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1<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
2<!DOCTYPE sect1 PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DocBook XML V4.5//EN"
3 "" [
4 <!ENTITY % general-entities SYSTEM "../../general.ent">
5 %general-entities;
8<sect1 id="askhelp">
9 <?dbhtml filename="askhelp.html"?>
11 <sect1info>
12 <date>$Date$</date>
13 </sect1info>
15 <title>Asking for Help and the FAQ</title>
17 <para>If you encounter a problem while using this book, and your problem
18 is not listed in the FAQ (<ulink url="https://www.&lfs-domainname;/faq"/>),
19 you will find that most of the people on Internet Relay Chat (IRC) and on the
20 mailing lists are willing to help you. An overview of the LFS mailing
21 lists can be found in <xref linkend="maillists"/>. To assist us
22 in diagnosing and solving your problem, include as much relevant information
23 as possible in your request for help.</para>
25 <sect2>
26 <title>Things to Check Prior to Asking</title>
28 <para>Before asking for help, you should review the following items:</para>
30 <itemizedlist>
31 <listitem>
32 <para>Is the hardware support compiled into the kernel or
33 available as a module to the kernel? If it is a module, is it
34 configured properly in <filename>modprobe.conf</filename> and has it
35 been loaded? You should use <command>lsmod</command> as the
36 <systemitem class='username'>root</systemitem> user to see if it's
37 loaded. Check the <filename>sys.log</filename> file or run
38 <command>modprobe <replaceable>&lt;driver&gt;</replaceable></command> to
39 review any error message. If it loads properly, you may need to add
40 the <command>modprobe</command> command to your boot scripts.</para>
41 </listitem>
42 <listitem>
43 <para>Are your permissions properly set, especially for devices? LFS
44 uses groups to make these settings easier, but it also adds the step of
45 adding users to groups to allow access. A simple <command>usermod
46 -G audio <replaceable>&lt;user&gt;</replaceable></command> may be all that's
47 necessary for that user to have access to the sound system. Any question
48 that starts out with <quote>It works as root, but not as ...</quote>
49 requires a thorough review of permissions prior to asking.</para>
50 </listitem>
51 <listitem>
52 <para>BLFS liberally uses <filename
53 class='directory'>/opt/<replaceable>&lt;package&gt;</replaceable></filename>.
54 The main objection to this centers around the need to expand your
55 environment variables for each package placed there (e.g.,
56 PATH=$PATH:/opt/kde/bin). In most cases, the package instructions will
57 walk you through the changes, but some will not. The section called
58 <quote><xref linkend="beyond"/></quote> is
59 available to help you check.</para>
60 </listitem>
61 </itemizedlist>
63 </sect2>
65 <sect2>
66 <title>Things to Mention</title>
68 <para>Apart from a brief explanation of the problem you're having, the
69 essential things to include in your request are:</para>
71 <itemizedlist>
72 <listitem>
73 <para>the version of the book you are using (being &version;),</para>
74 </listitem>
75 <listitem>
76 <para>the package or section giving you problems,</para>
77 </listitem>
78 <listitem>
79 <para>the exact error message or symptom you are receiving,</para>
80 </listitem>
81 <listitem>
82 <para>whether you have deviated from the book or LFS at all,</para>
83 </listitem>
84 <listitem>
85 <para>if you are installing a BLFS package on a non-LFS system.</para>
86 </listitem>
87 </itemizedlist>
89 <para>(Note that saying that you've deviated from the book doesn't mean
90 that we won't help you. It'll just help us to see other possible causes
91 of your problem.)</para>
93 <para>Expect guidance instead of specific instructions. If you are
94 instructed to read something, please do so. It generally implies that
95 the answer was way too obvious and that the question would not have
96 been asked if a little research was done prior to asking. The volunteers
97 in the mailing list prefer not to be used as an alternative to doing
98 reasonable research on your end. In addition, the quality of your
99 experience with BLFS is also greatly enhanced by this research, and
100 the quality of volunteers is enhanced because they don't feel that their
101 time has been abused, so they are far more likely to participate.</para>
103 <para>An excellent article on asking for help on the Internet in general
104 has been written by Eric S. Raymond. It is available online at
105 <ulink url=""/>.
106 Read and follow the hints in that document and you are much more likely
107 to get a response to start with and also to get the help you actually
108 need.</para>
110 </sect2>
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