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Need Help? Try the Documentation First

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Jason Jones

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Posted: 27 Jan 2005

With traditional Linux distributions comes either the fear of having little or no documentation, or the knowledge that one will have to use the many forum, IRC, and mailing list resources to find answers to the problems that might crop up.

With SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 , this fear should not exist. Although the many resources open to Linux still exist as channels of support, SLES has one channel most distributions do not::


And well-written documentation, at that.

On the main tool-bar on the desktop, you probably have noticed the "life-saver" icon.

This is the documentation, or help desk, icon.

If you ever have any questions, or are stumped by something not working quite right, the first place to go is to the life saver.

For instance, let's say you're interested in setting up a web server, but you have no idea how to do it.

First you click on the life saver icon, and a new window will open up.

*note* You'll see in the middle of the right-hand content screen the link "SLES adminguide (English)" - I highly recommend reading this section if you're new to administrating Linux servers. It is a fantastic resource.

Now, back to our web server example...

In the upper left-hand corner, you'll see a search input field. Enter "web server" in, and click Search

If this is the first time you're runnng the SLES documentation application, you'll see a couple of windows pop up asking you questions. This is because SLES wants to know how you want to set up your documentation.

The first one asks you if you want to create the documentation index now. Click Yes

Another window will open

Although you don't need to, it's probably a good idea to check all of the boxes, so your documentation will encompass as much as possible. If you choose to check everything, please know it might take a long time for your computer to create the index.

The only ones you need marked are the bottom two

  • Release Notes
  • SLES adminguide (English)
After you've made your selection, click Ok and wait for it to finish.

When it's done, make sure "web server" is still entered in the search field of the main help window, and click Search

You'll see results similar to the image below:

There you have it. With the results from the Adminguide, you'll most likely have more than enough information to install a fully-functional web server on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9.

Each one of the links provided as results to your search under the Adminguide will open up a new section. For example. If I click on the 2nd link under the Adminguid in the results (Chapter 22. The Apache Web Server), the following content will be displayed.:

The documentation is quite extensve and I have found it most helpful. You might want to give it a try when you're in a pinch.

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