How to get help

We want this forum to be a good place to get help with running Open edX. But to get good help, you have to ask good questions. Here are some guidelines to make it easier for people to help you.

Find clues

Find something specific in your failure or problem that will identify it well. It can be hard to find the most significant clue in hundreds of lines of error output, but please try. The more specific the error you can talk about, the more likely people will be able to help.

For example, “Installation failed” is very vague. “RuntimeError: Python version >= 3.5 required” is very specific. It’s the actual text of an error message that seemed to be the root cause of the problem.

Search for an answer

Once you have specific clues, use them to search for an answer. Very likely, someone has already faced (and solved!) your problem. Search previous posts for an answer and you won’t have to wait for a reply.

Don’t add new problems to old topics

Searching for an answer is great, but when you find a topic that sounds kind of like your problem, don’t add you problem to the end unless you are sure it’s the same problem. When in doubt, start a new topic.

Ask well

If you need to create a new topic for your question, work on making it a good question. Put specifics into the title of the topic. Be ready to add supporting information in the body of the topic. If it’s a new question, create a new topic. Don’t hijack someone else’s topic.

Use text

It’s tempting to post screenshots of the problem you are seeing, but that makes it hard to help for a few reasons: it’s harder to read, it’s harder to search, and it’s limited to one screenful. Copy the most relevant text into your post, and use a pastebin for the rest of it. If you don’t know how to use a pastebin, see How to Use a Pastebin.

Provide information

The more you can tell us about what you’ve done, the better. “Installation failed” isn’t enough to provide an answer. What version of Open edX are you using? What have you tried in the past to fix the problem? Is there anything unusual about your installation? Put the relevant log files into a pastebin so that people have all the information they need.

Accept an answer

This forum has a way to mark a reply as the solution to the problem. You can help the community by selecting “Solution” on the reply that fixed your problem. This will make it easier for the next person with the problem to find the answer.

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