[Warning - Long post alert]
I’m not the forum administrator, but I’ve been here for a bit and I’ve noticed people making the same mistakes over and over again when it comes to asking for help with their deployment issues. In order to get the fastest response from people (and believe me, many are eager to help), here are a few tips:
First of all, SEARCH THE FORUM. This is your fastest and most powerful step, believe me! Majority of the time, the solution to your problem is already detailed in some other post. Rarely are there unique problems, so using the search tool is a quick and powerful way to help yourself. Search the forum and ALSO search on google. Only after you’ve done a thorough search and you’re unable to find a solution should you consider creating a post.
When you create a post, be as descriptive as possible about the problem you’re having. Don’t write epistles, but give enough details so people don’t spend the first 20 responses trying to get details from you on what the problem is. Posts like: “My Jitsi is not working”, “I can’t see video…”, “Some people can’t hear me…”, “How can I be a chandelier?…” e.t.c… without providing additional details, are not helpful. Describe exactly what’s going on right from your original post. [Okay, the chandelier bit is over the top, but you get my point. ]
Use descriptive titles. Your title should give a quick synopsis of the problem. If there’s a specific error message, sometimes, it’s best to use that as the title (if it’s not too long).
Make sure you provide specs about your infrastructure e.g. bandwidth, CPU, RAM, whether it’s hosted on premises or in a cloud service, whether you’re using docker, kubernetes e.t.c… Also provide information about the OS, application or component versions you’re running. To get the versions of your jitsi deployment, run this command:
dpkg -l | grep jitsi
PROVIDE LOGS! Know where to find your logs and provide them with your post. If you’re new to the forum, you’ll be limited in the amount of links you can post, so if possible, link to a downloadable repository (one that does not require signing in/authentication like google drive does) where you have your logs uploaded. If you’re posting your logs directly in your post (as opposed to uploading log files), PLEASE use “blockquote” or “pre-formatted text” button to format your log so it’s not one unending stretch on the page.
You can find your logs here:
Jvb log - /var/log/jitsi/jvb.log Jicofo log - /var/log/jitsi/jicofo.log Jigasi log - /var/log/jitsi/jigasi.log Jibri logs - /var/log/jitsi/jibri Prosody logs - /var/log/prosody JS console logs - from the Developer pane of your browser (screenshots are okay for these)
- Provide the necessary config files pertinent to your issue (be sure to edit out sensitive information like your IP, domain, passwords, secrets e.t.c…). Some useful configs include:
Provide screenshots, if possible. No, not screenshots of the logs (these are often not very helpful, apart from js console logs as mentioned earlier). Provide screenshots of the behavior you’re seeing that’s the reason behind your post.
If you’ve done ANY custom work to your deployment, please mention it right away! Do not have people spending hours trying to help you only to find out it’s something you did differently to your setup that you failed to mention. When people provide support, the base assumption is that you’ve followed the default installation steps (https://jitsi.org/qi, for instance) and that files, directories, ports e.t.c are all default. If you’ve made ANY changes, make sure you specify that in your first post!
If you’re using Docker, PLEASE MENTION IT IN YOUR FIRST POST!!! Things are set differently in docker and fewer things are more frustrating than to spend a ton of time trying to help someone only to find out after a while that they’re dockerized and this wasn’t made known.
Do not - and I repeat - DO NOT TAG ANYONE IN YOUR POST UNLESS THEY’RE ALREADY HELPING YOU WITH THE ISSUE!!! No one is your personal support staff here; literally, EVERYONE is volunteering to provide support for free. No one is your assigned, dedicated support resource, so it’s VERY offensive when you create a support post and immediately tag people, asking them to help. This is a community; in a community, everyone helps everyone. Don’t overburden people who are providing you free service (for something that you’re most likely charging people a fee for). Again, folks are eager to help, but no one is your support concierge. Create your post and let the community help you.
Don’t lie - whether by omission or commission - about what you did with your deployment. Even if you fear reporting the truth may make you look stupid, providing accurate and complete information is the only way to help you (and trust me, we’ve all been there at some point with the less-than-intelligent questions). There is nothing to be ashamed of, but there’s plenty to be mad at if you have people going round and round in circles trying to help you figure out an issue only to find out you weren’t being truthful about how the problem developed.
Don’t send private messages to people requesting free support, unless they tell you it’s okay to do so. Apart from the fact that it’s rude, it also robs the entire community of the wealth of knowledge when support is provided in private.
Don’t be quick to label something as a ‘bug’ just because you’re having problems with it. Believe me, all the other people using the same version are not so stupid or unintelligent that they’ve somehow missed this ‘bug’. More likely than not, it’s something you’re doing wrong. Start from that perspective and you’ll make more progress.
Be courteous. Be graceful. Be grateful. A “thank you” after people have helped you goes a long way. “Like” the posts that help you (click the heart button). This is important for two reasons:
- To show your gratitude for the free support you’re getting
- To help promote the post so others who have similar problems can quickly find the solution
Don’t be a leech! Don’t just show up in the community when you need help. Stick around or pop in every now and then to help other people. If everyone only showed up when they need support, there’d hardly be anyone around to assist. Don’t assume that loitering around the forum, waiting to provide support, is the job of the devs; no, it’s a courtesy (and one they often do offhours IN ADDITION to doing the necessary development work). Don’t burden them. Find ways to help. One way is to be around to provide support for others so we can free up the frontline devs to focus on the most important thing, which is making Jitsi even more amazing!
Finally, BE PATIENT! I know sometimes you may have urgent requests, but remember: your emergency is not anyone else’s emergency. Don’t get cynical or critical if people don’t get to you fast enough. And please, DO NOT create multiple posts on the same issue, thinking somehow that would prioritize your need. Honestly, it often has the opposite effect; people just presume you to be a spammer and ignore your posts entirely. When you request help and you don’t get an immediate response, it’s not necessarily that people are ignoring you; sometimes, it’s just that they’re busy helping others; other times, it’s that they may not have the solution to your issue, and then, there are those times when people are just tired from helping and need to rest or even just want to do other things - like be people with lives outside Jitsi… lol. Bear all these in mind and don’t let impatience drive you into a space of entitlement.
I know this is quite a lot, but if you follow it religiously, you’ll more than likely be more successful in your quest for assistance. If you didn’t read this far, it’s further proof of your impatience; don’t wonder why it seems you’re not getting the help you’re asking for. Each one, reach one; each one, teach one. Together, we float this boat. Play your part.