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darthtux 09-04-2003 03:59 PM

How I help people with Linux Questions
First, this is meant to be a serious thread. Not complaining or a flame war. I thought it might be useful to tell how I help with answering questions. It may help others better answer questions and hopefully others will post on the methods they employ and we can all learn.

Sometimes, just sometimes, I know the answer off the top of my head and can send off the reply quickly. Most of the time not. There are several things I do and tools I've developed to get answers.

1. Google. For example, if someone has an error message, I either search for the whole error or part of it. I try different phrases. Most of the time you can find something relevant. (I find more and more that google's findings are for :) )

2. Use the search feature here on LQ.

3. Read the manuals. Especially the Red Hat ones. They're the best.

4. Use the man command

5. I created my own page of bookmarks. My public one can be found at
I also have a private one at (also contains local links)
As you can see, I have the LQ forums I frequent as well as Red Hat manuals and Linux Documentaion Project Guides and relevant HOWTO's readily accessible.

Anyone else have any methods or ideas?

Blinker_Fluid 09-04-2003 05:42 PM

Might help you it might not...
I've made a help file that I put all the things that I probably can't remember off the top of my head but I might use in the future. Say I can't remember the syntax for a command I can grep the file for the command. Then I made an alias so I just have to type 411 string_I'm_looking_for and it greps the file for the string.
I used to have a file system fill up all the time so I wanted to find the large files but couldn't remember the option with find that would specify size.
# 411 find
Find large files --> find . -size +1000 -exec ls -l {} \;
Find large files --> find . -size +1000 -exec ls -l {} \; | sort -k 5n

just something stupid that helped me FWIW

darthtux 09-05-2003 05:26 PM


Good idea. I'll make an alias and give it a try :)

sxa 09-07-2003 02:24 AM

I have to admit that I hate user manuals.. I mean I would rather not look over a user manual when I can ask a quick question on here and get a quick response.. Plus the only manual I own is so damn out of date its usless.. I run RH9 and it is for RH 5.1

darthtux 09-07-2003 01:33 PM

I love the Red Hat manuals. They can be viewed online or downloaded in html or pdf formats

sxa 09-07-2003 01:49 PM

Maybe I should download one of those and burn it to a CD...

trickykid 09-07-2003 03:25 PM


Originally posted by Freakygeek55
Maybe I should download one of those and burn it to a CD...
Most of the time during a default install of Redhat, those are installed already on your system.
Also just about every Linux system comes installed with the man pages, built in manual pages for all commands...

Just type man command

So its no excuse for anyone to try that first and read over the man page before asking a question here and waiting for a response, when they could have already had an answer waiting for them in the man page... :D

sxa 09-07-2003 03:45 PM

Maybe I will try that next before asking a question here.. yet like I said I would rather be told right off hand the answer to a question then trying to interpret what a manual says..

darthtux 09-07-2003 03:50 PM

Freakygeek55, keep asking. That's what the boards are for :)

There's also some great reading in

sxa 09-07-2003 05:34 PM

That is one of the nice things about Linux their is always so much help and support..

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