README BEFORE POSTING! AKA: The Rules/Troubleshooting

Support and queries relating to all previous versions of ZoneMinder
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cordel
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README BEFORE POSTING! AKA: The Rules/Troubleshooting

Post by cordel » Tue Dec 11, 2007 10:00 am

Why do we have this post? There are many reasons that can cause any one particular issue and they can very depending on what distro you use, what you have or don't have installed, what options you used to build, etc....
Following the instructions below will help guide you to get the best possible help and prevent your post from being ignored, deleted or getting banned.
Installing and configuring Linux is outside the scope of our forum, but you should strive for a minimalist system based on a recent release of the 2.6 kernel.


Following these simple rules will get more attention and or keep your post from being deleted. It also helps to keep the forums clean and easy to search so that other users, like your self are not overwhelmed with a bunch of garbage when you perform a search (hence why we might consider deleting obviously lazy posts). It also shows that you are not lazy and are paying attention, which will get you:
a) respect
b) allow some one to be able to help you.
See the document on line 14 below if you haven't already.

Too many people post questions saying "somethings wrong, how do I fix it?" with NO background information. This is worse than useless, it's annoying.
It's also the perfect way to endup getting ignored or having your post deleted as no one really likes playing 20 questions. So this is to help you out and if your still stuck, be able to put an informative question together.
  • The primary freedom of open source is not the freedom from cost, but the freedom to shape software to do what you want. This freedom is never exercised without cost, but is available at all only by accepting the very different costs associated with open source, costs not only in money, but in time and effort. So please consider donating by using the donation buttons above to help offset the costs of bandwidth and hosting and keep this site alive.
ZoneMinder is an intermediate level C program that works with the use of MySQL, Perl, Apache, and BASH script and requires a working knowledge of how to setup and administer MySQL and an Apache server minimum. If you don't know linux and don't want to learn, then this project is not for you, at all.

If you are reporting a problem or having trouble with some part of ZoneMinder then please make sure you:
  • 0 ) Check the Troubleshooting section of the README, look here if you don't have it handy.

    1 ) Check the FAQ to see if it addresses your issue. The rest of the Wiki has some pretty good info as well.

    2 ) Use the forum search to check whether your problem has been reported before. Chances are that you're not the first.

    3 ) Check your log files, e.g. /var/log/messages, Apache error_log, /tmp/zm*.log (or wherever you have defined your log directory). Also turn on debug as described in the README.

    4 ) Include the version of ZoneMinder you are running in your post.

    5 ) Include the type and release of your distribution in your post.

    6 ) Include a screen-shot of the error if it is in the web GUI, pictures of the red X for missing pictures not required.

    7 ) Include snips of the relevant errors from your logs in your post (ie dmesg, Apaches error_log, syslog, messages, zmdc.log, zmpkg.log, zmfilter.log, etc.), you may want to turn up the debug in ZM as described in the Documentation.

    8 ) Think about what other information you could provide which might be useful like an lspci and dmesg |grep bttv for your capture card if that's what your having issues with or versions of the packages you built zm with, etc...

    9 ) Make sure to post under the proper forum topic and use a descriptive subject title.

    10 ) No ads or spam posts with out permission from Phil or your post may be deleted along with your account.

    11 ) While this may not be a family orientated site, please consider it as such and refrain from vulgar language or your post could be deleted and possibly banned (Don't expect any warnings, there may not be none and at the moderators discretion).

    12 ) If you using a rpm, deb, portage, etc... please inform us or we will assume you are working with the source code. For this type packages try getting help from the packagers web site first as we have obviously no control over how they may create the package.

    13 ) The FAQ has moved to the Wiki and has more documentation on compatibility, howto's, and common issues. So make sure you check there as well.

    14) Smart questions is a very informative read and will help you understand the forums and how to get help.

    15 ) Do not double post, you only need to post one question under the appropriate forum title. Posting it several times through the forum tends to get ignored as well as clutters the forum making it difficult to search.

    16 ) Threats of physical harm will not be tolerated what so ever for any reason. It will get you immediately banned with no exceptions. Reports should go to any of the moderators on the site to be dealt with and you should never respond to a threat or instigate it in any way.
The best thing you can do is to search the forum and check the Wiki, odds are very, very good that someone has already experienced the same issue you have and the solution with it.

ALL Spam posts will be immediately removed and their poster will be banned. Crawlers are configured to not retrieve any information from a users profile to aid in not promoting websites that spam and waist our time to get better rankings.

Our forum is for help with ZoneMinder and while we love to see new people to Linux, we are not here to teach Linux and there are sites/forums for just that and highly recommended you check those out if you are new to Linux , they will help you out tremendously.
http://www.linux.com/base/ldp/howto/HOW ... ories.html
http://www.linux.org/lessons/
http://www.linux.org/docs/
http://tldp.org/
http://www.linuxdocs.org/
http://www.linuxquestions.org/
http://www.linux-tutorial.info

Now to really learn the in and out of Linux I suggest you have a go at Linux From Scratch (LFS). This is how I was able to learn Linux with in a month.

Once you get the basics these will help with understanding ZM as ZM uses these in order to operate:
http://www.mysql.org/doc/
http://httpd.apache.org/docs/

What happens if you have no idea of whats wrong?
Then you need to provide as much information as possible about the problem your having, what you have done to try and find the problem. If it ever was working before. What equipment you have installed, how you have it configured and show that it is configured even if you think you have done it correctly (ie, the relevant part of dmesg for example, and just a snip, not the whole log) and check the wiki on how to use the zmu command. How you have ZM configured (zmu works great in most cases here BTW), etc...
Here is a good example of a request for help.
Now that you have prepared all the information, post your question.

If you can follow as many of those guidelines as possible then we would be eternally grateful as it will save us from having to ask the same basic questions over and over again!
Also consider that while many of us enjoy supporting the community and volunteering our time, following those guidelines will help us to help you more efficiently and allow us more time to work on ZM.

Cheers,
Corey and community

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