[Nottingham] Odd Mandrake problems

Michael Erskine msemtd at yahoo.co.uk
Wed Feb 7 14:20:14 GMT 2007

On Wednesday 07 February 2007 13:53, Martin wrote:
> > kill X with CTRL-ALT-BACKSPACE -- the display manager may automatically
> > restart X and it might even come up OK!
> >
> > Login to a virtual terminal -- switch with CTRL-ALT-F1 for vt1,
> > CTRL-ALT-F2 for vt2, etc.
> >
> > Take a look at the XFree86 logs (usually in /var/log)
> >
> > Kill the display manager (as root) with the appropriate init script
> > in /etc/init.d/.
> >
> > With the display manager suitably culled we can start X on its own with
> > the startx command whilst logged into a virtual terminal. Then we can see
> > if XFree86 is fine. At this point your friend may be up and running.

> Phew! That looks and sounds /very/ /scary/ for any Linux neophyte, let
> alone a complete "computer illiterate"...

Not at all - it takes little instruction and no time at all to hit CTRL-ALT-F1 
and she knows her login. There is nothing to be scared of here. She then has 
access to her data with a few shell commands that are rather easy to learn 
(hint: man(1)).

> I'd suggest the LiveCD approach to at least retrieve the data.

Me too but you still have to instruct the user on the fault-finding steps and 
it is clear that the main problem here is communication and hardly anything 
to do with a technical Linux problem.

> The next big step could be a modem hook-up and a long distance remote
> hack!... Just being able to ssh into the thing would be a huge help.

But first you'll have to instruct the user on setting up a modem, ppp, ssh 
server, etc. I think you're heading down a road to nowhere there!

We've yet to establish if there's a nearby net connection: friend or neighbour 
with dial-up or broadband or perhaps a local internet cafe.

Michael Erskine.

Isn't this my STOP?!

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