Post, Replies or Views). You can also reverse the sorting order by clicking the arrow next to the name of the active option. (Note that 'sticky' threads will always be at the top no matter how you change the viewing options).

Multi-page views

When there are more threads to display than will fit on a single page, you may see the 'Page' box, which contains page numbers. This indicates that the list of threads has been split over two or more pages.

This method of splitting lists of items over many pages is used throughout the board.

What are sticky threads?

'Sticky' threads are created by moderators or administrators (?), and remain 'stuck' to the top of the listing, even if they haven't had any posts recently. Their purpose is to keep important information visible and accessible at all times.

How do I read a thread?

To read a thread, click on its title. Each post in a thread is created by a member or a guest. You'll see some brief information about the member who created the thread above the main post message. In some cases it will be to the side of the post.

To post a reply to an existing thread, click on the + Reply to Thread button. If this button does not appear, it could mean that you are not logged in as a member, or that you do not have permission to reply, or that the thread has been closed to new replies (the Archive section for example).

If enabled, there will also be a 'Quick Reply' box where you can quickly enter a reply without having to go to the 'Post Reply' page. You may need to click the quick reply button Reply to this Message Reply in a post to activate the quick reply box before you can type into it.

On long threads you may want to change how the posts are ordered. For more on different ways to view and navigate threads, click (?).

Is there a faster way to get to forums?

If you know which forum you want to go to, you can use the 'Quick Navigation' control, which appears at the bottom of many pages within the board.

How do I find out more about members?

To view information about a particular member, click on the user name. This will take you to their profile page (?).

What is the Navigation Bar?

The navigation bar at the top of every page has links to help you move around or have useful information handy, such as Quick Links (?) or other useful features such as the Forums Community (with a link to our Ubuntuforums Code of Conduct), a direct access to your Private Messages (?) and other Ubuntu oriented links.

What is the 'What's Going On?' box on the board home page?

On the board home page you'll see a section at the bottom that tells you what's going on at the moment, the number of registered users online, the number of guests and some statistics.

Can I change the way the board looks?

You may be able to change the styling of the board by using the style changer in the bottom left of the page. This lets you choose different skins which change the color scheme and appearance of the board. If this option does not appear, the board cannot be restyled.

Registration

You will need to register in order to use all the features of the forum. Being registered gives you an identity on the board, a fixed username on all messages you post and an profile that can be viewed by registered members only.

Registration is free, and offers an extended range of features, including:

  • Posting new threads
  • Replying to other peoples' threads
  • Editing your posts
  • Receiving email notification of replies to posts and threads you specify
  • Sending private messages to other members
  • Creating albums of photos and comment on others' photos
  • Setting up a 'contact list' to quickly see which of your friends are online.

How do I register?

Detailed steps to register are fully outlined in theforums thread SSO registration guide. An Ubuntu One account is necessary to register to the ubuntuforums and should be set up before you proceed to create a forums account. Your Ubuntu One account will be linked to a forums account based an exact string match of your email address, and the forums username derived from the Ubuntu One name you choose. Once this is complete you will have to click on a link in an 'activation email' sent to your email address. You will then be registered and able to post on the forums.

Note that entering your email address will not leave you open to 'spam', as you can choose to hide it from other board users. You will be able to allow other registered users to contact you via email, but the system won't display your email address to them unless you give permission.

Should you have any problem with your account, please post to the Resolution Center or email the Forums Council mailing list (link at the bottom of the page).

If you are under the age of 13, the administrator may require that a parent or guardian provide consent before allowing you to complete the registration process. More information about this is available during the registration process.

Searching Forums and Threads

How do I search for something?

To quickly find a thread or post of interest anywhere on the bulletin board, click on the 'Advanced Search' link in the navigation bar at the top of the forum pages. Then, type in the keyword or phrase you wish to search for, and select either 'Show Threads' or 'Show Posts' to view the results. By selecting posts, you will be shown only the actual post in which the search word appears.

The advanced search page allows you to restrict your search to individual forums, find posts or threads by user, or return results based on tags (?). There are also options to find posts from a certain date, or threads with a certain number of replies.

vBulletin search allows you to use boolean searching (?)

How do I search a specific forum or thread?

If you are browsing a forum, you can quickly search for a thread or post within it by clicking on the 'Search Forum' link near the top right of the forum page (it's above the list of threads). An interesting feature is 'Search Unanswered Threads' in the 'Search Forum' menu that let you read and hopefully answer threads that have no reply. You can also search for individual posts within a thread by clicking on the 'Search this Thread' link at the top of any thread view page.

Announcements

What are announcements?

Announcements are special messages posted by the administrator or moderators. They are a simple one-way communication with the users and you can't reply. If you wish to discuss announcements, you will have to create a new thread in the forum.

Announcement threads are displayed at the top of forum listing pages, above regular and sticky threads.

Thread Display Options

Can I change the order of posts?

You have a choice over how you view threads. When you're in a thread, look at the top bar. On the right hand side you'll see 'Display Mode'. Click on this and it lets you change how posts are ordered.

You have three choices:

Linear Mode - posts are displayed chronologically, usually from oldest to newest. Posts are shown in a flat mode so that many posts can be viewed simultaneously. It is possible to change the ordering by changing your preferences in the User CP

Threaded Mode - a tree is shown along with every post. This shows you the relationship each post has to the others. It's easy to see who responded to whom. Only one post is shown at a time. By clicking on a single post in the post tree, the page will show that post and all posts made in response to it.

Hybrid Mode - This is a mixture of the linear and threaded modes. The post tree is displayed as in the threaded mode, but many posts are shown at the same time as in the linear modes.

Viewing New Posts or Today's Posts

How can I see the latest posts?

There are two ways to quickly view recently created or updated threads.

If you are not logged in :

  • the 'New Posts' link will show a list of the last 250 threads that have been created or updated.
  • the 'Activity page' link will show a list of the last 30 posts refreshing every minute.

If you are logged in, in addition to the 'Today's Posts' and 'Activity page' links, you will see a 'New Posts' link, which gives you a listing of all threads that have been created or updated since your last visit.

The forums are also set so that each thread you read is marked in the database. New threads (or threads with new posts) will not be marked as read until you have actually read them or marked the forums as read.

There is a built-in time limit to this, however, that will automatically mark all threads as 'read' after a 3 days, whether you really have read them or not.

Rating Threads

What are ratings?

The Cafe and Cafe Games forums allow you to rate threads between 1 star (terrible) and 5 stars (excellent). Once enough votes are cast for a thread, stars will appear next to its name in the listings. These show the average vote, and can be an easy way to see which threads are worth reading.

On the forum viewing page you can also arrange threads by rating, with either the highest or lowest at the top.

To rate a thread, click on the 'Rate Thread' link at the top of the thread viewing page. Choose the number of stars you feel best represents the quality of the thread. You may or may not be able to change your choice of rating at a later date.

Thread Tools

What are thread tools?

At the top of each thread, there is a link called 'Thread Tools'. By clicking on this link, a menu will appear with a number of options:

  • Show Printable Version - this will show you a page with the thread post content in a reduced graphics format that is more 'printer friendly'.
  • Email this Page - if you think the thread may be interesting to someone else, you can forward a link to it to their email address.
  • Subscribe (or Unsubscribe) to this Thread - by subscribing to a thread, you will receive periodic email updates on recent activity within it. Click here for more information on subscriptions.
  • Adding a Poll - if you started the thread, you can add a poll to it with this option. Click here for more information on polls.
  • Mark this thread as solved - if you started the thread, you can add a [Solved] tag at the beginning of the thread title. This will help others looking for a solution to a similar problem.

Tags

What are tags?

Tags are a useful way to search for threads with similar subject matter and content. This complements the normal search system, which searches only for certain words or phrases and/or posts by specific users.

To use tags, you add words or phrases to threads to help describe the content. For instance, if the subject matter is 'package manager' then you can add the tag 'package manager' to the tag list. But you could also add tags like 'apt-get', or 'dpkg' (depending, of course, on the subject of the thread).

This will categorize this thread with all other threads that have matching tags, whether or not they have the word 'package manager' in them.

Who adds the tags?

Tags are initially added to threads by the user who started the thread. Other users are also able to add and remove tags.

How do I use tags?

Tags are displayed in a box near the bottom of a thread page. Clicking on a tag will allow you to view other threads that have the same tag - and which may be related. Clicking on the word 'Tags' in the top of the box will take you to an overview page with a 'tag cloud.'

This cloud allows you to see which tags are the most popular - the larger the word, the more times it has been used on threads within the board. There is also another tag cloud on the advanced search page that shows you the tags that have been searched for (or clicked on) the most.

Cookies

This page discusses how cookies are used by this site. If you continue to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.

What are cookies ?

Cookies are small files stored on your computer by your web browser (such as Firefox, Chrome, Chormium or Midori) at the request of a site you're viewing. This allows the site you're viewing to remember things about you, such as your preferences and history or to keep you logged in.

Cookies may be stored on your computer for a short time (such as only while your browser is open) or for an extended period of time.

Our Cookie Usage

This site uses cookies for numerous things, including registration, login in and maintaining your preferences. This includes ensuring that you can stay logged in for 2h without activity and keeping the site in the appearance that you requested. We do not use any third party cookie and do not transfer information to any other site.

Removing/Disabling Cookies

Managing your cookies and cookie preferences must be done from within your browser's options/preferences. Please refer to the documentation for your own browser regarding managing cookies.

Your Notifications

What are Your Notifications?

When you have logged into the board, a link to your 'Notifications' is displayed next to your username at the top right of the forum. Your 'Notifications' will show if you have any one of the following:

  • Unread Private Messages (?)
  • Unread Profile Visitor Messages (?)
  • Profile Visitor Messages Awaiting Approval
  • Incoming Friend Requests (?)
  • Unread Photo Comments (?)
  • Photo Comments Awaiting Approval

By clicking on the 'Notifications' link, you will be able to quickly see how many of each type you have received. Clicking on any of the links in the menu will take you to the relevant page within the User Control Panel or elsewhere in the system.

If there are no notifications, then this link will show a link to 'Private Messages' (?).

Quick Links

What is the Quick Links menu?

The navigation bar at the top of each page has several helpful links. One of them is a dropdown menu called Quick Links. (It appears only to registered members who are logged in). Clicking it once with the mouse will make it drop down and show the following options:

  • Albums (where you can manage your photos and albums)
  • General Settings (where you can edit your account settings)
  • Subscribed Threads (where you get a list of all the threads you are subscribed to)
  • Edit profile (where you can edit your profile)
  • Friends and Contacts (a page from where you can manage your network)
  • Open Contact popup (where you can rapidely send a PM to your contacts)
  • Find all my Threads (where you get a list of all the threads you have created)
  • Find all my posts (where you get a list of all your posts)
  • Unanswered Posts (where you get a list of all the threads with zero reply)
  • New Posts (where you get a list of all the threads you have not read since last login)
  • View Forum Leaders (where you get a list of all forums Moderators, Super Moderators and Administrators)

Contacting other Members

Can I email other members?

Yes. To send an email to another member, you can either find them on the member list, or choose the Send EmailSend Email option from the username menu in any post they have written.

This will usually open a page that contains a form where you can enter your message. When you have finished typing your message, press the 'send email' button and your message will be sent instantly.

Can I see email addresses?

For privacy reasons, the recipient's email address is not revealed to you during this process.

Why can't I send an email to someone?

If you cannot find an email button or link for a member, it means that the member has said that they do not wish to receive email from other members.

What is private messaging?

Registered members may also be able to send messages to other members of this forum using the private messaging system. For more information about private messaging, click here.

What are visitor messages?

Registered members may leave messages for other members on their profile page. These messages can generally be viewed by all visitors, including members, guests and search engine spiders. For more information on visitor messages, click here.

Dealing with Troublesome Users

Can I block posts, emails and messages from specific users?

If there are particular members that bother you and you do not want to see their posts or receive Private Messages and Emails from them, then you can add these members to your 'Ignore List'. There are several ways to do this:

Through your User Control Panel: User CP, Settings & Options, Edit Ignore List. Then, type their name into the empty text box and click 'Okay'.

What if I see something offensive?

You will find a 'Report Post' button bottom left of each post. This link allows you to alert the ubuntuforums staff to anything which you find to be offensive, objectionable, illegal, not suitable for the forums or against the Ubuntu Forums Code of Conduct.

Search FAQ

Select this option if you would like your search to look in the text of FAQ items as well as their titles.

Select an option here to specify how you would like your search query to be treated. 'Any words' will return the most numerous but possibly least relevant results, while 'Complete phrase' will return only results that contain exactly what you are searching for.