How can the forum be improved?

How much effort has to be put into implementing this “feature” ?

And is it going to be used enough to make it worthwhile?
Sorry, not trying to dismiss it totally but others have had concerns about not fragmenting the community or applying labels to people.

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There’s always some risk to directly editing an app’s database even if it’s documented and that expands through all future updates. There’s also security implications for enabling the feature that lets me create custom badge triggers.

I’m also worried about generating distraction/work for creators if it’s something we can solve ourselves or we don’t critically need. Ideally when creators hang out in the community it should just be a source of fun so I made this thread to funnel tasks our way because we can handle them.

Just editing the Basic badge is probably the way to go, I was just curious if anyone might know a different feature or workaround.

I can also set a badge description that tells the user how to apply it and I think? that description shows up in notifications when you get the badge. Not sure on that. It could also be in the “Welcome to the forum” message but how to actually edit that message is a whole nother ball game :stuck_out_tongue:

The best solution, IMHO, is that if you feel that it is necessary to communicate that you are new to Linux (or even new to app that your are troubleshooting), AND if you feel that communicating that would be helpful to those assist you, then say so in the body of the message.

You can most easily define the title by creating a new group and calling it “Linux Noobs” or similar.

  • Allow anyone logged in to join, or leave, the group.
  • Assign a custom title for all members:
    I am a Linux Noob
    • custom icon as well if you want.

Now all members will have this title visible on their profile at all times.

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I didn’t know about that section and damn can these do a lot, thank you.

The following is the flow for joining a group:


Or go to:


Alternatively the user can be linked directly to the group’s page, example:

Title shows next to name:

Weirdly my new-user test account doesn’t have the option to turn the title off in settings and my main account does but removing the title should be done through leaving the group anyway.

Some pros/cons for opt-in “New to Linux” titles.


  • Reduces barriers to asking questions. I’ve found new users can feel compelled to write a few sentences or a paragraph every time about being new.
  • Reduces read time for understanding a question and it’s context.
  • The presense of a group conveys that the forum welcomes new user questions.
  • Knowing someone is new to Linux can be generally helpful even if it’s in random discussion.


  • If a user removes their “new to linux” title, it’ll make it look like the answers to their former questions are contextually appropriate for a regular Linux user. If it’s a hackie work-around to avoid the CLI it could give other people a bad answer or compel someone else to correct/improve it later on which creates a lot of confusion.
  • Possibly people using it not as intended.

The user would create their own profile. One of the features in their profile could include the user skills (terminal user, gui user). The whole idea is to identify what type of user is asking the question. I would love to see those new to Linux feel like they belong. I just thought this would be a useful feature that could benefit those who don’t have higher technical skills. I’m not trying to label anybody, that is not the intention. I hope that clarifies the idea.


Understood, but even though I could identify myself as a gui and terminal user, neither term really describes my actual experience level.

My stance is that requests for assistance are using very specific and trying to use a general label is akin to trying to put a square peg in a round hole. I would rather help new users at their specific experience level whether that be experience with Linux or the specific issue they are having.

You can create a “New to Linux” category, which only “new to linux” group members can post new topics to. See Security tab within the category settings.

  • @new-to-linux group has post access.
  • @everyone group has see + reply access
  • All posts will remain organized as you would expect, regardless of whether someone freely leaves or joins the group.

That makes perfect sense though i’m not sure it applies at the edges.

I think someone who’s comfortable with even just a small part of Linux tends to have a massive advantage over new users in foundational and complementary skills that apply to everything else. Such as… somewhat knowing where Linux information is and grasping general concepts.

I think those new users are driven to describe that newness at length over and over because of how much the basics are usually taken for granted by people answering which is a VERY human thing to do.

It’s similar to how Windows users often take for granted how much they’ve absorbed about Windows to the point they think it’s inherently easy to use.

It’s an edge case that’s unintuitive and might be worth making it easier to convey.

This is just really valuable stuff to know in general, thank you @jjj12

^ this is the part i’m getting stuck on because there’s a few threads that get a lot of search engine foot traffic.

Having the questions posted in a “New to Linux” category would help solve that, great idea.

I’m not sure if it should a requirement that be in a “New to Linux” group though because it’d force them to have the title which should be optional and it increases the hoops they have to jump through.

What do you guys think about just having the category?

I know that when I was a new user I stuffed up a few distros trying to install Nvidia Drivers.

The general approach as a new Linux user is sometimes to Google for Nvidia installation, and find some guidelines that are ten years out of date. Copy and paste the commands and expect them to work.

I agree in part. My message was intended to say ‘meet the user where they are’. While I am not a beginner to linux, I am most definitely a beginner with BTRFS (and many other things linux related). Everyone is different and everyone is at a different point in their Linux journey. Meet them where they are, so to speak and the assistance will be better received, and less time will be wasted. This comes from me working in IT for almost 30 years.

I don’t understand the inhibition to search for troubleshooting information. Even if you are a windows user (especially if you are a windows user), you have to learn to search and troubleshoot or forever be dependent on someone else to fix your issues. I just can’t be that person. I just couldn’t use a computer and feel completely useless with not being able to fix any issues myself. That would prohibit me from depending on the computer. But, that is just my opinion.

The more I learn about Linux, the more I realize how windows is actually harder/more complicated.

In conclusion, it really is up the the requester to voice their experience level when they receive information they don’t understand. We should probably be discussing how to better interpret one’s experience level. I’m so glad that I don’t see any elitist RTFM crap here. There is not bigger turn-off to new Linux users than to hear that.

FWIW, the sheer number of results that type of issue is what led me to purchase an AMD video card. While this might not be the typical case, the only issue, if I can call it that, was finding a distro that used a new enough kernel version. Of course that was the issue back when I first got the card. These days many distro’s are using new kernels. My next issue, specific to me, was to find a distro that included everything to get vulkan working with my card. Instead of learning about all the in-and-outs about vulkan and what is needed to get it working, I just used a distro that had all of that all worked out - Garuda.

So, that was my way of working around that issue instead of having to learn everything about Mesa.

I’d much prefer a tag. Categories are limiting, while a tag can be used in any category (unless you restrict it in some way and only allow it in particular categories).

Something like a “New to Linux Questions” category doesn’t have the downside of context switching once a user tag changes so I think that should be done either way.

As for tags i’d probably want to hear from people who are new to Linux and currently using the forum if they’d find it useful and how much they’d want it for themselves.

Standing options

So far i’ve seen 4 options which can be done alone or mixed.

  1. Create a “New to Linux” category.
  2. Create a “New to Linux” group that people can opt-in to join which automatically gives them a “New to linux” tag by their name (if they have no other tags)
  3. 1 and 2 plus reserving use of the “New to Linux” category to those in the “New to linux” group.
  4. None of the above.

(Credit to @jjj12 for making these possible)


Make it easy for users new to Linux to communicate exceptional and often unintuitive needs for answers that stick to the paradigm(s) they’re used to even if they’d normally be a bad or less than excellent answer. Bonus points for including the best solution below the one they need.

Also to extra-convey to that their questions are welcomed.

Request: If you’re new to Linux and would like any of these for yourself…

PM me or post below which ones you’d like for yourself.

The nicest part of this is allowing only group members to be the ones posting to the New to Linux category, while everyone else can reply as normal. That and a possible title. :person_shrugging:

Quick thought: You might want to break out your post above into a linked topic so it is more visible apart from this thread. Click here for instructions
  1. Wrench icon on top right of topic

  2. Select the post(s)

  3. “Move to”

  4. Write up a new topic, which will auto-link to the existing topic: “How can the forum be improved?”

You can also build a single or multiple-choice Poll within a topic
  1. Select gear icon while editing or drafting your post, then “Build a Poll”
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Is integration with Nextcloud something that has to be allowed on the discourse side? When I get redirected to that’s the end and nothing else happens. I’d consider it an improvement to get this working haha

I don’t see anything under Settings or the API tabs that uses the word NextCloud.

From NextCloud,

“Discourse integration provides a dashboard widget displaying your important notifications and the ability to find topics and posts with Nextcloud’s unified search.”

Discourse integration - Apps - App Store - Nextcloud

Beyond that it’s hard to find information so i’m pretty lost on the context. Does this require the Network have a NextCloud in order to use this? Is it for 3rd-party NextCloud’s tying into the forum? Questions like that…

My Nextcloud should just pull in the normal notifications from Discourse that would be visible if I was visiting the site in a browser. It doesn’t require the Network to have Nextcloud. Thanks for looking into this, I’ve left a comment on a related Github issue for the Discord integration app.