Provide as much information as necessary to answer the question. You may obfuscate anything that may be sensitive, but be careful of obfuscating too much. These may occasionally come into conflict...
Server Fault does not require you to obfuscate anything. These guidelines are intended to keep you out of trouble and to help you get better answers to your ...
There are a few key things to remember when asking question on Server Fault:
First and foremost is that we really DO want to help you solve your problem.
Second is that nobody on this site has access to your environment - we only know what you tell us.
Lastly there is a Stack Exchange axiom:
First of all "professional" is more than just a job-description with a paycheck, it's a mindset. But more on that later.
Over the years the ServerFault community has evolved a rough consensus definition of what that phrase means. There are two broad categories we assess new questions against regarding 'professional capacity'.
The system being ...
The more I see questions being closed as off topic because the member who asks seems a bit lost or not at ease with the system being used, I would say that professional capacity on SF seems to refer as being a guru or a demi-god.
We seem to forget that it's impossible to know every single technology or field in IT.
We also seem to forget that people need ...
Unfortunately Server Fault is unable to support web hosting control panels for a variety of reasons. But you may still be able to get help at:
Your Service Provider
If you are using a web hosting resource (e.g. shared hosting or VPS) provided by someone else and need help with the control panels to manage it, first contact your service provider. If the ...
List of Canonical Topics that do not have a Q/A yet or need improvement:
When does my small business need a SA
How many users/servers/whatever should a SA be responsible for
How do I protect my company from my IT guy?
"Our previous specialist left, HALP?"
Value of Certifications?
What to look for in a server rack?
Physical server ...
Here's a short list of items you should consider when asking a question on Server Fault. Please address as much of this material as reasonably possible:
Have you read our about and are sure that Server Fault is the correct site to ask your question?1
Have you done some research before asking the question? 2
Have you explained what you'...
Since this question's floated up to to the top of the front page, I'm going to give my contrarian answer, which is: obfuscate nearly no technical data in your question.
Michael has a point inasmuch as some data are supposed to be secret, and you shouldn't post them. Passwords, SSL secret keys (don't laugh, it's happened, though I can no longer find the ...
HOW SERVERFAULT DEALS WITH SHOPPING QUESTIONS
Should I deploy Windows Server or RHEL?
What’s the best hardware firewall on the market?
Which monitoring solution should I deploy?
What cabling should I go with?
Which CLI tool is best for this?
Which hosting provider is the cheapest for my VMs?
These questions may seem tolerable at first glance. Isn't it our ...
I'd like to add my opinion that while the Help section's bullet points on What topics can I ask about here? doesn't come right out and exclude academic research or student projects, the term Professional Capacity should NOT include these. Students coming to ServerFault discussing a project they are working on for school and needing assistance should be ...
Questions like these are problematic.
The person asking doesn't know the correct generic term, so they can't search Google, or find the correct wikipedia list.
They don't know the what they are really asking for well enough to actually evaluate the list once they get it.
If a questioner is really interested in something like this, they should re-form their ...
My general view is that these are "list of things" questions that are better answered by Google.
I attribute them showing up here to ignorance (people don't know about Google), Laziness (ServerFault as a glorified LMGTFY), or a lack of professionalism (not meeting the minimum barrier to entry or the site -- typing your question into Google).
Accordingly I ...
Have you at any point told us you've done something when you could instead have shown us?
SF is replete with questions where the author asserted eg "I have configured syslog to write to /var/log/foo" when it turned out they'd actually configured it to write to /var/lgo/foo, and since that didn't exist, it wasn't being created and no logs were appearing. Or ...
The Apache download question is completely inappropriate because it has nothing to do with system administration, which can only start after he gets the installation file. It should have been posted on an Apache specific site somewhere.
The second question is unacceptable for the same reason and, as you state in a comment, we are not here to do their ...
I think that there are two cases to consider with things like this:
Where do I download x.exe?
I have <specific problem> and I'm not sure what tools are available to solve it. What is the best way to handle <specific scenario> given all available tools?
I think that 1. is clearly off-topic and falls under the definition of Too Localized and 2. ...