The #gentoo Operators Project
The #gentoo Operators project describes the tasks and policies carried out by
the operators (ops) of the #gentoo channel on the Freenode network. Among other
things, it aims to clarify the way #gentoo is run and by whom, who to address to
resolve conflicts between channel ops and other channel users.
The goal of the #gentoo operators project is to clarify how #gentoo is
maintained. Most of the communication about actual channel management takes
place on IRC, and this project aims to describe how we do it, and who we are.
|Nicholas D. Wolfwood
All developers can be reached by e-mail using firstname.lastname@example.org.
List of #gentoo Operators
||Michael A. Smith
Tasks of the Ops Team
|Chanserv access levels
||Chanserv access levels determine who gets which privileges
in #gentoo (and #gentoo-ops).
|Channel etiquette management
||#gentoo has a language policy that the ops uphold.
Furthermore, the channel's topic is Gentoo Linux support
and it is not a "chat" channel — ops may direct users to
other channels that are more appropriate when a discussion has
little or nothing to do with Gentoo Linux support. Public away
messages are to be actively discouraged.
||When a user abuses #gentoo, he gets warned, muted (+q),
banned or banforwarded. Conflicts are resolved in #gentoo-ops.
Bans may normally only be unset by the banner — she has a
responsibility to set reasonable bans.
||When many users come to the channel having the same
technical issue with Gentoo, the channel's topic is updated with
references to bot FAQs or web page URLs.
||#gentoo has two official ircbots: Willikins and
Naamah. While the latter mainly serves to kick users who paste
more than a few lines in rapid succession (flood protection),
the former also responds to simple commands regarding packages,
herds, website searches and other general information.
Compared to most IRC channels on Freenode and indeed on other IRC networks,
#gentoo has a rather strict policy, and this policy is enforced as strictly as
possible. #gentoo is the focal point of many support enquiries and can be very
busy at times. Because of the many (often ~1000) users that chat (and lurk) in
#gentoo, making it one of the largest channels on the Freenode network, and
perhaps also because of the mild animosity that any Linux distribution causes
among users of other Linux distributions, it is also the focal point of
spammers, pranksters, and trolls.
The policy set up to manage #gentoo is therefore very straightforward and
- The topic of the channel is Gentoo Linux support. To be precise,
this means the Gentoo Linux that you install using the Gentoo Handbook. Alternative operatings
systems (where the difference may be in, for example, the kernel,
userland, or package manager) do not fall into this category.
- The lack of support for alternative package managers extends to
"manual installation", i.e. working around the official package
manager by manually downloading sources and unpacking, configuring,
compiling, and installing (normally to /usr/local).
- Actual chat (such as personal stories, comments on external events,
even mild flamewars about program X versus program Y) will usually be
met with a request to take the discussion elsewhere, and consequent
muting (+q) or banishment if users persist.
- Discussion of #gentoo management is off topic. The appropriate place
to discuss matters of #gentoo policy and its enforcement is #gentoo-ops,
the userrel project or the ops mailing list (and not #gentoo: it's just
too busy for that).
- Because of the varied nature of Gentoo users and the varied
environments in which they might use #gentoo, the channel has a strict
language policy, meaning that anything you wouldn't dare say to your
proverbial grandmother, you shouldn't say in #gentoo.
Both Gentoo developers and users can become #gentoo ops. The selection
process basically works as in any other Gentoo project: if you put in the work,
helping users in #gentoo, you are certain to get noticed and may get asked to
join the team.
Operator status in #gentoo is not intended as a status symbol: operators are
given privileges only to effectively uphold service standards in #gentoo.
Regular contributors may be given AUTOVOICE (level 10), so they have voice in
the channel even when the channel mode mutes other users. Regular contributors
who are interested in maintaining channel security may be given CMDOP (level
20) to "op up" when needed. Operators (level 20 and above) who are not
developers and developers who are also operators are listed in this document.
Operator status can be removed after a period of inactivity or not using
level 20 privileges for a good while (say a couple of months).
Operator status does not automatically mean membership of the team and
How to contact us
To send e-mail to the #gentoo operators team, point your favourite e-mail
client to email@example.com.
/join #gentoo-ops if you want to chat directly with #gentoo operators. Also, any
urgent issues with regard to #gentoo channel management (abuse, pointers to
important bugs that affect many users) should be brought to our attention there.