Online Troubleshooting Resources : HOWTO

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v 1.3 July 24, 2000

This document will direct Linux users to resources available on the Internet that provide access to a vast amount of Linux-related information useful in troubleshooting problems

The traditional means of troubleshooting computer-related problems involves consulting user’s manuals, books, friends – probably enticed with goodies – and, when all the former do not yield a solution, calling the technical support service of the vendor of the product in question. And, we all know pleasant and reliably efficacious the latter stratagem is. Unfortunately, this is the norm in the sphere of commercial proprietary products.

In contradistinction, Linux, and related distributions, utilities and applications software, has largely been developed according to the Open Source model, wherein developers have used electronic communication over the Internet – typically in the form of publically-accessible Mailing Lists- to collaborate with their peers in the refinement of the associated source code. Such collaboration has also traditionally involved the online publication of user’s manuals, lists of Frequently-Asked-Questions ( FAQ’s ) , knowledge bases, release notes, formal guides such as this document (HOWTO’s) and tutorials. In addition, users often assist others through the forum of Usenet and other newsgroups and the posted messages are readily accessible in the form of searchable archives. These linux-related newsgroups are renowned for their high level of user participation. In significant measure, Linux may be considered a product of the Internet.

Considered together, these resources enable access to a large, ever-expanding factual database, and my intent is to encourage and direct the reader to utilize these repositories when faced with an issue not addressed in the documentation that is included with each distribution of Linux. Linux veterans who assist newcomers through the forum of Usenet soon become aware of the frequency with which certain technical questions are repeatedly posted – questions the answers to which are readily available in one or more of the existent online repositories. So, to diminish the likelihood of being « flamed » in response to your posted question on Usenet or irc , read further!

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Armed with a browser, Linux users may rapidly become adept at troubleshooting their systems. The key is knowing how and where to look. My objective is to guide the user – particularly the Linux newbie – in this quest.