Summary: login hanging after motd

From: William Unruh [Unruh] (
Date: Tue Jan 14 1992 - 17:36:36 CST

Again the net comes through. Some suggestions were that somehow motd
(weird characters in the motd file) or mail was hanging the system.
However both completed their reports on login. The winning suggestion
was quotas. login (on Suns) also forks the quota check just before it
executes the shell, but doesn't do so if .hushlogin is defined as a
file. That was the hangup. a friend had brought in his home computer, we
had NFS mounted it on my machine, and had then forgotten to unmount it.
He of course removed it back home. So quotas was hanging on that mounted
but non existant file system. Rebooting solved the problem. ( I couldn't
unmount because in the meantime a find cron had gotten hung up on that
filesystem as well and so unmount reported a busy filesystem.)

One interesting suggestion for tracing it down was from
From: <censun1!fox!cb@uunet.UU.NET>
If you can login to the host somehow, do so and then use trace to trace
the login process. This will most likely give you a good clue. For

1) login as root
2) start an rlogin but don't enter the password yet
3) as root, find login process ("login -r hostname"). The easiest
way to do this is "ps -aux | sort -n +1" and look near the end.
4) trace the login process "trace -t -p <pid> | tee logfile"
5) finish entering the password and watch the trace output until
something hangs.

Unfortunately all it told me was that some unnamed process had forked,
and login was in wait(0,0,0,0)
Anyway problem now solved.
Thanks to
From: Neil W Rickert <>
From: <>
From: Mike Raffety <>
From: <stern@sunne.East.Sun.COM>
From: <>
From: <>
From: <>
From: <>
From: <>
From: <>
From: Steve Lodin <deaes!>
From: <>
From: <censun1!fox!cb@uunet.UU.NET>
From: <>
From: <wallen@cogsci.UCSD.EDU>
From: Jim Mattson <mattson@cs.UCSD.EDU>

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