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1.4. Help

If an issue or a question is encountered while working through this book, check the FAQ page at http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/faq/#generalfaq. Questions are often already answered there. If your question is not answered on this page, try to find the source of the problem. The following hint will give you some guidance for troubleshooting: http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/hints/downloads/files/errors.txt.

We also have a wonderful LFS community that is willing to offer assistance through IRC and the mailing lists (see the Section 1.3, “Resources” section of this book). In order to assist with diagnosing and solving the problem, please include all relevant information in your request for help.

1.4.1. Things to Mention

Apart from a brief explanation of the problem being experienced, the essential things to include in any request for help are:

  • The version of the book being used (in this case 6.0)

  • The host distribution and version being used to create LFS

  • The package or section the problem was encountered in

  • The exact error message or symptom being received

  • Note whether you have deviated from the book at all



Deviating from this book does not mean that we will not help you. After all, LFS is about personal preference. Being upfront about any changes to the established procedure helps us evaluate and determine possible causes of your problem.

1.4.2. Configure Problems

If something goes wrong during the stage where the configure script is run, review the config.log file. This file may contain errors encountered during configure which were not printed to the screen. Include those relevant lines if you need to ask for help.

1.4.3. Compile Problems

Both the screen output and the contents of various files are useful in determining the cause of compile issues. The screen output from the ./configure script and the make run can be helpful. It is not necessary to include the entire output, but do include enough of the relevant information. Below is an example of the type of information to include from the screen output from make:

gcc -DALIASPATH=\"/mnt/lfs/usr/share/locale:.\"
-DINCLUDEDIR=\"/mnt/lfs/usr/include\" -DHAVE_CONFIG_H -I. -I.
-g -O2 -c getopt1.c
gcc -g -O2 -static -o make ar.o arscan.o commands.o dir.o 
expand.o file.o function.o getopt.o implicit.o job.o main.o 
misc.o read.o remake.o rule.o signame.o variable.o vpath.o 
default.o remote-stub.o version.o opt1.o
-lutil job.o: In function `load_too_high':
/lfs/tmp/make-3.79.1/job.c:1565: undefined reference 
to `getloadavg'
collect2: ld returned 1 exit status
make[2]: *** [make] Error 1
make[2]: Leaving directory `/lfs/tmp/make-3.79.1'
make[1]: *** [all-recursive] Error 1
make[1]: Leaving directory `/lfs/tmp/make-3.79.1'
make: *** [all-recursive-am] Error 2

In this case, many people would just include the bottom section:

make [2]: *** [make] Error 1

This is not enough information to properly diagnose the problem because it only notes that something went wrong, not what went wrong. The entire section, as in the example above, is what should be saved because it includes the command that was executed and the associated error message(s).

An excellent article about asking for help on the Internet is available online at http://catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html. Read and follow the hints in this document to increase the likelihood of getting the help you need.

1.4.4. Test Suite Problems

Many packages provide a test suite which, depending on the importance of the package, should be run. Sometimes packages will generate false or expected failures. If these errors are encountered, check the LFS Wiki page at http://wiki.linuxfromscratch.org/ to see if we have noted and investigated these issues. If these issues are noted and addressed, there is no need to be concerned.