IRC Collaborative Debugging

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Revision as of 23:02, 26 May 2010 by Karol (talk | contribs) (Output Errors/Messages to File: No bashisms, please)
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If you need help from an IRC help channel like #archlinux, you can use collaborative debugging services (like pastebin) to give IRC users details about problems you are seeing or configuration files you need referenced.

IRC Usage

When you tell the people in the chat-room what your problem is, sometimes they will need to know additional information. This could be the output of a command or the contents of a configuration file. It is a general rule for IRC channels to never paste text greater than three lines. When you need to do more, use a service like pastebin.

To not have to write everything down on a notepad and then type it into irssi, this is where it becomes useful to use a collaborative debugging tool. Pastebin services are websites that temporarily hold configurations, bug outputs… that you can refer other people to. There are several tools that can be used that can send information to a pastebin service.

Note: If you are in console and using and irc program, you can do Ctrl+Alt+F2 (F3, F4…) to enter another console to enter a command.

Output Errors/Messages to File

Many of these programs will need to have a file to upload. If you are using a program that you need to share it's output, you can put it in a text file by:

program > program-output.txt 2>&1 

For example:

fdisk -l > partitions.txt 2>&1

It will redirect all output to a text file (both standard output and error output) and can be uploaded to a pastebin service.

Programs to Upload to Pastebin Services

A number of programs exist to upload to pastebin services.


To add pastebinit:

pacman -S pastebinit

And to upload a file:

pastebinit /etc/X11/xorg.conf

pastebinit will then give a url of the uploaded file.

Console Installer Questions

Occasionally you might need to actually show a picture of what your question is about (e.g. if you have a question about a console-based installer). For this you can use fbshot. fbshot is a framebuffer screenshot program. To take a screenshot of the first console (Ctrl+Alt+F1):

fbshot -c 1 console1.png

Then you can use links and a image-hosting website to upload the image.