3.5 Getting Help

If your system fails to boot or if you're unable to complete the Linux installation process, don't despair: this section will help you troubleshoot your installation.

3.5.1 Failed Graphical Login

Sometimes, the graphical login fails. This is particularly likely if your system wasn't manufactured recently or if it's a laptop rather than a desktop.

If you don't see either display manager's screen, your X configuration isn't appropriate for your system's video hardware. It could be that your X configuration requires revision. In the worst case, your system's video hardware may not be compatible with X; in that event, you'll nevertheless be able to run nongraphical Linux applications.

If you see a scrambled image rather than text or images on your monitor, immediately switch off the monitor. If your monitor is an older model, it can be damaged by the incorrect configuration. To reconfigure your system so that it operates properly, follow the procedures in the sidebar When X Is Obstinate, earlier in this chapter.

3.5.2 Additional Resources

As much as I'd like to help you solve your problems in installing Red Hat Linux, I get too much email to be able to respond personally. But don't fret: the help you need is probably close by, in one of these sources:

The Red Hat Linux 8.0 Installation Guide

This guide is distributed with retail boxed copies of Red Hat Linux, either on CD-ROM or as a printed book. It's also available online. It provides a step-by-step guide to installing Red Hat Linux that includes more details than given in this chapter.


Red Hat Linux 8.0 bug fixes

The Red Hat Linux 8.0 bug fixes web page describes bugs discovered in Red Hat Linux 8.0 and provides links to updated packages that resolve known problems. Sometimes, the installation media themselves are found to contain bugs. In that case, you may be able to find and download fixes from this web page.


Linux Installation and Getting Started

Though somewhat out of date, this resource still gives useful information and hints for installing Linux. Though it addresses Linux generally, much of the material is applicable to Red Hat Linux.


Red Hat Linux Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ site is maintained by Red Hat. It provides answers to many common questions regarding Red Hat Linux and includes a section on installing it.


The Linux Installation HOWTO

This HOWTO resembles Linux Installation and Getting Started. It too addresses Linux generally rather than Red Hat Linux, but it contains much useful information and is more current than Linux Installation and Getting Started.


The Linux on Laptops

Installing Linux on a laptop presents special difficulties, because laptops regularly contain peculiar hardware. Worse, two laptops that have identical model numbers may contain different hardware. The Linux on Laptops web page is an essential resource for those who want to install Red Hat Linux on a laptop.



This searchable database covers problems reported by users of Red Hat Linux. You can use Bugzilla to determine if someone else has had the same problem you're experiencing. Often, the Bugzilla record will include a workaround or fix for your problem.


Mailing Lists

Red Hat hosts several mailing lists to which you can post questions and expect to receive replies from other list members. In addition, you can view archives of past postings. The Redhat-install-list is dedicated to issues related to the installation of Red Hat Linux.


Running Linux

The book Running Linux, by Matt Walsh, Matthias Kalle Dalheimer, Terry Dawson, and Lar Kaufman, takes a more advanced look at Linux generally, rather than only at the Red Hat Linux distribution. It's full of insights and techniques that will help you master Linux. You'll find it especially useful for continuing study after completing this book. You may also find it useful in troubleshooting and resolving installation and configuration problems.