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I hope that this post and the replies that follow it will become useful enough to get stickied. Here goes.
As a newbie, I have often had a question to post, and wanted to include the relevant information - except that I didn't know what was relevant. My first time getting a build error I didn't want to post hundreds of lines of output, but I knew some of them would be needed.
I want to provide the following guide to help newbies anticipate what kind of information will be useful to those they are asking for help. Of course, still describe your problem in detail.
***In any situation***
Always include your distribution. The best idea is to put your distrobution in your profile. If you have more than one, include which one is experiencing the trouble within your message.
***If a gui (KDE/Gnome/etc) program won't start***
Try opening up a terminal and typing the name of the command there. Often times the output that follows can be of some use to folks.
***If a gui (KDE/Gnome/etc) program crashes***
Include the name and version of the program. Say what seems to cause the crash (ie. using the "edit" menu). If an error window pops up, include its contents. Try running the program from a terminal and see if there is any interesting looking output.
***If there's trouble installing an application***
Include the name of the package you are using (or the name of the source tarball) and the package manager you are using (apt, yum, rpm, etc.). If you get dependency errors, list those.
***If a build from source code fails***
Include the version of the program, and the end of the output. By "the end of" I mean the interesting parts. Start around the first place you see the word "ERROR". The version of gcc is important in certain cases, but someone will ask for it if it is.
***If you are unable to mount/umount a device***
Provide the exact error message. If your computer is configured to allow mounting of certain devices by non-root users, try mounting/umounting as root anyways and tell us how it goes. Include the filesystem type of the volume being mounted and the kind of device (ie. thumb drive or hard disc).
***If you have network related problems***
As a general rule, include the output of ifconfig. If wireless is involved, include the output of iwconfig. If the network misbehaves only under certain circumstances, describe them.
NOTE: Please, if you have a suggestion for one of the multitudes of things I'm sure to have missed, reply with it. Perhaps I'll retype/reformat all the respones into a single post organized by topic and repost that to hopefully be stickied.