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Basic Linux Tips and Tricks, Part 3 - page 2

X Marks the Spot

  • October 23, 2007
  • By A. Lizard

The best advice I can give here is use the Web, keep your goal firmly in mind, stay relaxed, and open your mind; you may be looking for the chunk of information that will spark the associational chain that'll give you the answer you need, even if the right answer is not out there in the exact form you need.

If you do have to invent the right answer, post it to the forums in which you found the not-quite-right answers and as much as possible, how it solved the problem, and why it worked. Don't take it for granted that your previous solutions are 100% perfect even if they seemed to have worked, I cut and pasted an rsync command from a script I'd been using for years for backup and had trouble.

The wrong command was:

rsync -ahLvu
The right one should have been
rsync -ahLv
It turned out that adding "u" meant that certain intended overwrites didn't happen, which I discovered when my user login stopped working. The wrong command worked because I cloned the disk via bit-copying using dd and when I ran rsync, there was never outdated information available that needed overwriting.

Bottom line: keep an open mind and take as little as possible for granted. Fixing a Linux problem is as much about attitude as about specific knowledge.

That's the most important lesson I've learned about troubleshooting Linux in the three years I've used it. And now, you know it, too.

Good luck.

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