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Troubleshooting 101

This page servers as a starting point for self-assessing common problems that you might encounter.

Check App's pages first!

For each specific application, it is always a good idea to first refer to the relevant documentation. You can find app-specific troubleshooting guides there.

If you ran all the relevant steps mentioned below and still cannot identify your issue, feel free to visit our Discord and ask for help there! We're always happy to help with anything we are able to.

Checking known issues


We get a lot of the same questions all the time. Please read this chapter first.

Please check the issues on the main repo or, if relevant to your problem, the issues on the dashboard repo.

Very often, the problem you're having has already been solved, so please additionally check the closed issues too.

If you do find your problem, you can subscribe to those issues to get updates when they're resolved, or you can help and give us more feedback/info on them. Thanks!


Accessing swizzin/box logs

Swizzin stores its logs into the /root/logs directories. The installer installs into install.log, and any other command you run with box will end up in swizzin.log. You can access the logs by running the following commands.

# To check the logs of the Swizzin installer
sudo less -r +G /root/logs/install.log
# To check the logs of any application manipulation through box
sudo less -r +G /root/logs/swizzin.log

Please consult these logs for any errors or other bad-sounding messages before continuing.

"Verbose" box output

If you would like to see "verbose" output of the box command, you can run the following command before any box function. This will print all the information stored into the log into your current terminal session as well.

# to start the verbose output
tail -f /root/logs/swizzin.log &

box install ligma # do whatever you need to do here

# to kill the verbose output
kill %1 #Assuming that the tail is the only background job in the shell, otherwise cross-check by issuing `jobs`

Checking the system logs

You can always check the logs of the system as a whole by running the following command.

sudo journalctl -xe

You can use your arrow keys o navigate up down left and right. Please consult the manpage of less for more handy features like search and others.

You can also open the last syslog file which often has useful information. You can do that by running the following command.

sudo less +G /var/log/syslog

You can always filter the output of the less command by typing &, followed by your filter pattern.

There are many other log files available under the /var/log directory which are often a very large trove of information. Please see if any of the other log files might have any relevant information

Sharing logs and output

You can always share large logs using termbin straight from your terminal.

Currently, we suggest using for your fiche instance

Want to show us your swizzin logs?

sudo cat /root/logs/swizzin.log | nc <fiche instance> 9999

Below is an example for sharing the content of your syslog.

cat /var/log/syslog | nc <fiche instance> 9999

Or if you want to share a unit's systemd logs

journalctl -u panel | nc <fiche instance> 9999

Nginx failing and you don't know why?

sudo nginx -T | nc <fiche instance> 9999

Where to find logs

Logs are all over the system. Below are just a couple ways to find some things that might be relevant.

  • Issues with box
    • sudo tail -200 /root/logs/swizzin.log
  • Issues with nginx
    • cat /var/log/nginx/error.log
    • nginx -t
  • Issues with apps
    • systemctl status <app> or systemctl status <app>@<(user)>
    • journalctl -u <app>
  • General issues
    • journalctl -xe
    • dmesg
    • cat /var/log/syslog


Server is not responding

First ensure that your machine is accessible and connecting correctly by running the following command.

ping <domain/IP>

You can check if your domain is resolving correctly by checking the output of the following command.

dig <domain>

If your machine is not accessible, see if it is online, and the networking is set up correctly.

I'm getting a 502 when accessing the server

The most likely scenario is that the application you're trying to access is not responding. nginx is running just fine but it just does not know who to talk to at the end, and so it comes back with empty hands and throws a 502.

You should check the status of the app which you're trying to access.

Remember, if you're accessing the server's dashboard itself, you're trying to actually access the panel application. Unless you have custom configurations you want to keep, an easy way to fix a lot of issues is to box remove panel && box install panel

Checking NGINX configuration

NGinx is the application which connects your browser to the right swizzin application.

If you cannot connect to a single application, please consider running the following commands to gather where your issues are stemming from the following commands.

You can send these to us easily through fiche

# To check if the syntax of your config is valid
sudo nginx -t
# To print the entire config for sharing
sudo nginx -T

If any changes have been done recently, you can always trigger a reload of the nginx configuration by running the following command

sudo nginx -s reload
# or alternatively
sudo systemctl reload nginx

Troubleshooting failed SSH

You can always determine what is causing your SSH connectivity issues by running the following command.

ssh -v <destination>

You can add the amount of vs to increase the level of verbosity.

Pro-tip: You can quickly kill an unresponsive SSH session by hitting ENTER ~ . in that order.

Application maintenance

Checking if an application is running

Most applications installed through swizzin have a systemd unit available. This allows you to control the applications as services through the systemctl interface.

You can always check the current status of an app by running the command under. This will return the whether the application is Active or not, and some of the latest log messages coming from it. It is always a good idea to read those.

sudo systemctl status <application>

Please refer to your application's docs page to see if there are any deviations to this, such as per-user configuration.

Identifying failed services

You can quickly get an overview of which services have had a problem and are currently nor running by executing the following command.

sudo systemctl list-units --failed

You can then use the other chapters in this document to further find what has gone wrong.

Troubleshooting applications which services' won't start

You can always attempt to run an application in the foreground of the terminal instead of in the background as a service.

To do that, you need to figure out which environment to run it from, and which command to execute.

A good start to do that would be to inspect the output of the following command, which can give you an idea of what the service attempts to do.

sudo systemctl cat <application>

The command above will produce output like the one under. This is an example output of sudo systemctl cat transmission@.

# /etc/systemd/system/transmission@.service
Description=Transmission BitTorrent Daemon

ExecStart=/usr/bin/transmission-daemon -f --log-error
ExecReload=/bin/kill -s HUP


This means that the service logs in as user %i (which means "the string passed after the @ in transmission@user", therefore the user) and then executes the command /usr/bin/transmission-daemon -f --log-error on start.

You can therefore switch your user (by running sudo su <user>) and execute the same command. This will print the log of the application into your terminal, allowing you to better see when and how a service fails.

Please consult the manpage or --help page of the application you are about to run before you do it, to understand what some of the options might mean.

Home-lab connectivity

Issues in this area usually stem from not setting up port-forwarding correctly on your router, or not setting a static IP right.

Resources for setting static IP on Debian/Ubuntu

Resources for setting a static IP on your router

Resources for port-forwarding on router's

Please ensure to forward the following ports:

  • 22 (Or your custom SSH/SFTP port)
  • 80 (HTTP)
  • 443 (HTTPS)

You might additionally forward/open the ports for your torrent clients, FTP or other applications. The steps are the same.

Consider using a Dynamic DNS (DDNS) provider like the swizzin-available Duck DNS for your home IP to gain a free domain that can be used for something such as letsencrypt.

Starting from scratch

We generally advise against this scenario as you lose the opportunity to learn from the mistakes that happened somewhere along the line. This experience can help you save time in the future and restore the functionality of the system in case it goes very awry on your own. Please attempt the steps above first before nuking the system. We will happily guide you through the process on Discord if you're up for it.

There is currently no convenient way to uninstall the entire swizzin suite and return all files and settings to their byte-for-byte original state. You can, however, attempt to remove all the treaces it can leave on your system in order to be able to re-staret without trying to lose everything.

If you are having problems with a specific application, we advise to re-install that application first, and if necessary the underlying dependencies (these could be nginx, rtorrent, or others depending on the application). Remember to also remove any additional users you created.

You can also attempt to remove swizzin by removing every app you have installed through it as well as any loose configuration files and directories that belong to it; and then removing the following files and directories recursively.

Please be careful to not remove anything else by accident, those mistakes could be irrecoverable.

  • /etc/swizzin
  • /usr/local/bin/swizzin
  • /install/
  • /root/logs/
  • /root/swizzin/
  • /etc/htpasswd
  • /etc/htpasswd.d
  • /etc/sudoers.d
  • Any file under /root/ which ends in .info

If you would truly prefer to start from scratch, it is best to completely reformat and re-install your OS. This will allow you to determine whether the issues you were facing were inside or outside the operating system much faster.

If you are re-installing your OS, we recommend to use the latest LTS version of the distribution of your choice.