Josephine's Robots and Computers

Linux Expert Tips

If your web browser hangs up or returns errors indicating that can't connect to a site, the first thing to check is you system's connectivity to the internet. Virtually all Linux distributions provide a quickly accessible built-in "console" to allow users and administrators to execute commands. (If you're using Windows/Vista you're on your own!) The console will execute the commands in the "Bash" environment and completely bypass the window/desktop system, allowing you to better isolate any problems.

To access the console, simply type Ctrl-Alt-F1 (on most systems). The screen will display a virtual text terminal where you can enter Bash commands.

You may need to log in again before you can enter commands. After logging in, type:


Google is a high-availability site and should nearly always be accessible. If you get an error, try entering:


This will check your "nameserver" to see if it can look up website locations properly. If that fails, then you need to check your system's basic connectivity. Type:

ifconfig -a

This will display a lot of information about your system's interfaces. Look for something that says "inet:" followed by a set of four numbers separated dots like:

The numbers displayed on your system will probably be different. Now type:


but substitute your numbers for the number. If this doesn't work, then the problem is in your system itself. If it does work, then you need to trobleshoot the network. You can try power cycling any local switch or router in your office and disconnect/replug cables running from your system to your internet connection. If all else fails, you'll need to contact your system administrator or technical support. If you don't have access to technical support or current situation isn't working for you, give us a call.

Privacy Policy