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I've been thinking about a possible way to increase the amount of information in questions about applications "crashing"/"won't start"/"not working" and I came to this idea.

As you know, when you run a program (mostly applications with GUI) from the command-line it usually returns a log about what is happening, like this log returned by a broken Steam installation:

Running Steam on ubuntu 13.04 64-bit
STEAM_RUNTIME is enabled automatically
Installing breakpad exception handler for appid(steam)/version(1378500910_client)
Installing breakpad exception handler for appid(steam)/version(1378500910_client)
Installing breakpad exception handler for appid(steam)/version(1378500910_client)
unlinked 0 orphaned pipes
removing stale semaphore last operated on by process 13785 with name 0eBlobRegistryMutex_5A5CF321630ACD92EFD5B517187CC688
removing stale semaphore last operated on by process 13785 with name 0eBlobRegistrySignal_5A5CF321630ACD92EFD5B517187CC688
removing stale semaphore last operated on by process 13785 with name 0emSteamEngineInstance
removing stale semaphore last operated on by process 13785 with name 0eSteamEngineLock
Gtk-Message: Failed to load module "overlay-scrollbar"
Installing breakpad exception handler for appid(steam)/version(1378500910_client)
[0913/214155:WARNING:proxy_service.cc(958)] PAC support disabled because there is no system implementation

With logs we can easily discover why some program is not working just by reading it, so what about we ask these sort of questions' OPs to paste the log returned by the application that is not working?

What you guys think about it? It's a good or bad idea?

  • 2
    What are you asking? (or, suggesting?) Asking for more information, like console logs, is a basic cooperative troubleshooting technique. When I feel like I might be able to help, I ask for info like this. – djeikyb Sep 15 '13 at 21:05
  • Related: How should users share long log files? – ændrük Sep 20 '13 at 23:30
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Yes, it is a good idea and it is well known to all advanced used.

New users will get to know about that when they start using terminal sooner or later.

However, Ubuntu lowered the bar for users to use GNU Linux/BSD... without any knowledge of terminal. As djeikyb said, it a step in debugging/troubleshooting process, we use it always and we ask users to do so.

Sometimes you can go farther and ask for backtrace using gdb (better after installing related -dbg pacakge), system call trace strace, library call trace using ltrace ... but keep in mind if it is a downloaded package from official repository, may be more convenient to flag it off-topic:

Bug reports and problems specific to development version of Ubuntu should be reported on Launchpad so that developers can see, track and fix these issues.

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