Linux installation troubleshooting

In the early years of Linux, it's hard to get Linux installation done on the first try. This is usually because of hardware compatibility and driver support. During those days, choosing computer hardware and components are vital. It's very important to check for hardware compatibility lists in the Linux distribution's website before going shopping. However, due to the Linux reputation and popularity today, many computer manufacturers, even a well-known company provides pre-installation Linux in their product.

A normal problem occurs during or after Linux installation would be the video card (video graphic adapter), network interface card (NIC), package installation problems, ide and sata drives and X-window system. That's the common problems. Other installation problems most certainly happen because user do not properly read or follow installation guide manual. If that's the case, please don't go in every Linux forum and ask for solution. The solution is very simple, start over, and this time please take it seriously, make proper preparations, read documentation, etc. Read previous topics: Introduction to Linux, Pre-installation checklist and Linux installation methods to have a basic ideas of what to be done.

If you are lucky enough to have errors during installation (yes correct, it's "lucky"), then the first troubleshooting step you can take is check files below and you should find if there is an error in your system. View these files to troubleshoot your Linux installation problem. You will find that at the end of the day, the troubleshooting job makes you understand more about Linux system and how it works.

  • /var/log/dmesg - Check hardware.
  • /var/log/messages - Check Linux message log.
  • /var/log/syslog - Check Linux system log.

Reconfigure Linux installation

The second Linux installation troubleshooting is to re-configure Linux installation. If you need to re-configure your software or hardware, check this list:

  • pkgtool - Software package maintenance tool. Install, remove or view packages.
  • fdisk or cfdisk - Partitioning.
  • /boot/grub/grub.conf - GRUB boot loader.
  • /etc/lilo.conf - LiLo boot loader.
  • netconfig - Networking (ethernet and tcp/ip)
  • timeconfig - Time zone
  • adduser - User accounts
  • xorgsetup - Reconfigure X window system
  • xorgconfig - Reconfigure mouse, keyboard, x window.

Linux important scripts location

Below are Slackware Linux important scripts location. If you are using different Linux distribution, you can find the script with find, whereis and locate commands.

Configuration and startup scripts

  • /etc/inittab - run level setting script
  • /etc/rc.d - startup script

General purpose Linux network configuration scripts

  • /etc/hosts - store hostname and IP address
  • /etc/inetd.conf - execution information for on demand system services
  • /etc/resolv.conf - contains DNS server addresses
  • /etc/services - contains names and ports of network services
  • /etc/nsswitch.conf - Sequences that the Linux system looks for the network services

Linux installation is not a big deal anymore nowadays. If you really cannot troubleshoot your Linux problems, you can search for solution in the Internet. There are millions of Linux users out there. Someone should have the same problem as yours before. Check out problem solution in your Linux distributions official forum. You can provide details of your problem and ask in the forum. There are many Linux experts out there who are willing to help. There are some tips and tutorials on Linux installation troubleshooting that you can check if it's related to problem.

1. Reconfigure LILO: Cannot boot Slackware Linux after installation.

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