[HowTo] Troubleshoot anything

Difficulty: ★☆☆☆☆

Experiencing an unexpected issue is never an enjoyable moment. Yet very often, resolving it is actually a matter of simply reading the messages forwarded to the user, and acting accordingly.

Find error messages

Very often when an applications crashes, and sometimes when it misbehaves, it prints an error message somewhere.

  • If the message appears on screen, like in a popup or in the terminal, do read it. In most cases, it hints at what goes wrong (a missing file, a wrong configuration, a corrupted input…) if it doesn’t outright provide the solution (add a missing argument, install a missing dependency, start a service…).
  • If no such message appears, there are still ways to look for one: [HowTo] Find error logs

Read the relevant documentation

Documentation related to the application often detail its processing logic, or even lists common issues with solutions and workarounds. A few places that you can check first are:

  • its manual, when available: man <my_app>
  • its help menu, when available: <my_app> --help
  • its official online documentation
  • Manjaro wiki
  • Arch wiki

Look for similar issues

Chances are you are not the only one with the issue you are experiencing. Searching online for such occurrences may also bring you to a solution or workaround.

  • The second post in each update announcement lists known issues related to that update, usually with solutions or workarounds.
  • This forum does have a search feature, so does the Arch forum .
  • Upstream, Arch package maintainers have a bug tracker for known issues to be fixed/followed.
  • More upstream, most developers also have a bug tracker, moreover when they use Github or Gitlab for publishing their applications.
  • There are many online communities where issues may be shared. The issue could also occur in other distributions. In order to find all of those, use your favorite web search service.

:warning: In order not to worsen the issue, it is important to understand what the suggested resolutions do. In doubt, find the relevant documentation or ask for details.

Seek support

Sadly, even the above steps may not provide a definitive solution is some cases. You then have logically no other choice than to rely on the knowledge of others.

  • A sensible first place to ask for support is in the Manjaro support forum.
  • In some cases, the issue cannot be definitely resolved unless it is forwarded upstream – to package maintainers or to the developers. In such a case, you will be asked to open an issue to the appropriate support.

:warning: Obviously, we can only help on matter related to Manjaro use. If your issue concerns another operating system, you will likely have better luck seeking help at the appropriate support.

10 Likes

Nice post, @maycne.sonahoz.

But,

needs some more context.

If something (from official repos) is working on Arch, but not on Manjaro, this will be a waste of time. The person this is directed at needs to be up-front from the get-go that this is a Manjaro issue (don’t try to hide, or otherwise attempt to obfuscate that fact); which will most likely result in

which leads back here (and a dust-bin on the Arch BBS).

2 Likes