Forum FAQs



Enrollment & Accounts

  • Do I have to be a member of TWUUG to subscribe? No
  • Do I have to subscribe to be a member of TWUUG? No, but it is strongly recommended since this is the method we use to communicate with the members about upcoming meetings and other announcements.
  • Do I have to have a valid Email address to use the Forums? Yes- it is how the account is authenticated. It is also how the site sends notifications. If your Email account stops working, you risk being deleted from the Forums.
  • Can I attach more than one Email address to my account? No
  • Can I change my user name later? Yes
  • Can I change my Email address later? Yes
  • Can I subscribe under multiple accounts with a single/same Email addresses? No. Each Forum login must have a unique Email address associated with it.
  • Can I subscribe under multiple accounts with multiple Email addresses? Yes, it is possible, although that could be considered "bad" behavior.
  • Can I prevent the Forums from sending me Email? You can turn off all Email notifications, but you will still get a single "ping" Email about the monthly meeting reminder each month. See section on "Email notifications", below.
  • Do I need "approval" to set up an account? No. Account creation is completely automated and self-service.
  • Do I have to use my real name on the account? No, but it is strongly recommended. Remember, this is a private forum that is not visible by non-members, so there really should be no reason to hide your name.
  • Can I delete my own account? No, not at this time, since the software doesn't support it. If you want to delete your account, contact the admin or post that you want to be removed and it shall be done. Another way is to edit your profile and change your Email address to "" which will eventually get our attention. Typically your existing posts will remain on the board.
  • Will my account be removed if I rarely or never visit the site? (I just like reading the Email notifications)? No.
  • Under what circumstances would my account be removed? 1) If you grossly violate the Forums rules or 2) If your notification Emails start bouncing AND you never visit the site AND can't be reached any longer.
  • How will you contact me if my Email malfunctions? The Administrator(s) will first try private messages via the Forum. If that fails, we will try a direct Email to your primary Email account. If that fails, we will look at the "Emergency Contact" field contents on your profile and use one of those (if you provided them).
  • Are there any restrictions placed on new users before they can post? No. New users have no different permissions than older users and there are no special privileges based on number of postings either.


  • Do I have to sign in/out of the forum site every time I use it? No. There is an option on the login screen called "Log me on automatically each visit." When activated, you only have to authenticate once per machine/browser. You can, however, sign out any time you like or even remove the cookie from a link on the site or with your browser controls.
  • If I don't use the 'auto login' function, how long before I am logged out? After two hours of inactivity (screen changes) you will be logged out, although it will not appear that way until you click on something that will change the screen. (Unless, of course, you manually log out).
  • I set the 'auto login' function, but it still requires me to login each time! This shouldn't happen unless you have something set to delete your cookies automatically or to not store cookies at all. Check your browser settings. If you WANT to delete most cookies but retain certain ones, many browsers (like Firefox) have Addons that can do just that.
  • Can I be logged in from multiple places at the same time? Yes. And since the system is server-based, it works well this way. You can have access to everything in many places at once and not have to worry about remote access or synchronization.
  • I lost my Forum password! What do I do? On the login screen, there is an option to recover your password via Email. If you lost your password AND your primary Email has gone defunct or is also inaccessible, contact forums .at. via Email for assistance.

Privacy & Security

  • Will my postings end up on a web search index? No. It is a closed forum. But you can search the Forum easily when you are logged into it.
  • Why is the forum closed? Because most members want to maintain posting privacy and there are plenty of existing Unix/Linux forums out there for those who want a public forum.
  • Are the postings and user data stored on a machine we cannot control? No. Everything is hosted and run by TWUUG.
  • Do postings expire or purge? It is our intent to keep all postings of value. The site is not set to auto purge anything in the main forums, but we might prune out “noise” after a long time to save space.
  • Will the site be spammed or ruined by bots? We hope not. This is unlikely with a closed board. However, if we find that our registration process is not rigorous to keep out unwanted entities, we will change it to require registration approval.
  • Why does the site have moderators and what do they do? Moderators are chosen to look for and remove spam or inappropriate content, move topics if posted to the wrong forum, fix topic subjects if they are not descriptive, correct posting format errors, and help users with the board.
  • How secure is my password? That depends on your network and machine. The site cannot support SSL login at this time, so your credentials will transmitted in the clear (however, they are stored as an encrypted hash). This is not normally a problem for wired/private systems. However, you might want to use caution when using a public (especially public wireless) network. We STRONGLY recommend you do not use the same password on multiple systems, but this is common sense and not limited to just the Forums.
  • Why is the site not behind SSL? Because it is very difficult to set up and maintain, it requires much more processing power (and our server is not beefy), and it is mostly unnecessary.

Email & Notifications

  • Can I post to the forums through Email? No, but with Forum Notifications activated, you will see new messages through Email and can jump straight to the forum posting with a link to reply. It is faster than you might think.
  • What if I accidentally reply to a notification Email? The message will immediately bounce back to you, so you know you made a mistake :)
  • When I post a message, I am not getting a notification! You never get sent notifications for your own postings.
  • How can I restrict all these Emails I am getting? You have full control over all the notifications settings. See: Forum Notifications
  • When I send a private message, it seems to stay in my "outbox" instead of "sent". Why? It will stay in your outbox until the person reads your message online, then it is moved to your sent box. This is a little different than most Email programs.
  • If I edit a message right after posting it, will people get Email notifications with the original message or the edited message? Unfortunately, they will get the original and not the edited. It is a limitation of the software.
  • If I edit a post later, will it send another notification Email out to people? No. Only if you post a new message (reply) in that forum.
  • Are Email notifications delayed? Sometimes I KNOW someone posted something, but it takes several minutes or even hours to get a notification Yes. The Forums software has no cron or autonomous helper programs, so it is triggered to send things when people visit pages. If someone posts something and then they and nobody else loads any other page, it might not trigger the Email event until someone does load a page. If you want to ensure your notification goes out quickly, then click on another topic/thread or forum after posting something.
  • Why do notification Emails not contain the poster's full name? Because the full name is a custom field and the code doesn't allow pulling it into the Email templates. We might eventually solve this, but it is one reason we encourage users to use a descriptive login name and also to use a signature that includes their full name.
  • Do I have to do anything to get Email notifications for new posts? No. By default, you are automatically subscribed for the whole board. But you can control the settings to match your desires. See Forum Notifications for more info.
  • What happens if my Email address malfunctions? If there is something wrong with your Email address, the notifications will bounce back to the system administrator. If this continues to happen AND you don't ever login to the website, either your notifications will be turned off or it might be assumed you no longer exist and your login might be removed.
  • Is it possible to have a true threading display of messages in my Email client? No. This is not possible because all the messages are coming from the same entity and are not in reply to another message using the same message ID. But, you can simulate threading in many Email client programs by sorting that folder by subject and then date (this works quite well in Claws, for example).
  • If I turn off all Email notifications, will I ever get any Email via the Forums? Only from the admin and infrequently. Once a month the admin will send out a single Email to all users to let them know of the TWUUG meeting. This message also tests that all the registered Email addresses are still valid (which is a requirement of having a TWUUG Forum account). On rare occasions it might also be necessary to notify all the users of some major TWUUG Forum problem or TWUUG issue.


  • When using the Forums in a web browser, I don't want to search for new postings all the time! You don't have to do that. In the column headed "LAST POST", Click on the last little link icon next to the poster name, it will jump you to the first unseen posting.
  • I mostly follow the Forums with the notification Emails... but there are times I want to switch to primarily web based and when I do, it thinks I have not seen anything! That is easily fixed- on the main "Board Index" page, on the right- above the listing of the various forums, there is a link that says "Mark Forums Read". That will instantly do what you need.
  • Why is there a separate "subject" line on posts that can vary from the name of the topic? That is a good question. The first posting in a topic automatically becomes the name of the topic. It really doesn't serve much purpose after the first post... unless the topic is "split" by a moderator into another topic. It is just a quirk of the way most forum software works.
  • It looks like some postings drift from the original topic. Yep, that is the nature of human conversation :) If the drift is too severe, the topic might be split into a multiple topics, but some drift is only natural and to be expected.
  • It also looks like some topics don't fit the forum title in which they were posted. Yep, that can also happen. Some people might be careless as to which forum they posted, but in other cases, it might be fuzzy as to which forum is most appropriate. It is not an exactly science, but if it is pretty glaring, a moderator might move the Topic to a more correct Forum to keep things organized.
  • Why are topics sometimes broken across multiple pages? All forums are designed to split long topics into multiple pages. There has to be a limit as to how many are on a single page- because it would take an unreasonable amount of time and bandwidth as the topic got longer. Ours is set to 20 posts per page.
  • What do the topic icons mean? Blue icons mean that there is nothing new/unread in that forum or topic. Red icons mean there is something new/unread. An asterisk (*) means it is a topic in which you have participated. An arrow means the topic was moved to another forum but is still showing a "shadow" topic (like a symbolic link) to prevent confusion.


  • What subject should I use when starting a new thread/topic? Try to think of something short and yet descriptive. Never use generic or non-descriptive subjects such as "This is neat" or "I need help" or "A funny thing happened to me". You can bet those will be changed by a moderator to something better.
  • When I post and quote a message already quoted, part of it disappears! We installed a modification to allow only one level of quoting. When you edit the message, you can still see the other levels, but anything older than one level is automatically removed when you post (but you CAN see that if you preview first).
  • Do I have to login to the site to post a message or reply? Yes and no. All posts do have to be done through the Forums website, but if you tell the site to "remember" you on login, you will not have to login each time on that computer. And Email notifications even have a "reply with quote" link for a quick, one-click reply operation.
  • Can I edit a posting I made? Yes. But keep in mind that the original version will have already been Emailed out to everyone enrolled in Email notifications (and sent via RSS to RSS users). If there has been a reply to a posting (after a certain amount of time), it will indicate that fact that it was edited by you and the date/time. Editing a post does not trigger the system to send out new notification Email to the members nor a new RSS entry, so if it is a very material change, it would be better to reply to yourself with quotation.
  • Is there a spell checker? No, but most web browsers now include that functionality.
  • Do I have to "Preview" a posting before "Submitting it? No, but it is highly recommended. It gives you a chance to see exactly what the post will look like before it is not only posted but also Emailed out to most members. It is especially helpful when quoting.
  • Should I always use "quoting" when posting? You don't have to, but it is strongly encouraged to quote the important sections you are replying to. It makes it much easier for people to know exactly what you are addressing, especially when many people are posting to the same topic (and even more so for people reading the posts through the Email notifications.
  • Should I trim when quoting? It is not required, but encouraged, especially when replying to a long posting. Simply edit out the chunks not relevant. It will make it easier for people to read and know exactly what you are addressing.
  • Can I quote multiple times- like inline replying? Absolutely- and this is encouraged, although it does take a bit more time. You will have to edit the text carefully, adding "[quote]" and "[/quote]" tags as necessary. Preview your posting before submitting, since it can be easy to make a mistake and miss a tag or forget to enclose an area.
  • I never got a Email of my Posting! The site doesn't send Email notifications of messages to the person that posted them.
  • Should I do anything after posting? Not really, although there can be a delay of sending out Email notifications about your posting if you don't browse anywhere after posting. If you want to ensure your notification goes out quickly click on another topic/thread or forum after posting something and that will help trigger the notifications to go out.
  • Nobody responded to my posting! This can happen. First, give it some time. Many people only monitor their notifications or the site occasionally, it could take days before most users have seen the post. Also keep in mind that people might not have anything constructive to add, not understand what you meant, or are not interested in that topic. Please don't take it personally or become discouraged.

Posting Attachments

  • Can I post a picture? Yes, you can attach a picture (or several other types of files) to a posting by using the "Upload Attachment" tab control in the bottom section of the posting form. Make sure to resize photos to be a reasonable screen resolution before attaching them (see below).
  • But what if I want the picture to be in-line of what I am typing instead of just attached at the end? After uploading an attachment (like a picture), you are given an option for inline. If you choose to use inline, a set of BBCODE tags will be inserted into your posting text that you can then move anywhere in your posting. Make sure to use the "Preview" button to see what things look like.
  • Are there any limits on attachments? The TWUUG Forums does have various restriction settings to prevent wasting space. Most of the restrictions revolve around the number, size, and type of attachments allowed. These will be tweaked as we find necessary.
  • So what are the limits? Last settings were: 4 attachments per post, 1.5MB per file, 1920x1200 resolution for photos, 1GB total storage across the whole board. Accepted types: pictures/photos, text files, pdf files, ODF files.
  • Will people who follow the Forums via Email notifications or RSS see attachments? Yes and no. They will see the fact that there was an attachment, but not the actual attachment, itself. If they want to see them, they can simply click on the post link to see everything.


  • Why is the site sometimes fast and other times slow? The forum software will cache already generated page views that other users have triggered, resulting in fast display time. However, the server is not very powerful and it shares bandwidth with other (more important) systems, so when it has to generate new views, there can be some pauses.
  • Why is the language of the board "British English"? Because that is the default and changing it was a pain and really not necessary. Plus, it is kinda cute leaving it with "colour" :)
  • What type of forum software do we use? phpbb
  • Why was phpbb chosen over other forum software? There are dozens of different forum software packages available. Phpbb was chosen because it is open-source, self-hosted, stable, powerful, updated regularly, well supported, feature-packed, and best matched the requirements for TWUUG at time of implementation.
  • Is the forum better than a mailing list? Yes and no. Each had advantages and disadvantages. However, the forum has a lot of compelling advantages. See this page: Forum vs. List
  • My time is off an hour, doesn't the board change to/from DST automatically? Unfortunately no. The board doesn't know which city you are in, so it doesn't know what your local rules are. So you will have to go into User Control Panel -> Board Preferences -> Summertime in Effect and change the option from "yes" to "no" twice a year.

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