####Help us to help you REMINDER####

This forum is dedicated to basic help and support :

Ask here your questions about basic installation and usage of Mageia. For example you may post here all your questions about getting Mageia isos and installing it, configuring your printer, using your word processor etc.

Try to ask your questions in the right sub-forum with as much details as you can gather. the more precise the question will be, the more likely you are to get a useful answer

####Help us to help you REMINDER####

Postby wintpe » Jun 7th, '12, 15:04

Help us to help you

Mageia Forum users REMINDER

"many users continue to print one liners with no background info, please take the time to set the context of your question"

Linux is a very complex operating system, and even those of us who have been using/supporting Unix and Linux for may years have trouble identifying a problem, purely on a basic description of a problem. Eg it don’t work.

Its not windows, it does not have built in drivers for every conceivable bit of hardware ever made, and many of the drivers that are included are reverse engineered by an interested person in their spare time.

Also unlike windows, it does not come in one identity, even Mageia can be setup with one of about 8 desktops, with different video drivers, network drivers, webcams, keyboards, mice, and we are not psychic, and we also canot read your mind.

So a detailed description of your system, and the problem, with supporting error, config, package listing, moduleinfo etc will help a great deal.

Take your time to post a question and include as much as you can to help.

Here are some commands that you can run, that the info will be relevant to helpers.

• lspci this lists all the pci devices (add in Hardware cards) in your system.
• lsusb this lists all the usb devices detected on your system.
• lsmod a list of modules that have automatically loaded in response to kernel devices detection
• modinfo modulenamefromlsmod will list details of a module
• dmesg this lists recent kernel and system messages, including failure to load or identify a bit of hardware.
• /var/log/messages the default place for error logs, from syslog (like windows event log)
• /etc/X11/xorg.conf the config file for the Xdisplay server.
• ethtool a command to list lots of info about network
• ethtool -I eth0 will list the version and details of your nic.
• ethtool -S eth0 will list just about every counter related to an Ethernet card.
• dmidecode equivalent to MS system info gives lots of info about your hardware.
• /etc/sysconfig directory where many config files live, relating to network services etc.
• rpm –qa will list all packages on a system, pipe it through grep to reduce this to relevant packages.
• ifconfig -a lists the tcpip settings set on your network cards.
• Linux more often that not will label each ethernet card eth0, eth1, eth2, eth3 in the order it finds them so if you have more that one network card check out the rest.

if you have not worked it out, this all has to be run as cli commands in a terminal, ideally as root.

if youve not used a terminal before think of it as windows commandtool.

to change user to root use the command "su -" followed by the root password.

apologies to anyone who this is obvious to, im just assuming newby Linux user.

Im not suggesting you post all of this, but that which relates to your problem would be helpful, even trimmed to the specific bit of info you are posting about

One other thing, of all the custom bit and pieces related to Linux, we are not experts in all of them, for example ive setup openvpn, but not ipsec, so if you are doing something like that tell us how you think it should be done, and the references/howtos you are using, and what appeared to not work.

Another thing, disks fail, file systems can become corrupt, or deleted due to user error, so back up, usb disks are cheap compared to the loss of data.

Before upgrading your os, why not wait till the new ones been out a little while, dont be the first if you cant answer half these problems for yourself.
Also theres a difference between what should work on a system you have paid for and what would be nice if it worked the way you expected it on a system put together by volenteers in there spare time. The only person who is at fault, is you for not contributing to beta testing or submitting bug reports.

And use clonezilla to backup your old system before you do go for it.

(always in code tags, if you want to avoid a comment from the etiquette police.)

Regards peter
Redhat 6 Certified Engineer (RHCE)
Sometimes my posts will sound short, or snappy, however its realy not my intention to offend, so accept my apologies in advance.
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Re: Help us to help you

Postby filip » Jun 8th, '12, 21:50

Thanks, Peter. I noticed that Ethtool and Dmidecode should be lowercase. Also argument in ethtool –I eth0.
Other suggestions:
Maybe you could also add eth1 for wireless.
I copied these command just for test and noticed that you use – instead of -. Better to read but bad for copying.

Otherwise great addition to our forum.
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Re: Help us to help you

Postby doktor5000 » Jun 8th, '12, 22:17

Maybe some can be even improved.

For lspci/lsusb use lspcidrake -v instead. Can be run as user, shows the used driver, category and numerical IDs, everything on one line. ;)
But thanks for the thread overall, much appreciated. Apart from that, actually linux has more builtin drivers and better overall hardware support without
needing to install anything from a driver cd of a given device than windows, IMHO ;)
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Re: Help us to help you

Postby wintpe » Jun 9th, '12, 01:05

on the capitalization and minuses, yes i wrote that while at work using Word, and then cut and paste.

all unix commands should be lowercase, and single minus for all single letter options
double minuses only for linux extended and verbose options.

you will only find me using commands that are common and originate from the root of
RPM based Linux in a consistent and universal way that works with all RPM based Linux's.

And yes some of what you say Doktor about Linux devices is true, but looking from a different point of view, new usb devices, Graphics cards, TV cards, etc, come with windows drivers, and sometimes MacOSX and wont work with linux.

I was simply trying to portray that you cannot make a comparison with what is normal on Windows will necessarily be the same on Linux.

But the dedication of many people like yourself, developing drivers eventually catches up, after several attempts at reverse engineering, that dont always work like the Windows equivalent, but get questions and criticism complaining that it should.

That was the point i was making, and its only my opinion.

regards peter
Redhat 6 Certified Engineer (RHCE)
Sometimes my posts will sound short, or snappy, however its realy not my intention to offend, so accept my apologies in advance.
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Re: Help us to help you

Postby wintpe » Jun 9th, '12, 02:05

OK i did not expect this, but after asking for so many commands, I thought, it would be nice if Mageia had sosreport, a redhat / centos tool.

well it does.

Im not suggesting anyone posts a sosreport up here for everyone to see that would be a bad idea.

but you could send it to someone who is trying to help you, if your trust them, and there well known on here, like Doktor.

and it could help with the dianosis of your problem if its becoming difficult.

I must stress it does not contain the passwd, group or shadow file

regards peter
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Sometimes my posts will sound short, or snappy, however its realy not my intention to offend, so accept my apologies in advance.
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Re: Help us to help you

Postby Goro_Daimon » Jun 11th, '12, 04:21

I will run in the live usb stick and Virtual Box to try help you guys.

But I can help with Logo or wallpapers hehehe :P
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Re: Help us to help you

Postby doktor5000 » Jun 11th, '12, 21:40

Goro_Daimon wrote:But I can help with Logo or wallpapers hehehe :P

Maybe you could help https://wiki.mageia.org/en/Artwork_team then? They really need designers and people who can do artwork and would surely appreciate help ... ;)
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Re: Help us to help you

Postby viking60 » Jun 17th, '12, 16:38

To get help fast you could also do this as root:
Code: Select all
cd /usr/bin && wget -Nc smxi.org/inxi && chmod +x inxi


And then post the output of:
Code: Select all
inxi -Fz

That will mostly avoid the questioning from grumpy Gurus, who will be able to answer directly.
Here is an overview of the options
Image Flexibility is good and inxi is good... install both!
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Re: Help us to help you

Postby wilcal » Jun 17th, '12, 18:18

Nice post wintpe

Why don't you write a script file and
post it's text here. Something like:

Code: Select all
#!/bin/bash
echo ------------------             start test           -----------------------
date >> test_results.txt
echo
echo
echo
a bunch of commands that pipe ">>" to a test_results.txt file in the local directory
echo
echo
echo
date >> test_results.txt
echo ------------------              end  test           -----------------------

Then that script file can be used to determine
the state of the system under question.

I've written such a thing for testing ffmpeg to
determine what codecs are installed on a specific
system.
Last edited by doktor5000 on Jun 18th, '12, 00:19, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: added code tags, to improve on clarity
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Re: Help us to help you

Postby doktor5000 » Jun 18th, '12, 00:21

Actually it's not a good idea IMHO to always paste a slew of information that probably nobody needs or can interpret correctly. Better ask for related information about context and then ask for something which is more focused and en point. You also need to consider the fact that there always needs to be somone who can interpret that mass of information correctly. And i prefer to only read the information i need to solve a problem, and not wade though masses of unrelated stuff, wasting my time.
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Re: Help us to help you

Postby wilcal » Jun 18th, '12, 01:21

doktor5000 wrote:Actually it's not a good idea IMHO

FWIW Puppy Linux has just such a function. It's quite complex
and generates a rather lengthly file descibing the system in total.
You can run it from the Live CD then FTP it to another system.
IMO it's quite useful.
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Re: Help us to help you

Postby Ken-Bergen » Jun 18th, '12, 01:45

wilcal wrote:FWIW Puppy Linux has just such a function. It's quite complex
and generates a rather lengthly file descibing the system in total.
You can run it from the Live CD then FTP it to another system.
IMO it's quite useful.
As the Doktor said, few if any will wade through that lengthy output.
It's better to only post relevant information and if more information is needed the poster will be told how to get it.
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Re: Help us to help you

Postby doktor5000 » Jun 18th, '12, 20:17

wilcal wrote:IMO it's quite useful.


Quite useful to whom? Do you want to read 25-40 such logs every day, in addition to trying to troublehoot the same number of problems?
I don't say they may not be useful in general, but i prefer asking for specific informations for every issue.
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Re: Help us to help you

Postby wilcal » Jun 18th, '12, 23:07

doktor5000 wrote:
wilcal wrote:IMO it's quite useful.

Quite useful to whom?

In a production environment when your building a number of
Linux based platforms to be fielded running an overall platform
test and log program makes for good confirmation that that
specific platform worked as expected at that specific period
of time. What I would do is just before one machine would be
shipped I'd run Puppy and it's overall testing function then
copy that log file, with the serial number of the platform,
to the production and QA records. That way 2-years later
you can go back and get a detailed run down of what was
in that specific unit. And the fact that it basically worked.

You build 30-machines for a deployment you'd expect them
all to be the same. 30 identical test/log files, each tagged
with the units serial number, confirms that or lists differences.
The log/test files wil reflect those changes.

Sometimes over time if you are using say an Asus MoBo
Asus will make subtle changes in the board. Or you change
the processor to take advantage of better pricing. The log/test
files wil reflect those changes.

Worst company to deal with with unannounced changes to
their hardware???? IBM.
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Re: Help us to help you

Postby doktor5000 » Jun 18th, '12, 23:26

Well, that's a totally different use case and topic compared to giving support in a public forum where no installation and no hardware configuration are alike.
Please stay focused on the topic ;)
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Re: Help us to help you

Postby wilcal » Jun 19th, '12, 01:13

doktor5000 wrote:Well, that's a totally different use case and topic compared to giving support in a public forum where no installation and no hardware configuration are alike.
Please stay focused on the topic ;)

I disaggree with your assessment of the Mageia user base.
Mandriva/Mageia will see a significant usage in the Corporate
environment and should be sensitive to it. One of the issues
must be a consistancey of platform and the confirmation of it.
Or at least the understanding of what the platform is.
"Help us to help you" does not speak to me as single
workstation users only. It means to me "Help us to help you"
and the "you" can be a company fed up with MS and
wanting to move to potentially different environment.

FWIW one of the reasons we chose Mandrake in 98 was
the wide and varied "tools" available on that platform.
That legacy has been carried for the most part into Mageia.

Note: I do respect your position and it's good that this issue
is being bantered around.
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Re: Help us to help you

Postby Ken-Bergen » Jun 19th, '12, 01:32

wilcal wrote:I disaggree with your assessment of the Mageia user base.
That's irrelevant.
You suggested posting pages and pages of data for every problem onto this forum.
As both the Doktor and I said it's a waste as it'll never be read.
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Re: Help us to help you

Postby wilcal » Jun 19th, '12, 03:39

Sorry I've lead you all a bit astray.

What I am suggesting is a tool that can
be used to classify/interrogate the
specific platform that Mageia is being
run on. Something that generates a
report, in total or in part, in a format
that can be forwarded to someone else
for analysis. It would not be used for
each and every report, problem or bug.
But would be there as part of the
tools that are already available on
Mageia. A tool like smartmontools and
traceroute. My favorite Mageia tool is
etherape. Ever run etherape on your
desktop while you surf the web? Quite
fun to watch.

Puppy Linux has such tools. Boot the
latest Puppy Live-CD ( 5.3.3 ). In the
menu select

menu -> System -> Hardinfo hardware information

You will then be presented with a window
where you can select what to test and where to
put the results in a hardware_report_whatever.html
file, location to be selected.

Another is:

menu -> System -> Pup_sysinfo system information

which results can be saved to a pup-sysinfo.txt
file. These tools partially turn Puppy into a
system test tool. And not a bad one.

We already have such a thing in:

MCC -> Hardware -> Browse and configure hardware

Maybe a simple start would be in the Options pulldown
of this app a selection to output the results to a file.

Sorry again for implying that this would be used
on every problem.
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Re: Help us to help you

Postby Ken-Bergen » Jun 19th, '12, 04:03

Or a graphical launcher for lshw for those afraid of the CLI?
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Re: Help us to help you

Postby wilcal » Jun 19th, '12, 04:58

Ken-Bergen wrote:Or a graphical launcher for lshw for those afraid of the CLI?

Almost anything to start.
Thanks.
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Re: Help us to help you

Postby wilcal » Jun 19th, '12, 05:06

Ken-Bergen wrote:Or a graphical launcher for lshw for those afraid of the CLI?


lshw is in the M2 repo and does work. There's a GUI component
but I can't find that in the menu -> Tools -> System Tools
after install. Easy enough to copy and paste the output
of lshw into a .txt file. Thanks, I didn't know that was there.
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Re: Help us to help you

Postby viking60 » Jun 25th, '12, 12:50

If you want to settle for lshw, this makes a nice output.
Code: Select all
lshw -html > ~/Documents/hardware.html
Image Flexibility is good and inxi is good... install both!
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Re: Help us to help you

Postby wilcal » Jun 25th, '12, 15:03

viking60 wrote:If you want to settle for lshw, this makes a nice output.
Code: Select all
lshw -html > ~/Documents/hardware.html

Yep, I've already used it and it's a pretty good tool.
I didn't know that was there. NIce tip.
Maybe we should consider including it in the Live-CD's.
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Re: Help us to help you

Postby viking60 » Jun 25th, '12, 19:58

As I have humbly made a suggestion to incorporate inxi in Mageia like Linux Mint and a lot of other distros have done, I would not go for that extensive lshw info.

I do agree with some of the gurus that providing to much information can be a tiresome overkill.... That is why inxi is so brilliant Image
Here you can provide the network card only inxi -n or the mounted and unmountend partitions only inxi -uo, graphics card only
inxi -xG + endless combinations.
On some distros like Mint and Arch you can even sort out your repos with inxi -r All short and sweet one liners.
And the the overview even has a function that respects your privacy in the shape of the z switch.
So if you do a inxi -Fz in stead of inxi -F; your macs will be removed from the output.
And the overview does not fill more than a normal sized Terminal window.

And that is not all...... (I feel like Steve Ballmer selling windows in the 80's now :D and this is even better than reverse... ) You can punch those commands directly in xchat and get help there on the fly (as you can with other CLI commands) the output is that lean!

So in xchat you can type
Code: Select all
/exec -o inxi -n
to provide short and sweet info about your network.

You can make a snapshot of your 5 biggest memory users
Code: Select all
inxi -t m5
(no prizes for guessing the command for the 6 biggest memory users..) or CPU users
Code: Select all
inxi -t c5
or a combination of the two:
Code: Select all
inxi -t cm5

You get the pid numbers so you can kill the process etc - (please do not mention htop - I know).

Did I mention that inxi is a really good script?. And that it should come out of the box on any good distro :?:
I found a rpm here that might be of use in obtaining that noble goal.
Image
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4BxGwRD-wk
Image Flexibility is good and inxi is good... install both!
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Re: Help us to help you

Postby doktor5000 » Jun 25th, '12, 21:44

Useful probably, but as already mentioned, not reported as package request on OUR bugzilla ;)
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