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In Ubuntu, when my network fails to connect, it just says "network not connected / disconnected", without providing any helpful error message. On the contrary, Windows gives an error code plus a one or two line spanning error message that pinpoints what error occurred during a connection attempt. Is there a way to get such a detailed error report on Ubuntu, either via GUI or via terminal? Thank you.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

In all Linux Distros, you have access to the information you want.

You can do the follow, reading the system log file, to get the information you want:

sudo tail -f /var/log/syslog

The result will be something like this:

Sep 27 13:36:50 Pluto NetworkManager[841]: <info> Activation (eth0) Stage 5 of 5 (IP Configure Commit) started...

Sep 27 13:36:50 Pluto avahi-daemon[845]: Joining mDNS multicast group on interface eth0.IPv4 with address 192.168.0.51.

Sep 27 13:36:50 Pluto avahi-daemon[845]: New relevant interface eth0.IPv4 for mDNS.

Sep 27 13:36:50 Pluto avahi-daemon[845]: Registering new address record for 192.168.0.51 on eth0.IPv4.

Sep 27 13:36:51 Pluto NetworkManager[841]: <info> (eth0): device state change: ip-config -> activated (reason 'none') [70 100 0]

Sep 27 13:36:52 Pluto NetworkManager[841]: <info> Policy set 'Wired connection 1' (eth0) as default for IPv4 routing and DNS.

Sep 27 13:36:52 Pluto NetworkManager[841]: <info> Activation (eth0) successful, device activated.

Sep 27 13:36:52 Pluto NetworkManager[841]: <info> Activation (eth0) Stage 5 of 5 (IP Configure Commit) complete.

Sep 27 13:36:52 Pluto NetworkManager[841]: <info> Activation (eth0) Stage 4 of 5 (IP4 Configure Get) complete.

Sep 27 13:37:00 Pluto ntpdate[2445]: adjust time server 91.189.94.4 offset -0.108144

To view the Log Files in a GUI:

Click on System -> Administration -> Log File Viewer, to launch the GUI log viewer tool.

NOTE: If you can't find the System Log Viewer, open Synaptic Package Manager, and install "gnome-system-log".

Log File Viewer

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Thank you. By any chance, is this information available via the some graphical front end, for users who don't want to do it at terminal? (asking for a friend) –  missingfaktor Sep 27 '12 at 12:52
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