Difference between revisions of "Troubleshooting problems"

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Hi, you were probably referred to this page because you are having problems getting FlightGear to work for you. This page is dedicated to helping you address any issues you may face.
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{{Troubleshooting}}
  
You need to realize that, in order for other people to be able to help you sorting out any FlightGear related problems, you need to provide certain information about your platform and the nature of the problem you are encountering. This is due to the fact that we don't have access to your machine and thus cannot see what you are (or were) doing, so you need to be our eyes and ears. Also, it is important that you try not to mix up different symptomps that may not necessarily be related with each other.
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This page will try to help you '''troubleshooting problems''' with your [[FlightGear]] installation, from the diagnosis to a possible solution, and if you can't find such a solution will tell you how you can provide the best information to the people who will try to help you on the forum.
  
Even if some of the information we ask for is not always necessarily required in order to fix a particular issue, it can tremendously simplify and shorten the troubleshooting process, for example by allowing us to exclude certain problem sources. So, if at all possible please try to comply with our requests, if anything is unclear or you don't know how to obtain certain information please ask for clarification rather than ignoring a particular request.
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== Troubleshooting the old way ==
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* To rule out some of the most common problems, see [[Frequently asked questions#Problems]].
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* If FlightGear runs slowly, please see [[Troubleshooting performance issues]] and [[Howto:Use the system monitor]].
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* If you're having graphics problems, please check the list of [[Problematic Video Cards]] and [[Troubleshooting graphics artifacts]].
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* If you're getting errors in the console (i.e. the black window), see [[Howto:Understand console output]].
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* If FlightGear is crashing, please see [[Troubleshooting crashes]].
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* If the whole system is crashing when running FlightGear, please read [[System Crashes]].
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* If you have control device issues (keyboard, joystick...) see [[Troubleshooting input devices]].
  
'''In general, you should always try to provide the following information in your requests/reports:'''
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Check out [[Hardware Recommendations]] for more information about video cards and other hardware that has been reported to work with FlightGear.
  
'''Hardware Specs:'''
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== If all else fails... ==
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Try [[Requesting Technical Help]], but only after trying the other suggestions above!
  
* CPU
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== Possible pitfalls when modifying base package files ==
* RAM
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At some point, most users will probably want to modify FlightGear in some way or another.
* SOUND CARD
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Many interesting modifications can be done by editing base package resources, such as for example aircraft files, instrumentation files, GUI files, Nasal scripts etc.
* GRAPHICS CARD
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However, once you do modify the base package, it is important to keep track of your changes and to make sure that files are modified properly.
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Here are some things to watch out for:
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* When referencing file names or paths, always make sure that files and paths actually do exist
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* When referencing file names or paths, make sure that they're used properly i.e. watch out for whitespaces, separators and case:
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** On most modern operating systems, filenames and paths are indeed '''case sensitive''', so make sure to watch out for this, as well
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* Also, most modern multi-user operating systems feature support for file permissions, so that files and paths need to have the proper permissions set in order to be accessible
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* Once you start editing XML files, you will want to ensure that your edits are valid and don't corrupt the XML syntax, that is make sure that tags are properly closed - if you are not sure whether your edits were properly done or not, you may want to use a so called "xml validator", there are numerous free/open source tools available to help you validating XML documents, under *nix you could for example simply use "xmllint". Invalid XML files cannot be used by FlightGear anymore (there are also various web-based validator available, where you can simply paste contents or upload files to be checked).
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* Also, while the majority of FlightGear XML files follows the basic PropertyList format, the various individual FlightGear components support different functionality and features, so tags and attributes that may be available and usable in one type of files such as i.e. GUI files are usually not necessarily also available in files for different subsystems/components, as features are so far being individually implemented for each single component rather than globally. So, even if a certain syntax or feature is supported in a different part of FlightGear, it may simply not yet be available in other ones.
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Please note that it is easily possible to corrupt your base package simply by modifying files in the wrong way, so that FlightGear may no longer work without getting a fresh base package, thus you may want to keep your modifications separate from the rest of the base package. Or at least consider using a Source Code Management system such as for example svn or git.
  
'''Software Specs:'''
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If you do encounter problems getting your modifications to work for you, you may want to run FlightGear with an increased log/warning level, so that you get to see more completely which parts of FlightGear could be successfully completed and which ones failed, this can be achieved by using the --log-level=bulk parameter
  
* OS (Version, Kernel, Servicepacks etc)
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== Related content ==
* any other software that may be running while FlightGear is running (i.e. antivirus tools)
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* [[Graphics drivers configuration]]
* driver versions for relevant hardware (graphics, sound, input hardware)
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* [[Howto: Get rid of common errors]]
  
  
'''Input Hardware:'''
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[[Category:Troubleshooting]]
 
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[[de:Problemlösung]]
* KEYBOARD (language/country encoding)
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[[es:Resolviendo problemas]]
* MOUSE
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[[fr:Résolution de problèmes]]
* JOYSTICK
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[[nl:Problemen oplossen]]
* YOKE
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[[pt:Resolvendo_Problemas]]
* PEDALS
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'''FlightGear:'''
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* version of FlightGear you are trying to get to work for you
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* where you obtained it from
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* in what format you obtained it (executables/binaries vs. source code)
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* if you built it yourself, how you did do that (compiler,flags etc)
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* how and where you installed FlightGear
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* how you are starting FlightGear (GUI frontend vs. shell/console)
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* startup parameters you use
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* runtime settings you use
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* any console messages (warnings and errors) you may see
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* whether the same machine/OS has previously been used to run FlightGear successfully, if so what version of FlightGear
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* if FlightGear works properly using the default settings
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If you experience any problems during flight, please save the active flight and make the saved file available for further investigation (i.e. in order to post it to a forum or send it to a mailing list)
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'''If you are facing scenery-related problems (i.e. no scenery visible), please also try to provide the following information:'''
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* whether FlightGear's default airport KSFO (San Francisco) works for you or not
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* whether you can see any scenery (i.e. runways) from the cockpit view
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* whether you can see any scenery (i.e. runways) from non-cockpit views (i.e. outside view: using the v/V key to cycle through all views)
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* what daytime settings you are using and whether changing this setting has any effect
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* which tiles you downloaded, and from where-including the size of each file or its MD5 sum
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* whether you are able to open the downloaded scenery tiles using an archiver such as WinZip, PowerZIP, IzArc
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* which areas/airports specifically are causing trouble, and what you are (not) seeing (i.e. water?)
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* how exactly you installed the scenery tiles, did you extract the scenery tiles properly?
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* the location of your FlightGear base package (data) folder
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* if you are using the FG_ROOT and FG_SCENERY variables, their contents
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* the contents of the folder under $FG_ROOT/Terrain
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* ICAO code and runway of airport, as well as your actual longitude/latitude retrieved from the property browser: /sim/position/longitude-deg & /sim/position/latitude-deg
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* the value of /sim/rendering/draw-otw using the property browser (needs to be true)
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* any screenshots depicting the problem
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'''If you are facing problems related to your input hardware, please also try to provide the following information:'''
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* the nature of your problem
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* whether the symptoms appear to be in any way specific to the aircraft you are using
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* what input hardware you are trying to use with FlightGear
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* whether the corresponding hardware works under the same OS with other applications
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* how the input hardware is connected to your machine
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* if there is any other input hardware connected to your machine
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* if the symptoms disappear when you disconnect either single components of your input hardware or all of it together
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TODO: we need to evaluate the forum and mailing discussions of the last 2-3 months in order to determine which issues were the most frequently reported ones (i.e. FreeGLUT, RenderTexture,3D Clouds,non calibrated hardware etc), so that we can summarize these issues here, and possibly even directly provide solutions later on.
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Latest revision as of 07:30, 25 September 2017

This page will try to help you troubleshooting problems with your FlightGear installation, from the diagnosis to a possible solution, and if you can't find such a solution will tell you how you can provide the best information to the people who will try to help you on the forum.

Troubleshooting the old way

Check out Hardware Recommendations for more information about video cards and other hardware that has been reported to work with FlightGear.

If all else fails...

Try Requesting Technical Help, but only after trying the other suggestions above!

Possible pitfalls when modifying base package files

At some point, most users will probably want to modify FlightGear in some way or another. Many interesting modifications can be done by editing base package resources, such as for example aircraft files, instrumentation files, GUI files, Nasal scripts etc.

However, once you do modify the base package, it is important to keep track of your changes and to make sure that files are modified properly. Here are some things to watch out for:

  • When referencing file names or paths, always make sure that files and paths actually do exist
  • When referencing file names or paths, make sure that they're used properly i.e. watch out for whitespaces, separators and case:
    • On most modern operating systems, filenames and paths are indeed case sensitive, so make sure to watch out for this, as well
  • Also, most modern multi-user operating systems feature support for file permissions, so that files and paths need to have the proper permissions set in order to be accessible
  • Once you start editing XML files, you will want to ensure that your edits are valid and don't corrupt the XML syntax, that is make sure that tags are properly closed - if you are not sure whether your edits were properly done or not, you may want to use a so called "xml validator", there are numerous free/open source tools available to help you validating XML documents, under *nix you could for example simply use "xmllint". Invalid XML files cannot be used by FlightGear anymore (there are also various web-based validator available, where you can simply paste contents or upload files to be checked).
  • Also, while the majority of FlightGear XML files follows the basic PropertyList format, the various individual FlightGear components support different functionality and features, so tags and attributes that may be available and usable in one type of files such as i.e. GUI files are usually not necessarily also available in files for different subsystems/components, as features are so far being individually implemented for each single component rather than globally. So, even if a certain syntax or feature is supported in a different part of FlightGear, it may simply not yet be available in other ones.

Please note that it is easily possible to corrupt your base package simply by modifying files in the wrong way, so that FlightGear may no longer work without getting a fresh base package, thus you may want to keep your modifications separate from the rest of the base package. Or at least consider using a Source Code Management system such as for example svn or git.

If you do encounter problems getting your modifications to work for you, you may want to run FlightGear with an increased log/warning level, so that you get to see more completely which parts of FlightGear could be successfully completed and which ones failed, this can be achieved by using the --log-level=bulk parameter

Related content