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.

My Public Profile

What is the Public Profile Page?

Every member has a profile page that can be viewed by logged in members only. This page includes information provided by the member via the User Control Panel once the account has reached 10 posts in the support areas. Please make sure you are comfortable with the information you share with other members.

There are a number of ways to view a member's profile. Whenever you see a member's name, clicking on it will usually take you to view their profile page.

When logged in, you can also view your own public profile by clicking on your username shown in the header at the top of the page.

What's on the Public Profile Page?

The public profile lists information about the member under the 'About Me' tab. It also includes statistical information, such as the number of posts they have made and their registration date. This information is shown under the 'Statistics' tab.

Other information includes a list of Friends (?), their profile picture (if set by the member), and a list of members who have recently visited the profile page.

What are Visitor Messages?

Visitor messages are messages posted on member profile pages. To post a message, click on the 'Visitor messages' tab, and use the form at the top of the section. You will only be able to use certain formatting in these messages, as described underneath the edit box. This message will be viewable by all logged in members. To communicate privately with a member, send a Private Message instead.

Visitor messages can be edited or deleted by site moderators or the member who owns the profile. If you see a visitor message that is not appropriate, you can alert the moderators by clicking on the 'Report' link. The 'View Conversation' link allows you to view all visitor messages between the member and the owner of the profile.

The Settings Control Panel

The Settings Control Panel is where you control your personal settings, options and preferences. To visit the Settings Control Panel, you must have first registered on the forums. Once logged in, click on 'Settings' in the header bar in the top-right corner of the page.

The Settings main page will list any new notifications, including new private messages and pending friend requests. Additional pages and forms allow you to control:

  • Your email address and password
  • Privacy Settings
  • Custom public profile settings
  • Private messages
  • Subscribed threads and forums
  • Friends and Contacts

Changing User Details

How do I change my user details?

You can change your account information using the User Control Panel.

For basic profile details (including your email address after you have established the first SSO link to your Ubuntu One account, and once you have 10 posts in the support areas), click on the 'Edit Your Details' option from within the User CP. This page allows you to set a number of required and optional details, including the Ubuntu distribution you are using.

Some information will be displayed on your public profile, with the exception of your email address. Do not enter information that you do not wish to be publicly viewable.

Signatures, Avatars and Profile Pictures

What are signatures?

'Signatures' contain information that you want to include at the bottom of all your posts. Pictures are not allowed to regular members. Only Forum Staff and Former Staff may use them. Please be careful with links to your site(s) that may be considered as spam. As a general rule, a link to a FOSS related site is acceptable.

What are avatars?

Avatars are small images that people use to identify or distinguish themselves to other forum members. Animated avatars are not allowed to regular members. Only Forum Staff and Former Staff may use them . The Ubuntu Forums provide some stock avatars members can use. They also allow members to upload their own custom avatars from their own computers. These avatars will be displayed as part of the user info in posts, as well as in the public profile.

What are profile pictures?

Profile Pictures are photos members can upload that will display in their public member profile.

How do I set signatures, avatars and profile pictures?

You can set and change your signature, avatar and profile picture in the User Control Panel once your account has reached 10 posts in the support areas.

For signatures, click on 'Edit Signature' under the 'Settings and Options' area of the navigation bar within the User CP.

To select an existing or upload a new avatar, click on 'Edit Avatar'.

To upload a profile picture, click on 'Edit Profile Picture' in the 'Your Profile' section.

Restrictions apply to signatures, avatars and profile pictures, please see the Forums 'Code of Conduct'.

Other Settings and Options

What do the other settings do?

In your User CP, there is a section under My Settings 'General Settings'.

  • General Settings: set your
    • 'Invisible Mode' - sets whether or not other members can see if you are online and what page you are viewing
    • 'Allow vCard Download' - sets whether or not to allow other members to download a vCard containing your email address and username.
    • 'Post Count Display' - Sets whether or not to allow other members to see your post count. Be aware that post count will be displayed in the 'About me' tab of your profile.
  • Messaging & Notification - options include:
    • 'Receive Email' - whether or not you want to receive emails from Administrators, other Members or when another member sends you a friendship request.
    • 'Default Thread Subscription Mode' - how you want to be notified about new posts in threads to which you have subscribed
    • 'Private Messaging' - control how you want Private Messaging to work for your account
    • 'Visitor Messaging' - control how you want Visitor Messaging to work for your account
  • Thread Display Options - these include:
    • 'Visible Post Elements' - whether or not you want to be able to see Signatures, Avatars and Images in posts
    • 'Thread Display Mode' - how you want to view threads by default (more info available here)
    • 'Number of Posts to Show Per Page'
    • 'Default Thread Age Cut Off' - the time period for threads to be displayed - threads older than this age will be hidden
  • Date & Time Options - these include:
    • 'Time Zone' - your local geographical time zone offset from GMT/UTC.
    • 'DST correction option' - to allow for daylight savings time in your part of the world.
    • 'Start of the Week' - for the timestamps on posts.
  • Miscellaneous Options include:
    • 'Message Editor Interface' - This option allows you choose what kind of editor you will use when posting messages. Your choices include a basic text-only editor, a standard editor with clickable formatting controls, or a full WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor that will show your formatting as you type.
    • 'Forum Skin' - to select the style (or 'skin') for the forum interface
    • 'Enhanced Attachment Uploading' - to reuse existing attachments via a drag and drop interface. Depending on your web browser, you may need to disable this option.

Friends and Contacts

What is the difference between a friend and a contact?

A friendship is a mutual, two-way relationship between two users. It is initiated by one user and accepted by the other.

A contact is a one-way friendship. This could be where the other person does not accept the friendship, a friendship request is pending, or you do not wish to be friends at this time but want to show them as a contact only.

Where is list of friends and contacts displayed?

Your friends and contacts are displayed on the 'Contacts and Friends' page in your User CP. Your friends are also displayed in your profile page.

How can I request a friend, accept a friend or break a friendship?

There are two ways to request a friendship with someone.

The easiest way is to view the profile page of the person you want to become friends with and click the 'Befriend' link.

The other way is to add the person to your contacts first. Then from your 'Contacts and Friends' page ask to be their friend by checking the box next to their name labelled 'Friend'. Next, save the page.

If you know the username of the person you want to be friends with you can send a friend request using the box provided and clicking 'Add Friend'.

To accept a friend, go to your 'Contacts and Friends' page. At the bottom of the page you will see a list of pending requests. Check the box for the requests you wish to accept then check the 'Accept' button and save the changes. If you do not wish to be friends then select 'Reject' instead.

Breaking a friendship can be done in three ways.

  • From your 'Contacts and Friends' page, uncheck the box for friend for the particular person and save the changes. If you no longer wish them to be a contact either, uncheck both boxes for that person.
  • In your 'Profile Page', click 'Friends' and then click 'Break Friendship' next to the user's name.
  • In the other person's profile, click 'Friends' then find your username and click 'Break Friendship'.

Private Messages

The forums administrators have enabled the Private Messaging system, registered members may send each other private messages.

How do I send Private Messages?

Private messages work a little like email, but are limited to registered members of this forum. You are able to include BB code, smilies, links and images in private messages that you send.

You may send a private message to a member of this forum by clicking the 'Send A Private Message' link in the private messaging section of your user control panel (more info), or by clicking the 'Send a Private Message' link in the drop down menu that appears in a member's posts when you click on their username.

When you send a message, you have the option to save a copy of it in your 'Sent Items' folder.

How do I work with Private Message Folders?

By default, you will have two folders in your private message area. These are the 'Inbox' and the 'Sent' Items folders.

The 'Inbox' folder contains any new messages you receive. It allows you to view all the messages you have received, along with the name of the person who sent it, and the date and time it was sent.

The 'Sent Items' folder contains a copy of any messages that you have sent, where you have specified that you wish to keep a copy for future reference.

You can create additional folders for your messages by clicking the 'Edit Folders' link.

Each folder has a set of message controls which allow you to select messages, then either move them to one of your custom folders, or delete them. Once you have selected your messages, you can choose the following options in the 'Selected Messages' box at the bottom of the list:

  • Move to Folder
  • Delete
  • Mark as Read
  • Mark as Unread
  • Download as XML
  • Download as CSV
  • Download as TEXT

You will need to periodically delete old messages. Users under 10 posts may have 50 messages in their folders, users above 10 posts may have 500 . If you exceed this number, you will not be able to send or receive new messages until you delete some old ones.

If you would like to keep a record of your messages before you delete them, you can use any of the 'Download as..' options listed above to take a copy and store them on your own computer.

Whenever you read a message, you will have the option to reply or forward it to another member of the forum. You may also have the ability to forward that message to multiple members of your contact list.

How do I track messages?

When you send a new private message, you may have the option to request a read-receipt. This lets you check whether or not a message has been read by its recipient. To do this, go to the 'Message Tracking' page.

This page is divided into two sections: unread and read messages.

The unread messages section shows all messages that you have sent with a read-receipt request, that have not yet been read by their recipient.

The read messages section shows all messages you have sent with a receipt request that have been read and acknowledged by their recipient. The time that the message was read is also shown.

You may choose to end the tracking on any message you choose by selecting it and clicking the 'End Tracking' button.

When you receive a message with a read-receipt request, you may have the option to read the message while denying the read-receipt request. To do this, simply click the 'Deny Receipt' link rather than the title of the message, if it appears.


What are subscriptions?

Subscriptions are a way of keeping track of different threads or forums. You can choose how you are notified about updates - for example by having them listed in your User CP and receiving email updates for each one.

How do I subscribe to a thread or forum?

To subscribe to a forum, click the 'Forum Tools' link above the list of threads then select 'Subscribe to Forum'. You will then have the option to choose the subscription mode for this forum. If the forum that you are subscribing to has any child forums (forums within a forum) then your subscription will be extended to these automatically.

To subscribe to a thread, click the 'Thread Tools' link at the top of the list of posts then click 'Subscribe to Thread'. You can then choose the subscription mode that you wish to use for that thread.

What subscription modes are available?

There are a number of different forum subscription modes available.

  • No Email Notification - lists the subscription in your User CP only. You do not receive any notifications about new posts or threads in the forum.
  • Daily Email Notification - sends one email a day with the new and updated threads in the forum and any sub-forums. If there are no new or updated threads in the forum or its sub-forums then you will not receive an email.
  • Weekly Email Notification - sends one email per week in the same way as the Daily Email Notification.

Thread Subscriptions have the same options as forum subscriptions with the following additional option:

  • Instant Email Notification - sends an email as soon as a new post is added to the thread. This is not sent for every reply and will only be sent once until you revisit the forums.

How do I manage Subscriptions and Folders?

Thread subscriptions can be sorted into folders for easy management. You can create as many folders as you wish by going to 'Edit Folders' in the 'Subscribed Threads' section of your User CP. To add a new folder, enter the folder name into one of the blank boxes and save the page. To delete a folder, delete the folder name. Editing a folder is done by simply editing the folder name in the list.

You can also manage your individual subscriptions by clicking 'List Subscriptions' under 'Subscribed Threads' in your User CP. Here you can select which subscriptions you wish to manage and delete them, move them to another folder, or change their subscription type.

Forum subscriptions are not managed through the List Subscriptions page and are shown on the User CP page where they contain the option to unsubscribe from the forum.

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