This article explains some methods for general troubleshooting. For application specific issues, please reference the particular wiki page for that program.
Attention To Detail
In order to resolve an issue that you're having with Arch Linux, it is absolutely crucial to have a firm understanding of how that specific system functions. How it works, and what does it need to run without error? If you cannot comfortably answer these question then it is strongly advised that you review the Archwiki article for the application/service that you are having troubles with.Once you feel like you've understood the specific system, it will be easier for you to pin-point the problem. Saying, "Program X doesn't work" is unacceptable. Precision is key.
The following gives a number of questions for you to ask yourself whenever dealing with a malfunctioning system. Under each question there are notes explaining how you should be answering each question, followed by some light examples on how to easily gather data output and what tools can be used to review logs and the journal.
Questions / Checklist
- 1. What is the issue(s)?
- Be as precise as possible. This will help you not get confused and/or side-tracked when looking up specific information.
- 2. Are there error messages? (if any)
- Copy and paste full outputs that contain error messages related to your issue into a separate file, such as
$HOME/issue.log. For example, to forward the output of the following mkinitcpio command to
$ mkinitcpio -p linux >> $HOME/issue.log
- 3. Can you reproduce the issue?
- If so, give exact step-by-step instructions/commands needed to do so.
- 4. When did you first encounter these issues and what was changed between then and when the system was operating without error?
- If it occurred right after an update then, list all packages that were updated. Include version numbers, also, paste the entire update from pacman.log (
/var/log/pacman.log). Also take note of the statuses of any service(s) needed to support the malfunctioning application(s) using systemd's systemctl tools. For example, to forward the output of the following systemd command to
$ systemctl status firstname.lastname@example.org >> $HOME/issue.log
- When attempting to resolve an issue, never approach it as
- Application X does not work.
- Instead, look at it in its entirety
- Application X' produces Y error(s) when performing Z tasks under conditions A and B
With all the information in front of you. You should have a good idea as to what is going on with the system. And you can now start working on a proper fix.
If you require any additional support, it can be found at irc.freenode.net #archlinux
First, make sure you have a valid local session within X:
$ loginctl show-session $XDG_SESSION_ID
This should contain
Active=yes in the output. See xinitrc#Preserving the session for troubleshooting if it does not.
A dbus session should also be started along with X, in a way that exports a single
DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS for every application in your session. If you use a desktop environment this will be handled for you, otherwise you can copy the code from
/etc/skel/.xinitrc that runs files in
/etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc.d to your
~/.xinitrc, and avoid using
Some polkit actions require further authentication, even with a local session. A polkit authentication agent needs to be running for this to work. There are two alternatives in the repositories:
, which provides
/usr/lib/kde4/libexec/polkit-kde-authentication-agent-1, which provides
Single user mode
If you cannot boot due to errors caused by a daemon, display manager or Xorg, you may be able use the single user runlevel:
- Boot to single-user mode by appending
sto the kernel line in GRUB.
- Then disable the systemd service that is causing the problem.
- Change to the multi-user mode systemd target.
- Then try to track down the issue by running the service manually.
file: could not find any magic files!
Example: After an every-day routine update or following the installation of a package you are given the following error:
# file: could not find any magic files!
This will most likely leave your system crippled. And, any attempts made to recompile/reinstall the package(s) responsible for the breakage will fail. Also, any attempts made to try to rebuild the initramfs will result in the following:
# mkinitcpio -p linux ==> Building image from preset: 'default' -> -k /boot/vmlinuz-linux -c /etc/mkinitcpio.conf -g /boot/initramfs-linux.img file: could not find any magic files! ==> ERROR: invalid kernel specifier: `/boot/vmlinuz-linux' ==> Building image from preset: 'fallback' -> -k /boot/vmlinuz-linux -c /etc/mkinitcpio.conf -g /boot/initramfs-linux-fallback.img -S autodetect file: could not find any magic files! @==> ERROR: invalid kernel specifier: `/boot/vmlinuz-linux'
Typically a previously installed application had placed a configuration file within
/etc/ld.so.conf.d/ or it had made changes to
/etc/ld.so.conf which are now invalid.
- Boot into the Arch Linux Live CD / Installation Media.
- Mount your root (
/) partition to
/mntand using arch-chroot, chroot into your system.
/etc/ld.so.confand remove any invalid lines found.
- Examine the files located inside the directory
/etc/ld.so.conf.d/and remove all invalid files.
- Rebuild the initramfs.
# mkinitcpio -p linux
- Reboot back to your installed system.
- Once booted, reinstall the package that was responsible for leaving your system inoperable using:
# pacman -S <package>