source: introduction/welcome/askhelp.xml@ 4afc2603

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Last change on this file since 4afc2603 was 4afc2603, checked in by Randy McMurchy <randy@…>, 16 years ago

Changes to the Introduction section; standardized the file structure layout, standardized the id tags (except bootscripts) and some minor textual modifications

git-svn-id: svn:// af4574ff-66df-0310-9fd7-8a98e5e911e0

  • Property mode set to 100644
File size: 4.8 KB
1<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
2<!DOCTYPE sect1 PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DocBook XML V4.4//EN"
3 "" [
4 <!ENTITY % general-entities SYSTEM "../../general.ent">
5 %general-entities;
8<sect1 id="askhelp">
9 <?dbhtml filename="askhelp.html"?>
11 <sect1info>
12 <othername>$LastChangedBy$</othername>
13 <date>$Date$</date>
14 </sect1info>
16 <title>Asking for Help and the FAQ</title>
18 <para>If you encounter a problem while using this book, and your problem
19 is not listed in the FAQ (<ulink url=""/>),
20 you will find that most of the people on Internet Relay Chat (IRC) and on the
21 mailing lists are willing to help you. An overview of the LFS mailing
22 lists can be found in <xref linkend="maillists"/>. To assist us
23 in diagnosing and solving your problem, include as much relevant information
24 as possible in your request for help.</para>
26 <sect2>
27 <title>Things to Check Prior to Asking</title>
29 <para>Before asking for help, you should review the following items:</para>
31 <itemizedlist>
32 <listitem>
33 <para>Is the hardware support compiled into the kernel or
34 available as a module to the kernel? If it is a module, is it
35 configured properly in <filename>modules.conf</filename> and has it
36 been loaded? You should use <command>lsmod</command> as the
37 <systemitem class='username'>root</systemitem> user to see if it's
38 loaded. Check the <filename>syslog.log</filename> file or run
39 <command>modprobe <replaceable>[driver]</replaceable></command> to
40 review any error message. If it loads properly, you may need to add
41 the <command>modprobe</command> command to your boot scripts.</para>
42 </listitem>
43 <listitem>
44 <para>Are your permissions properly set, especially for devices? LFS
45 uses groups to make these settings easier, but it also adds the step of
46 adding users to groups to allow access. A simple <command>moduser
47 -G audio <replaceable>[user]</replaceable></command> may be all that's
48 necessary for that user to have access to the sound system. Any question
49 that starts out with <quote>It works as root, but not as ...</quote>
50 requires a thorough review of permissions prior to asking.</para>
51 </listitem>
52 <listitem>
53 <para>BLFS liberally uses <filename
54 class='directory'>/opt/<replaceable>[package]</replaceable></filename>.
55 The main objection to this centers around the need to expand your
56 environment variables for each package placed there (e.g.,
57 PATH=$PATH:/opt/kde/bin). In most cases, the package instructions will
58 walk you through the changes, but some will not. The section called
59 <quote><xref linkend="beyond"/></quote> is
60 available to help you check.</para>
61 </listitem>
62 </itemizedlist>
64 </sect2>
66 <sect2>
67 <title>Things to Mention</title>
69 <para>Apart from a brief explanation of the problem you're having, the
70 essential things to include in your request are:</para>
72 <itemizedlist>
73 <listitem>
74 <para>the version of the book you are using (being &version;),</para>
75 </listitem>
76 <listitem>
77 <para>the package or section giving you problems,</para>
78 </listitem>
79 <listitem>
80 <para>the exact error message or symptom you are receiving,</para>
81 </listitem>
82 <listitem>
83 <para>whether you have deviated from the book or LFS at all.</para>
84 </listitem>
85 </itemizedlist>
87 <para>(Note that saying that you've deviated from the book doesn't mean
88 that we won't help you. It'll just help us to see other possible causes
89 of your problem.)</para>
91 <para>Expect guidance instead of specific instructions. If you are
92 instructed to read something, please do so. It generally implies that
93 the answer was way too obvious and that the question would not have
94 been asked if a little research was done prior to asking. The volunteers
95 in the mailing list prefer not to be used as an alternative to doing
96 reasonable research on your end. In addition, the quality of your
97 experience with BLFS is also greatly enhanced by this research, and
98 the quality of volunteers is enhanced because they don't feel that their
99 time has been abused, so they are far more likely to participate.</para>
101 <para>An excellent article on asking for help on the Internet in general
102 has been written by Eric S. Raymond. It is available online at
103 <ulink url=""/>.
104 Read and follow the hints in that document and you are much more likely
105 to get a response to start with and also to get the help you actually
106 need.</para>
108 </sect2>
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