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Thread: System log: what does all the gibberish mean??

  1. #1
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    System log: what does all the gibberish mean??

    I'm trying to trouble shoot some stuff, and I never realized how alien the system log is. Its not weird that I have no idea what it means, but I'm surprised that Googling the lines means nothing.

    Is there a guide somewhere to what the acronyms and phrases *mean*? Where do the people who code this look it up?

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    Re: System log: what does all the gibberish mean??

    Quote Originally Posted by hubertofliege View Post
    I'm trying to trouble shoot some stuff, and I never realized how alien the system log is. Its not weird that I have no idea what it means, but I'm surprised that Googling the lines means nothing.

    Is there a guide somewhere to what the acronyms and phrases *mean*? Where do the people who code this look it up?
    Could you give us an example of what you are having a problem with? Just copy and paste a couple of lines into your next post. Be sure to use code tags [code][/code].

  3. #3

    Re: System log: what does all the gibberish mean??

    Be sure to use code tags .
    Code tags are on the bar 3 from the right; the icon for code tags is #.
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  4. #4
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    Re: System log: what does all the gibberish mean??

    Googling has usually worked for me. In fact, it has often worked exceptionally well because I don't get the usual million results: just half a dozen or so that are relevant. There is a technique to parsing the search and you may have to tinker with your search string, either lengthening or shortening it until you start seeing results.

    That said, I agree that the contents are outrageously arcane. Many of the sites that google ends up pointing me to are kernel developer forums and other such alien dimensions. It is often more bewildering reading their posts than it was reading the original syslog! Over time, you sort of gain a superficial understanding of the lingo and the issues, which is sometimes enough to resolve the problem. If you are lucky, the search may include posts on more human forums where the language used is closer to English. They can be a site like this one, or another distro's, or something like git or launchpad. It's a long and painstaking process of visiting sites, picking up a clue here and there and eventually piecing together what you must do. I know it's cold comfort at the moment, but things improve with time and as you gain more Linux knowledge. However, it is a process of osmosis--knowledge slowly filters into you, and there are seldom any big revelatory moments.

    To answer the question behind your question, I doubt if there is a central "Library of Congress" where all of the elements of Linux are collected in one big virtual library to allow for structured search and retrieval. That's the drawback--if we can all it that--of a vast global community developed OS. Some of the knowledge is in Finland, some in Russia, a growing amount in India or China and of course in South Africa, Europe and North America. Sometimes it amazes me how such a disparate group of far-flung geeks ever managed to put together such an incredible OS.
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    Guru: It's bad to jump off cliffs. Let's look at better options.
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