Mobile Linux brain Neil Bothwicktackles the most common issues and presents a collection of solutions that’s sure to keep your system running smooth and trouble free. Well, mostly.
“Considering how complex a modern Linux system is, it’s astonishing that it starts up.”
Everyone has a problem with Linux at some point. The important thing is how quickly that problem gets solved.
An amazing element of the open source and computing community is the vast network of help available online in the form of blogs, websites and forums.
Without doubt this is of huge importance in getting issues known and fixed, and it’s wonderful to see how willing the community is to help out complete strangers and beginners alike. That being said, there’s nothing that beats a bit of prior knowledge.
To help arm you with the knowledge you need to keep your Linux systems cheerfully ticking over, we’ve taken our years of experience answering all manner of reader and www.linuxformat.comforum questions and distilled this into a rich brew of condensed Linux knowledge, which will target the top issues that Linux users regularly run into.
In many ways computers are this wobbling tower of intertwined standards, protocols, interfaces and files. Considering just how complex a modern Linux system is, it’s astonishing that a Linux PC manages to successfully complete the delicate dance of powering up, launching the bootloader, handing over to the kernel, loading files of its file system, hopping through init and establishing an X graphical interface with interactive graphical desktop manager, wireless internet connection and all the other services that modern systems provide.
At any stage this wobbling tower can crash down – and when it does, we’re here to help you pick up the pieces! Our guide starts at the beginning with troubleshooting the boot process, moving through basic hardware and system issues, then on to more generic hardware, networking and finally classic desktop problems.
Hopefully you’ll come out of the darkness with at least a few invaluable nuggets of Linux knowledge to help make your Linux experience that little bit smoother and even more enjoyable. So lets turn the page and get fixing!
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Pci Express Device Error. Severity NN. Uncorrected non
Fatal. Pci Bus Error<br/>
Type:N Transaction Layer. Flow Control Protocol N:First.
This is a problem I’m experiencing on a newly bought
motherboard that works fine with Windows.
A: Hardware working with Windows is no indication that it’s fault free. The “It works with Windows, ship it and we’ll fix any other problems with an update” attitude is not uncommon. With anything motherboard related, the first step is to check whether there’s a BIOS update available.
Even with a brand new motherboard, by the time it has travelled through the shipping and distribution process to get from the Far East to your computer’s manufacturer and then to the shop and finally to you, there is usually a new BIOS available. Flashing a new BIOS can fix a lot of boot problems but if yours persist, there is more you can do.
You can change the way the kernel addresses the hardware with a number of parameters you can pass to it at boot time. At the Grubboot menu (press Esc if it does not show up by default), highlight your normal boot option and press E (for edit). Edit the line starting with kernelby adding some or all of these options to the end of the line, separated by a space:
Note the difference in spelling between the second and third set of options – about all that acpiand apichave in common is the letters in their names. Press F10 to boot with the options you added. Once you find a combination that has the kernel and your hardware co-operating with one another, make the change permanent by adding the options to GRUB_ CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT and GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX in /etc/default/grub, saving the file and updating Grubwith one of these commands. Which one depends on your distro – if the first one fails, try the second and then the third.
sudo grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg
sudo grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
Re-installing Windows broke Linux
Dual-booting more than one distro
Q: I know I can dual-boot between Linux and Windows, but can I do the same with more than one Linux distro? If so, how do I share my data between them? How should I partition my disk?
A: Yes, it is possible. Each distro needs its own root partition but you can share the same swapbetween them all. Having a separate partition for /homeis recommended – you don’t want to tie your data to a single distro you may later decide to stop using. While a separate /homepartition is desirable, don’t use the same home directory for each distro as there may be incompatibilities between different versions of the software used. I prefer to put the distro name in the username, as in “fred-ubuntu”, “fred-debian”, etc. As long as each user has the same UID – most installers make the first user 1000 – you’ll have write access to all of them, then you can create symlinks for important data directories, like documents, music, photos and so on, to share these files between all distros while keeping the configuration files separate.
As far as the boot menu is concerned, pick one distro as your main one and let that handle booting. Every time you install a new distro, skip the option to install a bootloader if possible. Then reboot into the main one and run: sudo grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg to update the boot menu.