How to ask for help on the SULUG list

(and have a reasonable chance of getting a useful response)

Messages such as "My computer hangs when booting into Linux. How do I fix this?" will usually not gather much of a useful response. To best tap into the available expertise on the list, you need to provide a reasonable amount of infomration for people to work with. This page is meant to give you some idea of what to provide.

In all cases:

  1. Be clear about what you are trying to do and what has failed
  2. If you've tried something already, either state those up front or don't get offended if people suggest them again (actually, both is better).
  3. People will suggest "use google". This is actually good advice, and it's often useful to follow it before posting questions. If google has not given you any useful advice, mention this when asking on the list.

When describing a hardware problem, please provide the following:

  1. The hardware you're using (In reasonable detail - HP Laptop is not enough, HP laptop model number XXXX is better, HP laptop model XXXX with onboard audio chipset Y, video card Z and extra WW is a lot better). Useful commands here are
    • lspci (and lspci -vv) - which lists the cards detected on the pci bus,
    • lsusb - which lists detected usb hardware,
    • lsmod - which list the modules loaded and
    • dmesg - which lists messages printed by the kernel.
  2. The distribution you're using, in details i.e. Ubuntu breezy or Fedora Core 3 or Suse 9.3
  3. The exact point at which the problem occurs. "System becomes unresponsive when accessing a CD", "system hangs after printing loading ne.o module", etc.

When describing a software failure:

  1. Distribution version (see above)
  2. Version of software (Matlab R14.2, not just Matlab)

When asking for guide on how to do something:

  1. If there are specific limitations (can't use perl, etc.), state them upfront


["CategorySULUG"] CategoryLists CategoryHowTo

HOW-TO/AskForHelp (last edited 2006-03-30 13:29:36 by NeilMuller)