Thanks for the help; of the eight responses, seven were in
before Sun's, and they had an extra week to respond.
My problem was this: a user had logged on, and when he logged off,
the /etc/utmp entry wasn't cleared and /dev/ttyp6 was listed as
being owned by him. When I tried to open a window corresponding to
that line, system usage went way up and the window wouldn't appear.
Responses came from:
Several people mentioned a bug in the way Sun handles windows;
sometimes the /etc/utmp entry isn't cleared. The solution for
this is to open a window corresponding to the bad pty, then
'Quit' it. That was also Sun's suggestion (bug id 1006591,
fixed in 4.1). That was what I had tried to do, but I couldn't
open the window to do this. Besides, according to the records,
he logged in from a VAX that doesn't handle windowing. What he
precisely did, I'm not sure. Students can be hard to reach
The problem was that the entry for /dev/ttyp6 showed that the
user owned it and no one had permission to write to it. So
the solution was to use chown, chgrp, and chmod to make it match
the working ones.
Special thanks to firstname.lastname@example.org (Eiji Hirai) and
James Davenport <jhd%maths.bath.ac.uk@NSFnet-Relay.AC.UK>
for pointing me toward the ownership/permission problem.
John C. Hasley
University Computer Services Internet: email@example.com
Bowling Green State University UUCP: ...!osu-cis!bgsuvax!hasley
Bowling Green, OH 43403-0125 BITNET: hasley@BGSUOPIE
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