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getting the ball rolling.

Hi all,

I am taking responsibility for the "Troubleshooting and Problem 
Solving" title.  There have (so far) been two offers to work on various 

The chapter list (as it currently stands) is:

1. Introduction <already drafted>

    Scope of this book.
    Intended Audience

2. Overview of a Linux System <already drafted>

    The Linux Kernel
    System Tools
    User Tools
        The structure of /etc/rcX.d and /etc/init.d

3. Accurately Diagnosing the Problem

    Reading Errors
    Reading Logs

4. Searching the Web

    Search engines
    Formulating queries for best results

5. Reading and interpreting manpages

6. formulating and testing hypotheses

7. basic troubleshooting tools

8. basic recovery tools

9. boot problems (lilo, grub) <Russell Coker is working on this (the 
lilo section, a volunteer is still looked for to write about grub>

10. filesystem problems (fsck, undeleting?) <Russell Coker is working 
on this>

11. Network problems

12. mail problems

13. Printing problems

14. package management problems (dpkg, apt, dselect) <Gerfried Fuchs 
will work on this>

15. problems with file permissions <Gerfried Fuchs will work on this>

16. X11 (huge one this)

17. security

18. Setting up a self-maintaining system (cron, at, etc)

19. good backup regimen and how to set it up

20. Being effective asking for help online (mailing lists, newsgroups, 
IRC) <I will write this (It is already partially done)>

If there are any of these that you would like then let me know.
If you don't feel that you can write all of a chapter, but are happy to 
do part of it then that is fine.  If I have the chapter marked as being 
worked on then think of it as locked.  If it has already been worked 
on, but you wish to add to it then let me know and I will mark you as 
working on it.  

There have been concerns raised about having the text publicly 
available until we work out licensing terms properly.  For the moment 
if you have access to Debian machines then the docbook sgml is 
available from:
If you do not have access to Debian development machines but would like 
to work on the book then let me know and I will privately email you the 
current source.

If you wish to contribute but are not proficient in docbook sgml then 
that is fine.  Just send me your contribution in whatever format you 
wish and I will convert it to sgml for you.

Any and all contributions are welcome.  Even something as simple as 
expanding a chapter title to include possible sections is a step 

My personal contribution to this will probably be mostly editing and 
coordinating.  I will write any chapters which are not taken by anyone 
else, but whilst I have experience of most of the subject areas, I am 
not expert in all of them (for example, I have used lilo fairly 
extensively, but my knowledge cannot compare to that of the lilo 
maintainer's :)

I will post regular updates to here (debian-books@lists.d.o) and may do 
the occasional post to debian-devel@lists.d.o asking for help for 
chapters which have no takers yet.  The sgml source in progress will be 
sent to anyone who has contributed (or who is marked as in the process 
of contributing).  This will hopefully allow better integration of the 
thing as a whole.

Division of any royalties are totally undecided as yet.  I have no idea 
how to go about this.  Any thoughts anyone?

Please do not send me a list of 5 chapters which you "may be able to do 
something for".  I prefer you take one or two and actually do them.  
Then come back for more.

Hopefully this can be a successful way of writing a book.  I am looking 
forward to learning my way around it anyway :)

Stephen Stafford
finger bagpuss@debian.org to get gpg public key

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