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Bug 3208 - RedHat 6.0 provides bogus /etc/inittab for headless systems
Summary: RedHat 6.0 provides bogus /etc/inittab for headless systems
Alias: None
Product: Red Hat Linux
Classification: Retired
Component: initscripts
Version: 6.0
Hardware: sparc
OS: Linux
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: Bill Nottingham
QA Contact:
Depends On:
TreeView+ depends on / blocked
Reported: 1999-06-02 07:13 UTC by H. Peter Anvin
Modified: 2014-03-17 02:09 UTC (History)
4 users (show)

Fixed In Version:
Doc Type: Bug Fix
Doc Text:
Clone Of:
Last Closed: 1999-12-17 21:36:55 UTC

Attachments (Terms of Use)

Description H. Peter Anvin 1999-06-02 07:13:03 UTC
While upgrading RedHat 5.2->6.0 on a headless SS20 dual
HyperSPARC, /etc/inittab is replaced with a version that
expects to use virtual consoles, and *only* virtual
consoles.  As a result, the system becomes inaccessible once
it enters multiuser mode, if the network in unavailable (as
it became for me due to a ypbind startup bug -- separate bug
report has been filed.)

RedHat 5.2 handled this flawlessly out of the box.

Comment 1 lars 1999-06-02 20:36:59 UTC
This bug still exists on the recently released images (6/2/99).

Workaround: Log in single user mode.  Edit /etc/inittab.  Add a line
that looks like this:

  t1:2345:respawn:/sbin/getty ttyS0 19200 vt100

Permanent solution: test your software *before* releasing it.  There's
not way to miss a bug like this.

Comment 2 David Lawrence 1999-06-11 19:55:59 UTC
I have verified this to be true on a sparc in our test lab.

Comment 3 Bill Nottingham 1999-06-14 17:53:59 UTC
The old inittab should be saved as inittab.rpmsave (if not, that
is definitely a bug...); the problem is, that that's a change
made to a configuration file, and we can't sanely munge config
files with RPM. AFAIK, serial consoles were never set up in
inittab by the installer...

------- Email Received From  "H. Peter Anvin" <> 06/14/99 15:47 -------

Comment 4 marcm 1999-06-22 15:36:59 UTC
Shouldn't that change to the inittab file be:

sc:12345:respawn:/sbin/getty cua0 9600 vt100

(almost verbatim from a 5.2 installation)

You forgot run level 1 and the "default" serial port speed is 9600.
Yeah higher is nice but the chances are that if you are installing
from a default machine the serial ports are at 9600.

Also, the virtual terminals are commented out in my 5.2 install -
should that be done too when "fixing" a 6.0 install?

Comment 5 lars 1999-06-22 15:51:59 UTC
> sc:12345:respawn:/sbin/getty cua0 9600 vt100

This is incorrect; the /dev/cua* devices have been deprecated for some
time in favor of /dev/ttyS*.

Additionally, you do *not* want to start a getty in runlevel 1 (single
user mode); Linux dumps you to a shell automatically in this runlevel,
and an attempt to start getty would just cause problems.

You are correct that the baud rate should probably be set to 9600.

Comment 6 Bill Nottingham 1999-12-17 21:36:59 UTC
This should be fixed in the 6.1 installer.

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