The ability to search for and retrieve information from archived posts to the linux-related (Usenet) newsgroups represents a powerful means of troubleshooting in Linux.
Search engines permit one to search the archives by stipulating the forum, keywords, authors, dates, language and combinations thereof. Because the number of linux-related newsgroups is large, the likelihood of finding useful information is high.
I would like to relate a brief anecdote to demonstrate the efficacy of this approach. The first time I attempted to build a kernel, I was presented with this error message when I invoked a "make" command:
make: as86: Command not found make: *** [bootsect.o] Error 127 make: Leaving directory `/usr/src/linux/arch/i386/boot' make: *** [zImage] Error 2
I had no idea what as86 was, but I entered it as the keyword in the Subject field of the Advanced Groups Search page at groups.google.com, and was presented with a large number of posts from folks who had encountered the same problem. Respondents had provided the reason and solution: I did not have an assembler/linker necessary to create machine code, and the bin86 package provided it. I downloaded and installed a RPM package of the latter and was on my way. This entire process took about 10 minutes (I do have an ADSL connection to the 'net !).
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