Getting admin-level help
Keeping track of the commands you run and recording their output has important diagnostic value. I like to create a literal history of my installations in a shell inside of emacs (M-x shell) so that I can save the output if needed. An alternative would be to use the script command.
Check the error logs. We point out the location of error logs for the various pieces of software. Output from those logs will help you, and help us help you. Do not worry if you feel overwhelmed by all the information in the error logs. Over time, you will find that they make more and more sense. At some point, you may actually look forward to errors so that you can run to the log and diagnose the problem.
If something goes wrong, do not panic. There are plenty of ways to get help. Here are some:
Search the forums at openacs.org - Frequently, people who have struggled through the same issue have already posted and received help with answers immediately available to you.
The bottom of each page has a link to OpenACS.org, where you can post comments and read other users comments about the contents of the page.
Post a question on the forums. Make sure you've done a search first. When you do post, be sure to include your setup information (OS, etc) as well as the exact commands that are failing with the accompanying error. If there is a SQL error in the TCL error or in the log, post that too.
Ask questions at the irc channel on freenode.net (#openacs). They're knowledgeable and quite friendly if you can keep them on topic.
If you find errors in this document or if you have ideas about making it better, please post them in the forum or BugTracker.