Netdata Community

How to submit a good question

How to submit a good question

Intro

We are here to help you, both the Netdata community and we here at Netdata. Be patient, be kind and we will sort everything out.

Read the Documentation

We take great pride in maintaining great documentation, which means that our docs are structured in a well-thought manner and are maintained up to date. Please do spend some time researching Netdata Learn, it will be well worth your effort.

Search

It’s not unlikely that your question has been asked, and answered, already. If you search the forum, you may find it and save yourself a lot of time.

Now, it may not be a perfect answer to your question, but it should get you close enough to start.

When you’re writing a new topic, on the right-hand side (where the Preview panel is), you’ll see topic suggestions. These are chosen based upon your title, tags, and the post content. Do check them before you post.

If you find a post that solves your problem, please like that post . It’ll help others identify that post as helpful, and let that poster know that they’ve helped people.

How do I search?

Try to search only for what is the core of your question - the error message (without your specific data), component or add-on name, the operation you want to perform, etc.

e.g “netdata agent configuration go.d”

Good Questions

Use a relevant category

  1. Categories should be self-explanatory.
  2. Make sure you select the correct subcategory and tags, when appropriate.

create screenshot with categories-subcategories

If you can’t easily decide where your question should be posted, please create a topic on the “Community” category and “community forum” subcategory and leave us some feedback. We can’t improve if you don’t’ tell us about it.

Title

Having a good topic title is essential. It should summarise your post so that without even opening it people can have a good idea of what it’s about.

A good topic generally:

  • Includes unique part of the error you’re getting
  • Contains the integration name or action description
  • Describes the thing you’re having an issue with
  • Is emotionless

Examples:

  • GOOD: How to enable the go.d weblog plugin on netdata Ubuntu VM
  • BAD: enable plugin

Asking the question

Before posting anything, make sure that you have read our Community code of conduct.

Describe the goal, not the problem

It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of the XY problem. If you describe your goal first, then others can understand what you’re trying to achieve.

Show your workings

If you turn up with a post that suggests you’ve put in no effort, you’re less likely to get quality help, and your post may even be ignored. Explain a bit of what you’ve done so far, such as:

  • Link to some other threads that you’ve found, and tried, and explain why they didn’t help you
  • Describe what you’ve tried, and what the problems were

Showing that you’ve put the effort in will help demonstrate that you’re not simply looking for others to do all the work for you

Give us information regarding the OS environment and installation method of the Netdata Agent

  • What OS, distribution, and version did you use?
  • If it is installed in a virtualized environment, please tell us

Format it properly

Spacing is critical in YAML, and if you just throw the code on the page then it’ll look ugly and nobody will know if the problem is because of spacing. We need you to use code blocks and appropriate markup.

For example, this is easy to read and it is obvious if the spacing is correct:

1 2 3 4 5 6 `## This is a comment
update_every : 10
priority: 90100

local:
url: 'http://localhost/stub_status’`

This, however, not so much:

This is a comment

update_every : 10

priority: 90100

local:

url: 'http://localhost/stub_status’

To use code blocks , simply add three backticks (```) before and after the code.

Describe what you changed

If it used to work, then tell us what changed since then. If you changed automation, upgraded something (a custom integration, an add-on, Home Assistant itself, etc), we need to know. Don’t just tell us the last change, tell us all the changes.

Remember too - only change one thing at a time , then test . If you change multiple things and it now works, you don’t know what solved it. Worse, one of those things may have solved it, but one of them may have introduced a new problem.

Share the logs

If something isn’t working, check the logs and see if things are being logged.

To find the log files, read the following part in our documentation.

The more you tell us, the more likely it is that the problem can be identified.

Screenshots

Sometimes an image is worth a thousand words, and including a screenshot (or a link to one hosted elsewhere) can help. Don’t do that for anything you can copy and past from your configuration, YAML, code, or logs. Please only include screenshots that are actually helpful.

Read before posting

Yes, read your own post before you post it. Make sure that you’ve not lost the point part way through, that it still makes sense, and that the topic, tags, and category all still make sense.

The other things to ensure is that you’re using paragraphs, punctuation and white space. A wall of text is hard to read.

Should I tag people?

Generally, no.

It comes across as bad manners, you’re demanding somebody answers you. It’s different if you’re thanking somebody, obviously.

If you do tag somebody keep it polite and respectful. Remember that both Netdata Agent and Netdata Cloud are offered for free, while the support on the forums is community-driven.

Similarly, please don’t PM (private message) people asking for help. It also comes across as demanding and means that others can’t learn from what you do.

I’ve posted…

Wait…

Yes, the community covers the world, but those who can help you may not be around. It can easily take many hours, maybe even a day or so to get a response.

But it’s been days

If nobody has responded after a couple of days, have a re-read and see if the title, category, tags, or even the post itself need some attention. Re-read this guide and see if you’ve missed something important.

If you think that all is as good as you can make it, then you can consider bumping it by posting a reply to make it more visible. Doing that too much, or too quickly, can make you look entitled, and that will drive people away.

I’ve solved it!

Great. Please respond to your post with details how you solved it , and use the option to mark it as the answer.

Please don’t delete your question , that will make it look like you only care about yourself.

People are replying, but I don’t have the answer

This is common. There’s always going to be things people don’t know (because you didn’t tell them, and maybe didn’t even know to tell them, or because it’s beyond the limits of their knowledge).

If something that people have said has moved you on, then let them know. This will encourage people to keep helping you. If it hasn’t, let people know that you’ve tried their suggestion, and what happened. Again, this encourages people to keep helping you.

Somebody’s answer solved it!

Fantastic!

Now, before you go… please take the time to mark that as the answer, you do that by selecting the three dots under the post:

image

Then select the check box: image

Don’t forget too while you’re down there to click the heart to like the post, as a way of saying thank you.

Be respectful

Please do read the Code of Conduct

This can’t work, can it?

Try it

Remember, there’s never a guarantee you’ll get an answer - nobody is required to provide one. What you can do though is provide a post with relevant supporting information, that shows you’re trying. That will encourage people to help you.

This post was inspired by the eponymous on the HomeAssistant forums. Thanks :v:.