2.1.46 - Huston - We have a problem...

Michael H. Warfield (mhw@wittsend.com)
Thu, 24 Jul 1997 15:58:07 -0400 (EDT)

I just stumbled, tripped, fell, over this problem in 2.1.46 (and maybe
in who knows what else)...

In the process of installing some new software, I created a symbolic
link and then ran an install which referenced that link near the end of the
install. When I ran the install, the system hung. I was able to determine
that the hang occured at the point the symbolic link would have been
referenced. Figuring something was screwy (duh) I tried to remove the
symbolic link. The system died again (about the 6th time at that point).
I discovered that the problem was a typo in creating the symbolic link.
The symbolic link pointed back to itself rather than what I had intended.

I have now reproduced this on two systems running either as root
or as a plain user.

To reproduce... Proceed as follows:

# sync
# ln -s foo foo
# sync
# rm foo

System is now dead... Now must perform a hardware reset...

The "sync's" are just a precaution to minimize any random acts of
terrorism. The system is dead the instant you type the remove. Can't even
toggle the Num Lock on the keyboard. Serious toast.

Only way to get rid of the bad symbolic links is to reboot into a
2.0 kernel to remove them and then reboot back into 2.1.46.


 Michael H. Warfield    |  (770) 985-6132   |  mhw@WittsEnd.com
  (The Mad Wizard)      |  (770) 925-8248   |  http://www.wittsend.com/mhw/
  NIC whois:  MHW9      |  An optimist believes we live in the best of all
 PGP Key: 0xDF1DD471    |  possible worlds.  A pessimist is sure of it!