September 11, 2003

The Death of Linux

I’ve had a Samba server happily humming along here at the office for a couple of months, and then all of a sudden it’s spontaneously developing problems. It started when one of the users lost access to the shares. One day she had full access, then the next day her access was read-only. So I tried to telnet into the box. “Login incorrect”, it said, even when I knew I was entering the correct passwords. So I fiddled around with a few other things, and then when I tried to telnet in, it wouldn’t even ask for a username. It just gave me the “login incorrect” message straight away. After all, we both knew it was going to happen. Why bother with formalities?

So I put the computer on my workbench and gave it a monitor and keyboard. Let’s log in directly to the machine, I said. Well, I tried that. It didn’t work. At least it was nice enough to let me enter a username, but it didn’t bother with the password. scotts, I typed. “Login incorrect” flashed on the screen for 0.056 of a second. root, I typed. “Login incorrect” flashed on the screen for 0.000089675 of a second. go $!#@% yourself, I typed. “Login incorrect” lingered on the screen for a little while, challenging me, then disappeared.

It looks like one other person had the same problem, and submitted it to The Answer Guy. Da Answer Guy was summarily stumped, and offered up a few non-answers. He gave one piece of advice that’s the one I’m going to follow.

Of course you could re-install from scratch. However, it would be very unsettling to me to do that with no understanding of what went wrong. I suspect that you feel the same; how can you trust a system that “did that” all of a sudden?

Eh. You know, don’t care so much. If it happens again, then I’ll be scrambling for answers. Right now my Linux knowledge is like an iceberg. Two inches of it are above the surface, and there’s about fifteen miles of it down in the murky depths. Reinstall is my answer to every problem I run up against. So, I merrily go into a reinstall!

My decision to put all the data files on a FAT drive also paid off. I was able to take the hard drive with the files on it out of the Linux computer and drop it right into a Windows computer. The drive was recognized, and the files are now available on one of the workstations while the server goes under the knife. I guess I didn’t trust Linux very much back when I planned this setup. Looks like I had reason not to. So here I go, once again, into the exciting world of the Red Hat installer. Hopefully this time I’ll come out unscathed. Luckily, I still have my instructions for how to get things set up.

Filed under The Computer Vet Weblog

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  1. MatchASM says:

    The only times my Linux install ever did crazy things can be narrowed down to two causes: compiling with way too aggressive optimization and the other one is a disk crash. And since you used packages, it seems like the latter one caused your system to malfunction. Anyway, reinstalling RedHat is a dream compared to any other distro around. Click, click, wait a few seconds and it's installed. Only drawback: you need to burn THREE cds.

    Posted September 11, 2003 @ 6:41 pm
  2. Kalrac says:

    Remember what I have said many times. Linux == evil.
    If all the people who gave Microsoft trouble for having too many bugs were forced to use Linux for a day, they would immediately bow to Redmond and repent.

    Posted September 12, 2003 @ 1:59 pm

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