How do I request help?

Q. If I want help troubleshooting a connectivity failure with my LEAF router, what information should I send?

A. The exact information needed will vary by what trouble needs shooting.

Before You Post

Please remember we only know what is posted in your message. Do not leave out any information that appears to be correct, or was mentioned in a previous post. There have been countless posts by people who were sure that some part of their configuration was correct when it actually contained a small error. We tend to be skeptics where detail is lacking.

Please keep in mind that you're asking for free technical support. Any help we offer is an act of generosity, not an obligation. Try to make it easy for us to help you. Follow good, courteous practices in writing and formatting your e-mail. Provide details that we need if you expect good answers. Exact quoting of error messages, log entries, command output, and other output is better than a paraphrase or summary.

When asking for help with routing or firewalling questions, ALWAYS include this information:

Depending on the specific problem, include some or all of:

This is not an exhaustive list; we've covered only the most common sorts of troubleshooting problems that we see. If you have a less common problem, or you use an ISP that does something unusual, you may need to provide other specifics to get good help.

As a general matter, please do not edit the diagnostic information in an attempt to conceal your IP address, netmask, nameserver addresses, domain name, etc. These aren't secrets, and concealing them often misleads us.

Passwords are the exception to this rule: Replace each password with the letter "x".

It isn't easy to post messages directly from a LEAF system, but it is easy to transfer diagnostic information to a floppy. Here is how you do this:

  1. Format a spare 1440KB MSDOS floppy as you normally would under DOS, Windows, or Linux. Your floppies are probably already formatted this way.
  2. Remove the LEAF floppy and insert the new floppy in its place.
  3. Mount the floppy on the LEAF system by running this command:
    ash# mount -t msdos /dev/fd0u1440 /mnt
  4. Use the appropriate command(s) from the list above to copy information to text files on the floppy. Examples:
    ash# cp /var/log/messages /mnt/messages.txt
    ash# ip addr show > /mnt/address.txt
    ash# ip route show > /mnt/route.txt
    ash# ipchains -nvL > /mnt/filter.txt
    ash# /usr/sbin/ipmasqadm mfw -nL > /mnt/mfw.txt
    ash# /usr/sbin/ipmasqadm portfw -nl > /mnt/portfw.txt
    ash# cat /proc/net/ip_masq/autofw > /mnt/autofw.txt
  5. Unmount the floppy by running this command:
    ash# umount /mnt
  6. Remove the floppy from your LEAF system.

At your workstation, open the files you have just put on your floppy and cut-and-paste them into a mailing-list e-mail. The details depend on the operating system and e-mail software you use, but we assume you are familiar with them.