In order to maximize our ability to help as many people as possible, and in order to keep things friendly and fun, we have some forum guidelines that we ask you to follow when posting new topics or commenting. I present them below in a delightful series of short “Dos and Don’ts”


  • Focus! If you have multiple problems, make multiple posts. Do not combine several problems into one post.
  • Include the following: Distro/version, when you installed, steps to cause the problem, any errors you got, relevant log entries.
  • Keep good backups. We can’t help if you’ve lost important data and don’t have backups.
  • Test with a fully updated system before posting a question.
  • Tell us what you’ve already tried, and what happened (briefly!).
  • Tell us the actual error and include a few relevant lines from the applicable log (maillog or access log or error log, most likely, but possibly something from the journal on newer systemd systems).
  • Be patient. We are a small team and the work we do here in the forums and on our OSS projects is unpaid volunteer labor. If you’re friendly, and ask good and clear and concise questions, you’re more likely to inspire people to try to help you.
  • Remember that if your problem is urgent and affecting your business, etc., you can make it urgent to our business by becoming a paying customer.
  • If your problem gets solved, please mark the comment that helped with the “Solution” button, or if you solved it on your own, follow up with a summary of what you did (this helps others in the future, and may help you if your solution will have unintended consequences that others might be able to warn you about).


  • Don’t follow random guides on the internet for installing Virtualmin. Visit our download page, it provides all the information you need to get started with Virtualmin in concise form.
  • Don’t send PMs or emails to staff asking for one-on-one help with our Open Source software. Virtualmin Pro and Cloudmin Pro customers can PM @staff for private priority support.
  • Don’t post sensitive information to the forums (or via individual private message). If you’re a customer and need us to see something sensitive, send a PM to @staff.
  • Don’t make zombies. Searching for similar problems is great! But, reviving old posts with new questions is bad. It forces someone to read the whole thread to understand context, and often includes misleading context (your problem may be completely unrelated to the one you’re replying to).
  • Don’t change the subject. One question per topic, please. Off-topic comments may be removed by moderators.
  • Don’t panic if your post gets queued for moderation. Our spam filter is overly aggressive sometimes, but we’ll publish your post as soon as we see it in the queue.
  • Don’t ask us to login to your server. We can’t be your sysadmin. If we need to see some specific information you haven’t included, we’ll ask, and if troubleshooting a particularly complex problem requires logging in, we’ll ask.
  • Don’t post ChatGPT or other language model generated text as an answer. We will know (because it is consistently wrong in subtle, but distinctive ways, and has impeccable grammar), and we will assume you are a spammer trying to gain reputation. We’ll delete your post and probably block you.
  • Don’t ask when a new Webmin version will arrive in Virtualmin repositories. It is always delayed a short time after upstream release. It will arrive in Virtualmin repositories once Virtualmin integration testing is complete.
  • Don’t engage in classic holy war topics. Apache vs. nginx, emacs vs.vim vs. VSCode, PHP vs. whatever, WordPress vs. whatever, MySQL vs. Mariadb vs. PostgreSQL. Specific technical questions about whether something is possible and how is OK, “which one is better” is not useful.
  • Don’t do bigotry of any sort: racism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia, religious intolerance, etc. You will be banned without warning.
  • Don’t be mean. Treat people with respect. We’ll give you a warning if you step over the line, but only once.

Bonus Do’s

  • Make suggestions about anything I’ve missed in this list.
  • Improve your situational awareness by reading a few topics before posting your own questions.
  • If you’re using mod_php, stop. If you’ve installed mod_php, uninstall it. mod_php is usually in the php package or php<version>-php package (or a dependency of that package on Debian/Ubuntu). Don’t install that package. You don’t need it or want it. If you followed random guides on the internet for installing additional PHP versions, you probably also installed mod_php. Again, uninstall it.
  • If you’re using a proxy, including Cloudflare, say so. That’s a very important detail for many kinds of issues.

Super Important Do

  • Include your Linux distribution and version!

Thanks for reading!