Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Fedora, RedHat, Mandrake and probably other things are trademarked.
I have no affiliation with Microsoft or any Linux distro, these are all my own opinions.
However I do see lots of hits on these sites so I know they are at least being read by people with the same problems I've been having.
Some Background. I keep about 24 linux machines, and various windows nt 4- windows xp machines up and running (as well as some dos machines) I hope that some of the following will help keep your linux machines up and happy.
I realize that some linux users never hit these problems. I also realize from google searches that a lot of users DO hit these problems. So I've tried to list the fixes or workarounds where there are any. Three of the major linux variants I'm keeping running are Mandrake 7.3, Redhat 8.0, Redhat Fedora Core 3. To be fair, there is a reason my linux boxes outnumber my windows boxes 6:1 there is also a reason I am the only member of our household to use linux. (my 12 and 14 year old boys regularly crash linux to the point its unresponsive to anything (you can argue if this is a crash, if it looks like a crash and smells like a crash, well it must be a crash) usually simply by changing colors or fonts in places which its obvious were never tested, usually through kde games in the boys cases.)

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3/01/2012 gcc building appears broken

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
Building stuff that used to work
gives vague errors like size_t undefined.
yum grouplist
yum groupinstall " Development Tools" "Development Libraries "

1/12/2011 festival pulseaudio root interactions broken

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
echo "this is a test" | festival --tts
doesnt work as root
yes|yum remove pulseaudio
in file /root/.festivalrc put
(Parameter.set 'Audio_Command "aplay -q -c 1 -t raw -f s16 -r $SR $FILE")
(Parameter.set 'Audio_Method 'Audio_Command)
thanks to poster for this

2/17/2009 sdcc and pic18 left hand right hand problems.

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
There are no combinations of sdcc and builds that work without tweaking pic$(PICNUM).lib is now libdev$(PICNUM).lib This change is dangerous, it means lots of us will be using stale .libs and not know it, the real fix is for the build guys to try clean builds of helloled.c on *every* platform, instead of the usual RTFMs and wasting everyones time with namecalling.

5/25/2010 MuseScore 0.9.5

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
MuseScore when pasting and moving notes sometimes will stubbornly refuse to let a note exist in the key indicated i.e. trying to move to a G# in key of A will stubbornly make an Ab. Real fix is for musescore to fix the problem Workaround, cut and paste a blank measure and enter from scratch, hmmm.
MuseScore goes away if you try and set tempo while playing. Real fix is for musescore to fix the problem Workaround, set tempo before ever trying to play, hmmm.
MuseScore helpfully capitalizes "Normal" and then refuses to recognize "normal" internally. Real fix is for musescore to fix the problem Workaround, save as .mscx edit the file, change all "Normal" to "normal" reload.
MuseScore Crashes if any soundfiles are attempted, even after clean installs Real fix is for musescore to fix the problem, I'm pretty derned sure this is a menu/filename/linux fn with ":" in them? problem Workaround, reload defaults, those seem to work better than 'piano.sf2' which is what the real default is, hope to GOD they don't 'fix' this by breaking the defaults.
MuseScore Crashes when trying to cut and paste files with duplicate RehearsalMark sections and tempo sections Real fix is for musescore to just not create duplicate RehearsalMark or tempo sections randomly. Workaround, move all rehearsal and tempo text and see if another one is underneath. Delete one of them.
MuseScore Crashes when trying to remove blank measures. Real fix is for musescore to just not create blank measures, esp. at the end... from midi files hint hint guys, at least put a rest in them. Workaround, save as .mscx and rip out the blank measure at the end of the file.
MuseScore hides rehearsal text when in multirest measures. Real fix is for musescore to split multirests to a group before the rehearsal and a group after, just like in scores one sees. Workaround, don't use multirests.
MuseScore multirest measure numbers are not correct, they're off by one and this one adds up for each multirest. Real fix is for musescore to get rid of off by one error for multirests. Workaround, don't use multirests.
MuseScore will get into a state where trying to copy an entire row from a score will crash MuseScore No idea what the real fix is Workaround, Delete all Rehearsal Text and Tempo text prior to copying, remove any text that appears to be linked to the wrong line.

4/29/2009 Fedora 10 live CD hangs on gnome gui autoboot.

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
Fedora 10 live CD hangs on gnome gui autoboot. No known fix, I could get to a text line but of course no attempt at starting gdm were successfull. Tried various boot options, tried getting stuff working from text mode, as a guess I'd say gnome people are biting themselves by not allowing root to boot? duh? I'll never use gnome for anything, I'm trying kde live CD next.

4/28/2009 Fedora 9 32bit cds install on dell inspiron 2400 fails with python errors.

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
Python isn't installed right cannot open shared object, epic fail on any yum or gui X start. Tried installs absolutely plain vanilla no difference.
Tried finding PYTHON_LIB and setting it to specific path, thats worked in the past, not this time.

4/28/2009 Fedora 6 refuses to see Mobilepre USB (older ccrma stuff didn't have these problems).

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
alsa configs have changed in ways that no ones figured out how to hack them to use usb sound in a way that actually shows the device. Spent days hacking at conf's and looking at /proc stuff could not get hw:1 to show up anywhere. too many to mention.

9/16/2008 smbpasswd tdb messed up can't remove or add users

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
As of today there was no googled way to fix the failing smbpasswd -x foo and the failing smbpasswd -a foo problem. change smb.conf line
passdb backend=smbpassword
this allows one to add remove users, at least until some moron decides to force everyone to use a broken database for passwords...

9/10/2008 yum python wedgies and how to fix them

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
if you've just tried to yum install yum-fastestmirror.noarch or something you've broken yum. rpm -e yum-fastestmirror.noarch or whatever someone was on the right track in a linux help, here's a hint though, any fix that contains "yum " anything can't work because yum itself is messed up at this point.

Fedora Core 9 9/9/2008 can't boot root in KDE, you know the only user that can set up stuff and take advantage of all that k${system} infrastructure like kwifi etc.

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
Linux refuses to believe we need to boot into root in a gui, even as they build tools that have to run in root (Oh and su doesn't work so don't go there). The symptom is "ksatrtupconfig4 cannot be run as root" Added ending #endif for unmatched #if line 30 of /etc/X11/xdm/Xresources
Changed AllowRootLogin=yes everywhere I could find AllowRootLogin
Tried to short circuit all references to gdm
switchdesk KDE roached my install, had to remove GRUB and readd it with install disk
looks like SELinux is preventing looking at ./startupconfig trying to remove whatever the heck SElinux is, hey this worked rpm -e anything with selinux in the name (warning there are things which claim to need it so you need to be careful, however now I have a useful system and no or minimal selinux crap getting in the way. PackageKit is complaining about updating in a gui root, I'd better remove that braindead thing too, yum update will probably work as well?.

Workaround is to depreciate back to something like fedora core 6, where wifi stuff can be set through gui and one can easily boot to root or su root to do so.

2008 all variants of linux, about 50% of the developers don't have the right idea of dependency direction

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
after looking at the dependencies in linux for probably hundreds of hours, I'm convinced some developers think the dependencies are one way some think they are the other.  (i.e. I see lots of 'dependencies' which can't be the right direction, in addition to ones that look reasonable and its about a 50/50 mix too)  I can't prove this but it does seem to be the case. None known The workaround is to yum remove whatever yum install whatever or rpm -e rpm -i unfortunately because of the nature of the problem sometimes one has to remove a lot more than what is needed, isn't it funny that this seems to be no better than chance as to whether a developer guesses right or not on the direction? hilarious....

Fedora Core 3 4/26/2008 awk scripts default to case insensitive in linux

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
Way to break backwards compatability and defy all logic guys. None known
Workaround is to export LC_ALL=C before calling awk scripts, esp. if you are using awk scripts from other os's or from a few years ago..

Linux in general doesn't handle pipes as well as windows for huge files.

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
running scripts that look like exe1 | exe2 | exe3 | exe4 are exponentially slower on linux than on windows None known
Workaround is to run exe1 >linuxisstupid1.tmp; exe2 linuxisstupid2.tmp; ... Oh I understand why windows is faster, its because they do this under the covers anyways and I know that linux is doing it the 'right way' none of which matters when you're trying to get useful work done in reasonable time.

Fedora Core 3 4/2008 ndiswrapper vs fedora core 3

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
After downloading and trying to build 1.46..1.52 I find the magic versions that are compatible with fedora core 3 (at least mine) are 1.47 and 1.46 None known
Workaround is to download a bunch of versions and go with the one that builds.

Fedora Core 3 4/2008 yum is braindead

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
yum will suddenly decide not to work, without giving errors, it will fail to find packages you know are spelled right. I had redhat's launchup2date the first 17 times after a fresh fedora core 3 install, then suddenly work once. None known
The workaround is to use rpm and download stuff manually.

Fedora Core 3 4/2008 yum will silently fail to do stuff

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
yum remove will just respond with "no projects marked for removal" even when I give it projects from yum list None known
yum apparently needs more magic file stuff to actually work. Sometimes it will work for me but then it'll stop working silently with no feedback.

Fedora Core 3 4/2006 Porn screensaver (on random)

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
There is a screensaver that randomly selects images off the network, well guess what, some of the images are porn.... None known
Workaround is to change the screensaver to 'black', thanks to that professor who posted this warning about FC3 and how some of his students were complaining. I was just about to wipe that machine when I googled onto it.

Fedora Core 3 on 4/16/2006,

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
rsync is incapable of reading passwords from either the environment or using the --password-file option, and NO I wasn't stupid enough to put in the ssl option so thats not it, nice try though! I really suspect that there is some dependency on something that rpm stuff isn't catching. After spending hours trying to get rsync daemon set up with permissions and password files and iterating over many different ways to do this I gave up. Workaround is to use smbmount, cp -R -u, umount. trivial and SO much easier.

Fedora Core 3 on 2/21/2006, Rosegarden has no obvious way to record more than 3.5 minutes of music

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
there is nothing I can click on or choose to say 'hey record until I stop you' seems so *&^*^(&(@#$^*& obvious, default to record until I stop you?... there is nothing I can click on or choose to say 'hey record until I stop you' seems so *&^*^(&(@#$^*& obvious, default to record until I stop you?... Workaround is to use Ardour, it seems capable so far.

Fedora Core 3 on 2/21/2006, dual soundcard usage is broken in so many ways.

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
all of the methods involving changing .asoundrc use of 'multi' and or 'ttable' don't work with jack(qjackctl). I keep following googled directions, and yet jack/qjackctl have NEVER ... EVER ... allowed anything other than a single card selection, or at least havent' actually opened anything other than one sound card or the other and yes I've tried opening multi and or ttable and yes I've put sequencers in the multi card and yes I've tried to put them in the ttable section and yes I've tried reboots, updates/installs. Oh but I'm sure it works for Jeff. This is a tough one because it works plenty well with a few exceptions if I choose one of the hardware cards or the other. Yes, I've tried with and without oss crap.

Fedora Core 3 on 2/21/2006, jack/qjackctl says too many servers running/active when there aren't too many.

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
If you don't figure out a setup after a few times you'll get these too many server errors until you reboot. Googling suggests there are lock files or other versions of jack running, well there aren't ps -A doesn't show any jack anything and the locations of the lock files are either empty or deleting the files doesn't do any good. Oh but I'm sure it works for Jeff. Yes, I've tried with and without oss crap. I've tried updating this is an annoying bug.

Any linux 'guru' has this assumptinoeer attitude.

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
I've seen this hundreds of times. A person has a question and clearly states as part of that question ps -A | grep *whatever* shows no other process running. The first thing the 'expert' does is suggest that the user do a ps -A | grep *whatever* its funny its so sad.

Any linux on alpha is too difficult for rocket scientists! (No I mean REAL rocket scientists).

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
alpha install is so conterintuitive and the online help is so nonexistant that even JPL/NASA programmers couldn't figure it out without way too much pain. Oh sure its possible, I figured it out too (after about a month of effort.) why is it so hard just to list the steps and not assume anything? (here's a hint if your steps aren't in the hundreds, you're skipping important details at least for alpha. its funny its so sad, this is for every distro I've tried on alpha.

Fedora Core 3 on 11/17/2005, Putting in a music CD causes some CDDB thingy to steal the focus and ask me questions.

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
DEVELOPERS REPEAT AFTER ME!!! NEVER EVER STEAL THE FOCUS EVER! Your product is NOT that important, all you are doing is pissing everybody off DON'T STEAL THE FOCUS DON'T STEAL THE FOCUS I don't give a rip if there's another update waiting I don't give a rip if I have new mail, I just want to finish typing my sentence into my wordprocessor (or whatever) without jamming random keysequences up your stupid popups. (And I thought only windows had this problem.) I wonder if there is a linux equivalent of XP Power Toys specifically TweakUI.exe Oh crap and I was hoping linux was a safe haven from this sort of thing!

Festival singing-mode well doesn't so much sing as just drone on in monitone. 4/20/2005

Updating Fedora Core 3 on 4/25/2005, causes sound to go strangely quiet

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
Sound looks like it works but sure doesn't make any sound at all no fix found yet, no repro either, I've since done updates without problems. Even though I just updated yesterday (from RHN*) I'll update again as the little red exclamation point is blinking, not that I think it will help...
nope didn't help, I found a LOT of others with this same problem, just use the google, and no, running alsactl, checking volumes and (not)mutes and redetecting sound card didn't work.
I tried copying a known good /etc/alsa directory from an identical box, didn't help.
I tried comparing any /etc* file which had sound in it to an identical box, all files were uhhhh identical.
what a pain in the A** I'm reinstalling fedora core 3 from cd's and I'm not updating squat anymore.

Festival singing-mode well doesn't so much sing as just drone on in monitone. 4/20/2005

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
Running any of the examples/songs/*.xml just reads the words and ignores the notes/durations. no fix found yet. Found some examples that look like they work, i.e. the output spews all kinds of durations pitch info, but output is flat.
Tried festival (tts "doremi.xml" 'singing) results monitone.
Tried text2wave -mode singing "doremi.xml" -o doremi.wav results still monitone.
Even though it looks like stuff is working I tried inserting into siteinit.scm and/or init.scm (load "/usr/share/festival/lib/singing-mode.scm")
I'm sure im forgetting something obvious like (prere-load singing-mode.scm) (set! a-variable-you-couldn't-possibly-guess-right (a-function-your-puny-mind-cant-grasp (list items-you-cant-guess)))

Getting Festival to use any other voice than default is like hitting yourself in the face with an axe. 4/2005

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
There is no single download of sources, and the build is not standard even for linux stuff too numerous to mention, took about 2 weeks to figure out everything needed.
Oh I'm sure not all of the packages are needed, this was just the list that finally worked for me. Its much easier just to download everything than to try and figure out whats needed for you, again festival should really just be a single source tarball, or at least it should be available that way.
Fix is to copy down the following packages, festvox_cmu_us_jmk_arctic_hts.tar.gz festvox_us3.tar.gz festvox_rablpc8k.tar.gz festvox_kallpc16k.tar.gz festvox_en1.tar.gz festvox_cmu_us_slt_arctic_hts.tar.gz speech_tools-1.2.95-beta.tar.gz festlex_POSLEX.tar.gz festlex_OALD.tar.gz festvox_kedlpc8k.tar.gz festvox_ellpc11k.tar.gz festvox_us1.tar.gz festvox_us2.tar.gz festvox_kallpc8k.tar.gz festlex_CMU.tar.gz festvox_cmu_us_awb_arctic_hts.tar.gz festvox_rablpc16k.tar.gz festvox_cstr_us_awb_arctic_multisyn-1.0.tar.gz festvox_cmu_us_bdl_arctic_hts.tar.gz festvox_cstr_us_jmk_arctic_multisyn-1.0.tar.gz festival-1.95-beta.tar.gz festvox_kedlpc16k.tar.gz
then make sure you move any festival/festival stuff to just festival, move any festival/speech_tools to just speech_tools, build speech_tools, build festival, copy festival/bin to /usr/bin?
I had to do a bunch more changes. The place I found to change the voice was siteinit.scm at the end do a (set! voice_default 'voice_cmu_us_slt_arctic_hts)
or whatever you want there.
Don't know if its important (probably not) but /usr/share/festival and /usr/share/speech_tools were where I ended up putting festival stuff.

Redhat 8.0/realplay 10 gold setup problems 2005

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
realplay either just sits there or you get audio and no video. I managed to 'fix' this by trying rpm -e'ing and rpm'ing up new stuff from the helix network url, then blowing away the /usr/bin/realplay ?link? it shouldn't be a link?! anyways just by copying over a real valid ok /usr/bin/realplay which wasn't a link. I've on rare occasion gotten realplay10Gold to work on redhat 8.0 so it may be some incredibly nonobvious and convoluted options/choices thrown up by realplay that need to happen. Don't know don't care, I got a workaround since I've gotten it to work once.

Redhat 8.0 seems susceptable to power outages, Fedora Core 3 might have the same problem, not enough data yet to tell, strange windows nt 4, 2000 and xp have NEVER had problems with recovery after power outages ever. 1994?-2005

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
Any Redhat 8.0 that undergoes power outages (I have a lot of them) has about a 1 in 10 chance of never being able to boot again, I've also noticed on Fedora Core 3 there is about a 1 in 10 chance of some settings getting scrambled (for eg. one of my fedora core 3 machines can no longer move or resize windows after a power outage, although the mouse related arrows and things all look like they are working nothing happens. Doesn't matter if the filesystems are ext2 or ext3. attempted fix is to repair from cd, this usually doesn't work because the RPMs db is usually scrambled too badly Only real fix is a clean install.

tkpppoe can't restart properly 2002-2005

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
tkpppoe is confused by martian packets and can't restart by itself. fugly fix is to walk over to machine, click on stop, click on exit rerun tkpppoe and click on start, then run firewall scripts as necessary.

Fedora Core 3/Redhat ksCD cd player 'loop' really means play from 1-7 times then stop 3/2005

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
I've noticed this on every version of KDE I've run, loop should loop, not randomly iterate then stop no known fix Tried several different installs I've noted this problem for a while now, it really became apparent when I had a party and had to keep restarting the cdrom after a random number of loops

Fedora Core 3 missing cdrom 3/2005

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
After installing fedora from cdrom that same cdrom is not accessable ln -s /dev/hdc /dev/cdrom
Impetus was several hints found by google searches
I'm not sure why the os suddenly decided that a name change was necessary but only in some apps, a case of right hand left hand?

Fedora Core 3 (actually any redhat back to 8.0 shows this problem) any changes to screensaver forces blank screensaver 3/2005

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
Initially random screensaver works, I see a cool screensaver (doesn't matter which one) and try and change the screen saver, only to find that the moment I go through the path screensaver is always blank screen and never ever works again for anything but that. None known
Tried changing from different places on 7 different machines, test always works just fine screensaver never does anything but blank screen.

Fedora Core 3 BOINC runs at 660MFLOPS.
Windows xp on same machine runs at 1300MFLOPS

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
I suspect that BOINC/setiathome/einstein are built for 386 on linux variants and pentium class for windows, I'll test this as soon as I can. This isn't a real problem microsoft compiler is better at removing computations which can't matter. In the actual execution there isn't enough difference for me to worry about
I looked at several different machines they all show this disparity.

Hangs 2004

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
Linux hangs on boot on some of my laptops. Boot up under repair, change hwclock in /sbin to echo something like, under linux on this laptop hwclock hangs, do nothing...
Impetus was several hints found by google searches
Tried reinstalling, no joy
Tried rebuilding the kernel on this machine still same problem

Swap/pathological problems 2004

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
Linux goes into swapping hell, running realplay 8. Turn off the machine, or sometimes you can click on the realplay stop/exit for several hours or days and break out. Hard disk is constantly on linux seems to have a problem with its scheduler being too naieve about apps asking for 'all the memory' could learn a lesson from windowz nt here. Tried a different machine, machines have 128MB, and 256m swap.
Tried setting realplay to a very limited buffer and lower quality,
tried running on a faster processor.
Sometimes it takes a few days for the network to ?drop a packet? enough packets? and trigger the cascading swapping death thing.
Linux goes into swapping hell when network is dropping packets. Turn off the machine, replace hardware firewall that was dropping packets. Various machines would randomly hit this, the network on linux isn't very robust in the dropped packet area. Once in this state a linux box could sit there for days and never recover enough to get mouseclicks through although sometimes after a few hours a mousemovement would get through. Again lessons to be learned from windows nt here.
After a time a number of machines running as NFS servers would grind to a halt and need to be rebooted. Fix was to use SMB only to mount remote machines (yes even linux machines) I ALWAYS use smbmount //TIMC-LINUX/ROOT /mnt/timc-linux -o username=foo%bar now running with only one or two nfs shares shared doesn't cause the problem, or at least not right away

Periphery problems 2004

ProblemFixAttempted fixes
DEC 21140 tulip driver can randomly start failing because of 'watchdog timeouts' Reinstalling from scratch sometimes works. Real fix was to throw away redhat 8.0 and install redhat 6.2, no more tulip problems
Impetus was several hints found by google searches Once a machine has this problem with its onboard net chip, reinstalling sometimes 'fixes' it.
Sound driver can not work after an install Reinstall from scratch generally works.
Sometimes a combination of reinstalling as update can avoid a complete reinstall, sometimes it takes a few 'updates' to get the sound driver working.
Tried installing or detecting sound driver no luck once it doesn't get loaded right.
Windows Problems