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  1. #1
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    Please allow me to get help on these forums

    I have been trying to get something to work. It's perfectly moral and proper. One of my threads was closed, and one is under review. It makes no sense. One of your moderators, Elfy, well-meaning though he is, pointed me to this: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1486138. It is a statement of forum policy regarding root login to GUI. None of my posts in any way violate the policy or its spirit. I have read it severl times, and each time I do, I am more baffled at why my posts are being scrutinized. I am at a complete loss to explain, then, how they are in violation of the policy.

    Please read my posts about logging in as different users in one session. If you will only do that, you will see that my posts are quite legitimate. I am not advocating nor promoting logging in as root, in fact I am manifestly looking for a workable alternative. Once you have read the posts, kindly afford me the courtesy that is given other users on these forums: Allow me to express myself so that I can get the help I need to accomplish my work.

    Please unlock my threads, and don't nitpick the wording to conclude that I am violating a policy which clearly states that explaining how to login as root, is allowed. My posts do not even approach that, and I have been shown no other policy that I am allegedly violating. I am just trying to get some help here- and that not even with root login!

  2. #2
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    Re: Please allow me to get help on these forums

    I'll make this short. You have stated that you are logging into a root graphical desktop. That, and anything that follows from logging into a root GUI, is not supported in these forums. If you wish to subvert the Ubuntu security model you are welcome to do so on your own systems but you will have to find support elsewhere. The threads will stay closed. Please do not open any more about this matter.

    Please do not PM me about your forum account unless you have been asked to. The correct place to contact an admin about your account is here.

  3. #3
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    Re: Please allow me to get help on these forums

    Show me the extant written policy that prohbits any of my posts. Nobody has, because it doesn't exist. The policy doesn't exist because what I am seeking help to accomplish is proper, and I have suggested several possible ways of doing it- whereas you acknowledge only one.

    I need the information to contact your General Counsel. Your treatment of me is discriminatory. None of my posts have violated any stated forum policy. You obviously haven't read them carefully or you'd know that I have asked extensively about logging in as a user and using kdesu or the like to accomplish what I want. I can't even get any help because my threads keep getting closed by moderators who are misusing their authority to elimniate psots they don't like.

    My very first post on the subject resulted in a post from a moderator who directed me to a page that states what the policy is. I haven't violated it. In fact, it even says that it is okay to tell someone how to login as root as long as certain conditions are met. I need to use the forums like all the other users here. I am not in violation of any policy (and am amazed that anyone could construe any of my posts that way). Since your conduct is denying me the same level of help that others rightly expect and receive here, it is disciminatory, and therefore prohibited. You can open the threads back up because it is the righ thing to do. Or you can open them at the direction of legal counsel.

    I need the contact information for your General Counsel. Any further delay in providing that to me will be used as additional evidence of discrimination since there has been no delay in closing my threads, or providing nonsensical and baseless excuses for the conduct of the moderators. Kindly don't further interfere with my attempts to get my work done in a timely manner with the help of your members as othes do all day every day.

  4. #4
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    Re: Please allow me to get help on these forums

    Blustering will get you nowhere.

    There is no "General Counsel" whatever that means. There is a Forum Council which consists of the 7 forum admins. This is where you address them. One or more of the other 6 admins may or may not comment in this thread as they choose, but you will have to be patient. We are all part-time volunteers.

    I'll limit myself to two points about the login as root policy:

    1. Log in as root is only OK (as far as the policy is concerned) where this involves logging into the root account in a terminal.
    2. When setting policies, or moderating posts for that matter, we have to consider the large number of inexperienced users who use this forum as an information resource, many of whom are silently reading threads without posting. If you post material which includes inadvisable practices, you are not the one who has to pick up the pieces when an unsuspecting newbie breaks their system based on information you have posted. You need to bear this in mind. Threads are publicly readable because they are for the benefit of many others apart from the thread starter.


    Since you seem to be interested in the minutiae of rules and policies, and in case you have missed it, you might wish to read through the forum Code of Conduct.

    Please do not PM me about your forum account unless you have been asked to. The correct place to contact an admin about your account is here.

  5. #5
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    Re: Please allow me to get help on these forums

    I should also mention that the written policy specifally allows someone to explain how to login as root (though neither I nor anyone who came to my aid, had any interest in such explainations). The policy states: "If you wish to instruct people to set a root password please include, at a minimum, the nature of the problem at hand (permissions) and information on how to lock the root account again." So even though nothing in those threads even touches on this conduct, it is specifically allowed within certain guidelines. Certainly then, the threads that I started at allowable.

  6. #6
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    Re: Please allow me to get help on these forums

    Thanks for shedding some light on this matter. A General Counsel is a lawyer, who provides legal advice and other legal services to an organization. They tend to be somewhat analytical and impartial about disputes, focusing only on the legal basis for a decision. Such a person would've looked at my posts, and the policy I was supposed to be violating.

    I am trying to get work done. I need a little help, so I came here. There is not a single post that explains how to do anything that isn't liked here, let alone violates a policy. And thanks to you, I can certainly understand why you all (moderators) would not like it. The policy that I was shown (and have re-posted) specifically addresses logging into a GUI as root, please read it, then re-read ALL of my posts to see whether a single one actually violates any express policy.

    The policy I was shown (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1486138) actually says (and I quote): "Thus the intent of the policy is we prefer if people educate new users re: permissions, etc, etc, rather then simply instruct them to set a root pw." and "Our "line in the sand" is with tutorials or posts that show people how to LOG IN to a graphical desktop (gnome, KDE, etc) as root. This is completely inappropriate and unnecessary.
    "

    I didn't even approach such a line, if you will just actually read my posts. AND MOREOVER- I have asked more questions about logging in as a regular user and using kdesu, or kdesudo, than I have mentioned logging in as root (which is as far as I have gone). Yes, I was inviting comment on how to accomplish something while logged in as root, but I asked in the same posts about accomplishing what I was trying to do without logging in as root. I even mentioned having "[sudoed around]" trying to do what I am doing. I asked how to do that more effectively.

    I appreciate you taking the time to offer more explanation. The fact remains that I am being mistreated, I am not receiving the same level of access as other users, because my posts have been capricously closed (one for review- how long does that take?), even though I am just seeking answers. I am not showing anyone how to do anything, nor advocating such. PLEASE- see for yourself.

    There is no bluster, just a (somewhat desperate) attempt to communicate here as everyone else does. Again, I am trying to get work done.

  7. #7
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    Re: Please allow me to get help on these forums

    Thinking about your posts a bit more, I can see that there is a significant mismatch between your legalistic expectations and the way forums are conducted. Despite the fact that you have (hopefully unwittingly) committed one minor and one major faux pas, I will rein in my own personal irritation about these and try to explain certain things patiently. You are clearly a newcomer to forum culture and etiquette.

    This is not a corporation; this is an internet forum. Hence my puzzlement at your use of the term “General Counsel”. Although it is graciously funded and hosted by the company Canonical and is designated the official forum for Ubuntu, in terms of moderation of content it is left to the all-volunteer, unpaid, part-time staff (admins and moderators) to administer. It comes under the purview of the Ubuntu Community Council, but is only one venue for community discussion or community technical support for Ubuntu – Ubuntu Discourse and AskUbuntu being two others.

    It is also an international internet forum, with the servers physically located in the UK, members from all over the world, and admin and moderating staff likewise drawn from many countries. I would ask you to put aside any pre-conceptions you may have about your perceived rights based on your own country's constitution. It does not apply.

    I find your interpretation of our login as root policy reminiscent of what I would expect from a barrack-room lawyer. It doesn't work that way. If we were to legislate about every conceivable unusual situation, our Code of Conduct and associated policies would be longer than all the world's scriptures put together. The forum staff (admins and moderators) were each experienced members who had shown consistent helpfulness when they were appointed. The forum staff are expected to be leaders in that they set the general tone of the forum, but also responsive to the needs and opinions of the majority of the forum membership – that is, those who understand forum culture. As such, the staff have editorial control over content of posts – the rules are guidelines, not rigid precepts that have to be followed robotically. To this end we have a hidden staff area where individual threads and/or posts can be discussed by the 7 admins and 26 moderators. I can tell you that your posts have been discussed, most carefully, and that some staff are far less tolerant of your posts and your revealed attitude in this thread than I am at the moment.

    I turn now to what I have referred to as your two faux pas. The first was that after a thread of yours was closed you started a couple of new threads about essentially the same situation. As bapoumba pointed out when closing one of them, the proper course of action was an appeal here, as you have now done. A word of advice. On some forums if you repost a question that has been closed by a moderator, and especially if you repost it worded so that it is not immediately obvious that it is about the same issue, that would be considered a banning offence. We won't ban you here for that, but you have annoyed some of the moderating staff.

    The second faux pas was to make a threat of legal action. I quote:

    You can open the threads back up because it is the righ thing to do. Or you can open them at the direction of legal counsel.

    I need the contact information for your General Counsel. Any further delay in providing that to me will be used as additional evidence of discrimination since there has been no delay in closing my threads, or providing nonsensical and baseless excuses for the conduct of the moderators. Kindly don't further interfere with my attempts to get my work done in a timely manner with the help of your members as othes do all day every day.
    I described that as bluster. You said it was not bluster. If it is not bluster then it is an implicit threat. Threats usually lead to a ban. I'll leave you to ponder that.

    I have to admit that I have some sympathy with your request. You outline an interesting situation. However, that sympathy has to be tempered by concern over inexperienced users coming across your posts, as I have already explained, taking things out of context, and being tempted to indulge in poor practice or actually compromising their systems. That is why I am still of the view that the threads stay closed. Working from a root-GUI has to be a no-no here – in my opinion. This is the forum for the Ubuntu distro which is used by many people new to Linux – as are many of our new forum members. On a different Linux forum with a different type of membership where experienced users understand the risks of running as root, your questions would probably be OK. “Probably” because that would be a decision for the staff there – their house, their rules.

    And, yes, I hear what you say about wanting to spawn root GUI programs from an unprivileged desktop. Unfortunately you started off by stating that you had been working from a root GUI and everything then followed its inevitable course.

    I was hoping that another forum admin would have been able to comment by now – another admin might take a different view – but as I said we are all part-time and a couple of them have been away dealing with real life.

    Last comment:

    Quote Originally Posted by lunix2
    I should also mention that the written policy specifally allows someone to explain how to login as root
    I've said it before; I'll say it again. Logging into a root terminal is OK. That is what the policy states (with certain reservations). Tutorials on GUI login as root are forbidden. Implicit in this is that any activity in a root desktop is not OK.

    Please do not PM me about your forum account unless you have been asked to. The correct place to contact an admin about your account is here.

  8. #8
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    Re: Please allow me to get help on these forums

    I don't think anyone has an issue with any user wanting help - I suspect the only reason the initial thread got closed was the constant referral to being logged in as root. Phrasing is important - a user who begins a thread with "I have a pirated copy of..." will not receive the attention they want.
    Please consider that we are human, and some human nature is to respond in kind. Requests are generally met with our best efforts to assist. Demands for action with threats of legal action - not-so-much...
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  9. #9
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    Re: Please allow me to get help on these forums

    Thanks you all for your thoughtful and informative, and mostly understanding replies. It was never my intent to threaten anyone or anything. What has been termed bluster, was an (frantic) attempt to have a dispassionate person with authority look at the whole situation and promptly get my discussions activated so I can get the help I need to get my work done more efficiently. What I sensed, correctly it appears, is that sometimes moderators (who are human) act more out of emotion (anger, irritation) than in the interests of Ubuntu users. In all honest, I must confess to feeling those emotions myself.

    And though I appreciate why it would appear I am new to forum culture, I actually have been using forums for many years, I was a long-time poster on Borland's forums and those of some semiconductor company, mostly providing rather than requesting assistance. That experience actually exacerbated my frustration and irritation. I have never seen moderators shut down a discussion because they didn't like a post, or a discussion. Or, more accurately small parts of such. Never have I been the cause of any concern in a forum other then that of some trolls.

    I was invited by the first moderator who closed a thread to repost, but evidently others feel that doing so was a faux pas and they were justified in acting on those posts. That is precisely why I kept referring to a written policy. And it is why I asked to contact another party who had the authority to ensure the rules were followed consistently on both sides.

    I have had several more questions since my last post here. But I have moved on, since I feel unwelcome here. As a practical matter, I can't afford to take the time to post and hope that the thread isn't closed before I can get the information I need. It looks like the forum has only been here for a couple of years. I wish you well.

  10. #10
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    Re: Please allow me to get help on these forums

    With that, I don't think there is any need to keep this thread open. Closed.

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