[nSLUG] big problems with Ubuntu

Gerard MacNeil aa030 at chebucto.ns.ca
Mon Sep 18 17:17:24 ADT 2006

To simplify ....
> > 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?  

One of the scripts in /etc/init.d/* that are supposed to run  ....

> > 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 

More like everything run under 'sudo' so there is a log of it.

The Ctrl-C exited out of the script that hung.

> > 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. 

Yup, doesn't look like you got the devices you needed from udev.  What
you might see in /dev/* will be the things that eventually show up
in /dev/.static/dev, which I take is "backward compatable" stuff.

> 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.

Same udev problem, I'm pretty sure.

> 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?

These are the really important questions.  It would explain the reason
for the failure. It also could be something that ran from Cron
overnight.  The "weekend" reference is enough to imply something that
may only run weekly ... and then only if some set of conditions are met.

> Or use find to locate all 
> files whose mtime is newer than, say, Friday.

Definitely the kind of question a Slackware user would ask. :)

> > I am now at a stage where I do not know what to do to fix this.

Well, if a reboot doesn't fix it, the next step for you would be a
complete power down.  Hung hardware devices can sometimes cause a
problem. A power down resets them.

The other option you have is to try the Ubuntu Safe Mode and log in with
the root account.  Note that this is not advised as normal procedure,
but it should tell you if there has been a permission issue creep into
your system. If there has, one would wonder how it got there.  Some sort
of system compromise is possible.

The only other thing I can think of would be to get a knowledgeable pair
of eyes looking at your bootlog. The command 'dmesg' should produce it
for you.

>  Again, I
> > would really really like to avoid a reinstall. Does anyone have
> > suggestions?


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