Although it would be nice to believe that cars, home theater systems, computers and Linux never break, the reality is that they do. Many people have no problems with Linux, but those who do want the best information and guidance possible. This chapter is — or rather will be when it is more nearly completed — just one of the troubleshooting resources you can use.
You can obtain professional help from a number of places. For example if you purchased Linux from a major vendor such as Red Hat, you are entitled to some level of service from that vendor. Although what you are actually purchasing is the service and not the operating system. Other help is available on the internet on various web sites and forums. Local user groups may also be available in your geographical area. And you may even have some friends who use Linux and most Linux users are always glad to offer a hand. Do not hesitate to use any and all resources available to you.
Solving problems of any kind is an art and a science with a little bit of religion and even some magic thrown in for good measure. Solving technical problems, such as those that occur with computers, requires a good deal of specialized knowledge as well.
Any approach to solving problems of any nature — including problems with Linux — must include more than just a list of symptoms and the steps necessary to fix or circumvent the problems which caused the symptoms. This so-called “symptom-fix” approach looks good on paper to the managers but sucks in practice.
Hopefully this chapter will provide you with many of the tools needed to solve Linux problems.