source: introduction/welcome/askhelp.xml@ 1d85838

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1<sect1 id="intro-welcome-askhelp">
2<?dbhtml filename="askhelp.html" dir="introduction"?>
3<title>Asking for help and the FAQ</title>
5<para>If you encounter a problem while using this book, and your problem
6is not listed in the FAQ (<ulink
7url=""/>), you will find that most
8of the people on Internet Relay Chat (IRC) and
9on the mailing lists are willing to help you. An
10overview of the LFS mailing lists can be found in
11<xref linkend="intro-welcome-maillists"/>. To assist us in diagnosing and solving
12your problem, include as much relevant information as possible in your
13request for help.</para>
16<title>Things to check prior to asking</title>
18<para>Before asking for help, you should review the following
22<listitem><para>Is the hardware support compiled into the kernel or
23available as a module to the kernel. If it is a module, is it configured
24properly in <filename>modules.conf</filename> and has it been loaded. You
25should use <userinput>lsmod</userinput> to see if it's loaded. Check the
26<filename>sys.log</filename> or run <userinput>modprobe
28to review any error message. If it loads properly, you may need to add
29the <userinput>modprobe</userinput> to your boot scripts.</para></listitem>
31<listitem><para>Are your permissions properly set, especially for
32devices. LFS uses groups to make these settings easier, but it also
33adds the step of adding users to groups to allow access. A simple
34<userinput>moduser -G audio &lt;user&gt;</userinput> may be all that's
35necessary for that user to have access to the sound
36system. Any question that starts out with "It works as root, but not as
37..." should review permissions throughly prior to asking.</para></listitem>
39<listitem><para>BLFS liberally uses <filename>/opt/&lt;package&gt;</filename>. The main objection to this centers around the need to
40expand your environment variables for each package placed there (e.g.
41PATH=$PATH:/opt/kde/bin). In some cases, the package will walk you
42through the changes, but some will not. <xref linkend="appendices-generic"/> is available to
43help you check.</para></listitem>
47<title>Things to mention</title>
49<para>Apart from a brief explanation of the problem you're having, the
50essential things to include in your request are:</para>
53<listitem><para>the version of the book you are using (being
55<listitem><para>the package or section giving you
57<listitem><para>the exact error message or symptom you are
59<listitem><para>whether you have deviated from the book or LFS at
63<para>(Note that saying that you've deviated from the book doesn't mean
64that we won't help you. It'll just help us to see other possible causes of your problem.)</para>
66<para>Expect guidance instead of specific instructions. If you are
67instructed to read something, please do so, it generally implies that
68the answer was way too obvious and that the question would not have been asked if a little
69research was done prior to asking. The volunteers in the mailing list
70prefer not to be used as an alternative to doing reasonable research on
71your end. In addition, the quality of your experience with BLFS is also greatly
72enhanced by this research, and the quality of volunteers is enhanced
73because they don't feel that their time has been abused, so they are
74far more likely to participate.</para>
76<para>An excellent article on asking for help on the Internet in general
77has been written by Eric S. Raymond. It is available online at <ulink
79Read and follow the hints in that document and you are much more likely
80to get a response to start with and also to get the help you actually
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