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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?

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Old 12-09-2008, 12:23 PM   #1
Hern_28
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Wonder if a basic command help would help.


Wonder if there should be a sticky broken down basically by hardware type that would help new users provide useful information for problems they post in addition to distro. It might help them discover the nature of some of their problems by themselves. Example:

Sound

lsmod ( and basically what the command does (nontechnical)and maybe 1 or 2 example options)
lspci or lsusb
aplay -l

and so on....

Was thinking less distro specific and more universal commands common to most distros to get information about the systems and keeping it extremely introductory for new users. Would something like this be worthwhile or would anyone even read it?
 
Old 12-09-2008, 01:06 PM   #2
{BBI}Nexus{BBI}
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That's a good idea. Steps to perform/take before posting a question. Covering generic problems.
 
Old 12-09-2008, 01:44 PM   #3
Hern_28
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Was just wondering.

I remember switching to Linux and posting problems and thinking things like: ok.. sound doesn't work.. so I post with the title 'sound problem'. At the time I wasn't being rude, just needed that little starting place to get my bearing and learn how to get around (dmesg, aplay -l, grep, ls are greek when you start). Then I see someone replying 'You should try googling for the alsa problem'. Ok so the insulted new user googles and tries to figure out what an alsa is.

This site has always given awesome support even on redundant questions and as long as we get new users.. we will get more redundant questions but the reason most are here is to help, or get help and I think sometimes after using linux even for a year or so, some forget that at one time we all thought 'What's an alsa?', 'why doesn't 'dir' and 'cd c:\' work??? did linux break it???', 'KDE, Gnome, kernel, XTerm, Google wtf'.

Have been thinking a little more bridging the gap might be helpful, especially with the basics. How about a getting started category beginning with :

explaining briefly the Linux basic file system in terms of directories and subdirectories winblows-ease language. Example:

hda/sda respectively, then hda, hdb (sd* equivelants) compared to the C:\ so they can figure out where they are and go where they want to go.

Common command prompt commands:
cd
cd ~/ (home directory)
cd / (root or main directory) and ../ and such
ls (description here and example use) maybe the -a tag
rm (no examples of DANGEROUS usages lol)
mv...

And then move them to per hardware item lspci, lsusb, dmesg and so on and maybe a more advanced '| grep (whatever) and ls (more tags for system specs they can use for us, still basic '/dev/sd* and etc...'). Would save us looots of time if the entire dmesg did not get pasted for us to sort through, but only the applicable parts. And finally once they are started the infamous man pages they can advance on their own. And maybe finally, where to look for errors, remember c:/ is gone (lol) a few quick filenames for them to look for and a search function and we could start getting some actual errors instead of 'it broke.. fix it'.

Not all inclusive but the most common basics. I think this would help get more people used to the basic usage of a Linux system and get them to the point with enough commands to start learning with the man pages.

I think it would also help those who seriously want to learn linux bridge the gap between 'my computer broke, help fix it please' to I have 'linux CMedia 6501 and have no sound' and googling the second would get them somewhere.

Last edited by Hern_28; 12-09-2008 at 02:15 PM. Reason: typo's
 
Old 12-09-2008, 03:29 PM   #4
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For hardware problems, I was thinking to make some type of checklist to go through. Like for example:

Does the machine POST ? Y/N
N Do you hear beep codes ? Y/N
Y Can you login ? Y/N

And maybe at one point, ask for problem area and link to helpful info. Or tell them to search google or post here.
 
Old 12-09-2008, 03:38 PM   #5
Hern_28
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Though about that too.

That would work as well. Was just thinking about some of the basic commands I use to troubleshoot problems on my systems and how nice it would be to give new users the ability to post problems coherently.

Could combine both, would take a while, they could follow a check-list like you are suggesting and give them commands that give information making getting help easier for them.

With your way would help those with simple hardware issues and common troubleshooting and fixes as well.
 
Old 12-09-2008, 03:47 PM   #6
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Well the very first sticky post in this forum asks the user to include lspci and several other basics and we don't get those now.. It continues on with links to ALSA and the Open Printing Database, not sure what a second, more involved sticky post, would accomplish ?? If there is something missing from the original sticky post he has asked you forward what you believe should be added to it.

If people really want to learn there are tons of resources out there. Websites, Books, Videos, Classes, Magazines. Some people jsut need a little direction and they are off and running.

There are others that refuse to invest themselves, the slightest bit, in any problem whatsoever. They will not Google for a result before posting a question no matter how annoying or frustrating it is for the rest of us to see those questions over and over. Then they want you to hold their hand step by step to fix the problem even if you provided a link to a page that does exactly that. Why they are adverse to following a link supplied in a help forum that is the solution to their problem I don't know.

Don't say 'Linux is hard' as an excuse, I support Windows users that I'm amazed can even accomplish tying their shoes in the morning before they go out. I KNOW my definition of computer literate is different from management, who hires people for positions that require extensive use of a computer and they just have no clue. How many times can you show someone how to cut and paste in Word, or fill down in Excel before you just can't take it anymore ? What is the limit for each user to ask the same simple question over and over ? Twice then you give them a swift kick ?

Nope I don't know what the solution to the problem is, but I recall learning quite a bit about computers, before there ever was a InterWeb to do research and look things up on. All we can really do is hope for the best, and that the new users here will learn the proper way to post questions and ask for help.
 
Old 12-09-2008, 03:48 PM   #7
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Either way it would probably work best as a wiki.
 
Old 12-09-2008, 04:31 PM   #8
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True farslayer

But it doesn't show how to use the commands and names for common terminal applications are left out. After all 'ms-dos prompt' is not a valid selection in any Linux Distro I have used. So maybe little blurbs about Xterm or a small list of apps to get to the terminal used by most distros would be helpful in case their GUI works as well as a link on how to cut and paste from a terminal window or output to a file. Additionally if everyone starts pasting lshw and dmesg outputs its gonna get lengthy.

The idea is not to replace the sticky, but rather to help a converting windows users to use their computers well enough to use the sticky.

And I agree many will probably not even look at it, but still think the transition is overwhelming for many and getting the basics is the best way to start. After all.. its difficult to focus on one problem when EVERYTHING is new.

Last edited by Hern_28; 12-09-2008 at 04:38 PM.
 
Old 12-09-2008, 11:29 PM   #9
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Hi,

A Wiki would be the better reference of this type. The sticky is useful to some extent but would not always be utilized. We reference stickies all the time but a lot of the new users don't really follow up by using them. A wiki could support a knowledge base a lot better. Yet, the referenced user would have to actually use it.

I first tried to work with 'Slackware LQ Suggestions!' but after a lot of prodding by mods and other active LQ members I decided to work with 'Slackware-Links-Wiki'. I have continually maintained the wiki and it has grown. Hopefully the wiki has benefited all! Sure a lot of time and research required to construct, maintain and reference the wiki but well worth it for the community.

I would suggest a different model for a wiki to support your intent for commands with reference. You should create the wiki with good linear subject material classed to the command series function meaning class hdd related commands, sound related commands, X11 etc.

Just a few ideas to dwell on.
 
Old 12-10-2008, 06:21 AM   #10
Hern_28
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Ok.

Will check and see if my wife ( non linux user ) can find a wiki on transitioning from winblows to linux.
 
Old 12-10-2008, 09:38 AM   #11
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I've seen books on transitioning from windows to Linux, and dos commands vs Linux command references online. Would be useful to pull from.

I did some searching, and you are correct there doesn't appear to be a decent site on Linux troubleshooting for the beginner. Most sites I looked at covered strace, lsof, etc.. which I think is a little outside the stated goal for the LQ Troubleshooting wiki as defined in this thread so far.

The suggested resource would be useful and I do not see anything on the net quite like it.
Can I retract my previous statement that people don't read ?
 
Old 12-10-2008, 01:06 PM   #12
Hern_28
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Found quite a few as well.

Have a basic Linux files system layout versus windows. (started by trying to give then a toehold on the / vs c:\ and home directories and such. An intro to cd, ls, ls -a, ls -l and wildcards *, mkdir, rm and rm -r ( and lots of references to extremely careful and not doing rm anything as root at first lol) and lastly some basics on how Linux names hard drives (sd*).

Have worked in REAL BASIC usages of:

'lshw', 'lshw -short' to get Classes and 'lshw -c (Class)' to get short lists
'dmesg', and 'dmesg | grep ****' (intro only)

'lsusb', 'lspci','uname -r' and 'fdisk -l'(extreme cautions again lol)

To do

1.) Getting to the command line
2.) 'lsmod' and 'lsmod | grep ***' basics.
3.) Google is your friend.


My wife has zero experience with the command line so I'm gonna try it out on her. She can't even find ms-dos prompt in windows so would be a good target.




Thinking of lots I could still add. But need to limit it to the most useful and most common ones. Any ideas will be appreciated.

No need to retract. I agree many people use computers with the just work attitude and want others to just fix it. Those who want to learn it will though. Most GUI and desktop environments are easy enough to use, KDE, Gnome, xfce. Just trying to give them that little help on the command line for those who want it.

Last edited by Hern_28; 12-10-2008 at 01:12 PM. Reason: testing and previous post.
 
Old 12-10-2008, 01:23 PM   #13
Hern_28
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Thank everyone.

onebuck, H_TeXMeX_H Took a look and I agree, a wiki would be better and could even link it up for users who want to become more advanced.

farslayer Thanks for the additional searches. If three can't find anything then there must be a need for it.

H_TeXMeX_H thanks for sticking with me

Am I missing any common commands that might be useful to a new user, specially when newbies are posting for help. I actually have a section on that posting for help . Its steadily getting revised though.

Last edited by Hern_28; 12-10-2008 at 01:33 PM.
 
Old 12-10-2008, 07:44 PM   #14
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hern_28 View Post
onebuck, H_TeXMeX_H Took a look and I agree, a wiki would be better and could even link it up for users who want to become more advanced.

farslayer Thanks for the additional searches. If three can't find anything then there must be a need for it.

H_TeXMeX_H thanks for sticking with me

Am I missing any common commands that might be useful to a new user, specially when newbies are posting for help. I actually have a section on that posting for help . Its steadily getting revised though.
A good online 'Linux man Pages online' would be a good start for a newbie that fears the cli for command references with 'man'.

Don't forget 'man man' and 'man apropos'!
 
Old 12-10-2008, 08:25 PM   #15
Hern_28
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Was saving that one for last.

Am hoping to eventually have it where they can use :

http://www.linuxmanpages.com/

Otherwise it could get out of hand lol. At some point they will have to start exploring installed applications, or look in their bin's for commands to learn how to use.

oops.. it wasn't on my check-list either... thanks again.

Last edited by Hern_28; 12-10-2008 at 08:27 PM.
 
  


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