Chapter 9. Common Problems and Their Solutions


9.1. Finding Information
9.2. Installation Problems
9.3. Boot Problems
9.4. Login Problems
9.5. Network Problems
9.6. Data Problems
9.7. Support for SUSE Linux

This chapter offers a range of common problems that can arise with SUSE Linux, with an intention of covering as many of the various types of potential problems as possible. That way, even if your precise situation is not listed here, there might be one similar enough to offer hints as to the solution.

9.1. Finding Information

Linux logs things in a fair amount of detail. There are several places to look when you have problems with a SUSE Linux system, most of which are standard to Linux systems in general and some of which are peculiar to SUSE Linux systems.

The following is a list of the most commonly checked log files and what they typically contain.

Log File



Messages from the kernel during the boot process.


Messages from the mail system.


Ongoing messages from the kernel and system log daemon when running.


Hardware messages from the SaX display and KVM system.


Messages from the desktop applications currently running. Replace user with the actual username.


All messages from the kernel and system log daemon assigned WARNING level or higher.


Binary file containing user login records for the current machine session. View it with last.


Various start-up and runtime logs from the X Window system. It is useful for debugging failed X start-ups.


Directory containing YaST's actions and their results.


Directory containing Samba server and client log messages.

Linux comes with a number of tools for system analysis and monitoring. See Chapter 6, System Monitoring Utilities (↑Reference) for a selection of the most important ones used in system diagnostics.

Each scenario included in the following begins with a header describing the problem followed by a paragraph or two offering suggested solutions, available references for more detailed solutions, and cross-references to other scenarios that might be related.