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Linux® For Dummies®, 8th Edition by Richard Blum, Dee-Ann LeBlanc

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It’s All Fun and Games Until Something Doesn’t Work

In a perfect world, the dialup configuration steps in the preceding section would work 100 percent of the time. The Linux vendors have truly hidden all the mystery that has traditionally surrounded networking. Unfortunately, in many situations (mostly related to modems and hardware), a simplified configuration doesn’t work. If you can’t connect to the Internet after following these steps, an excellent site to find help is LinuxQuestions.org (www.linuxquestions.org). And yeah, I know — you’ll have to use a computer that already has Internet access to get that help. (Catch-22, anyone?) It’s simply impossible to anticipate the wide range of problems people can run into, and the Linux community is your best bet; this site is well known for its helpful community members.

Also, go to your favorite Web-search site and search on the error message you’re getting from the system — it doesn’t hurt to add the network hardware’s make and model and the name of your distribution as well if just the error message isn’t working. When you’re trying to figure out what’s wrong with your network connection — or trying to gather information that can help someone else figure out what’s wrong — you can use a cool tool: the handy command-line program, ping.

Some firewalls block the kind of traffic sent with pings, so these commands don’t always work as ...

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