[nSLUG] big problems with Ubuntu

billdavidson at eastlink.ca billdavidson at eastlink.ca
Mon Sep 18 15:46:36 ADT 2006


On Mon, 18 Sep 2006, Daniel Ricard wrote:
> Hello,
> Until today, I was very happy with Ubuntu. However, I'm am now having
> problems that are beyond my understanding and I don't want to have to do
> another reinstall. I always seem to need 2 days to get everything back up
> and configured correctly, so if I can avoid that, it would be great.

Re-installing is, in general, the wrong way to fix a problem.  The better 
way is to identify the problem, locate the source of the problem, and 
correct it.

> I used my system over the weekend without a problem. When I turned my
> laptop on this morning, it would stay stuck near the end of the booting
> sequence.

At what point in the boot sequence did it hang?  What was it attempting to 
do?  Did it produce any error messages?  Were syslogd/klogd running yet? 
Is there anything in the system logs (/var/log/*) that indicate what the 
problem might have been?  How long did it seem to hang?

> I then rebooted in safe mode and logged in using my usual user.
> After logging in, I got "/dev/null/ permission denied" messages in bash
> and had to Ctrl-C to get a prompt.

I presume "safe mode" is a Ubuntu-ism for single-user mode -- I have never 
used Ubuntu.  Why did you log in as your usual user, as opposed to root? 
If you need to do system maintenance you are generally going to need root 

What does "ls -l /dev/null" show?  Who owns /dev/null, and what 
permissions are set on it?

> It now seems that the permissions on just about everything in /dev/ are
> wrong and I can't get xorg to go up, nor can I get eth0 to work. From what
> I gather from ubuntu mailing lists and forums, a problem with udev might
> be to blame. However, my system is completely up-to-date with
> respect to upgrades and such. The problem now is that I can't connect to
> the internet since eth0 is now working.

What did you do to try to get eth0 working?  Are the correct modules 
loaded?  If you try to run ifconfig what happens?

More importantly, what changed between the system working on the weekend 
and then not working?  Were any updates installed that might have taken 
effect on reboot?  Look at modification times on any files having to do 
with udev (on my system, under /etc/udev).  Or use find to locate all 
files whose mtime is newer than, say, Friday.

I know it all seems like a mystery right now, but you need to provide some 
more information.

> I am now at a stage where I do not know what to do to fix this. Again, I
> would really really like to avoid a reinstall. Does anyone have
> suggestions?
> Cheers,
> Dan
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Bill Davidson
billdavidson at eastlink.ca


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