REPOST: SUMMARY: rdist problem

From: William Edwards (
Date: Sat Dec 05 1992 - 04:38:57 CST

This is a REPOST--at least two people emailed me that the article was
truncated. The rdist problem mysteriously disappeared, which is a
little embarrassing. Here are my original posting, and the mail
messages I got--thanks to everyone who responded. -- Bill Edwards
---CUT HERE-------------------------------------------------------------------
Originai posting:

> I'm running into a problem rdisting from a DECSystem 500 running
> Ultrix 4.2 to a SparcStation 1 running SunOS 4.1.1. I get:
> rdist: connection failed: version numbers don't match
> Has anybody seen this? The rdist binary on the SparcStation is
> identical to the rdist on another SparcStation, to which rdisting
> works fine. rdist permissions are also the same. Please respond by
> email, and I will summarize. Thanks very much.

Date: Wed, 2 Dec 92 18:23:12 PST
Reply-To: Tom Slezak <>
Subject: Re: Problem rdisting from DEC 5500 to SparcStation

Note from the manual:

     A complaint about mismatch of rdist version numbers may
     really stem from some problem with starting your shell, for
     example, you are in too many groups.

I recall once having a user who had some weird stuff in his .cshrc
that interfered with rdist working. Try eliminating your startup
files on one end or another and see if it works. Stuff that prints
chatty things when you login or does operations like stty that don't
work on sockets might be the cause.

Tom Slezak
Human Genome Center, L-452
Lawrence Livermore National Lab
7000 East Ave. Livermore, CA 94550
email: (
phone: (510) 422-5746 fax: (510) 423-3608

Date: Thu, 3 Dec 92 9:24:50 MET
From: Hans van Staveren <>
To: William Edwards <>
Subject: Re: Problem rdisting from DEC 5500 to SparcStation

Try a rsh rem-machine date.

If it shows anything but the date, there is something wrong in
the .cshrc or .login file at the other side. This confuses rdist.


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From: "(Alain Brossard EPFL-SIC/SII)" <>
Subject: Re: Problem rdisting from DEC 5500 to SparcStation

    do an rsh sparc date
and see what the .cshrc is echoing, when the .cshrc prints something
rdist gets confused.


To: (William Edwards)
Subject: Re: Problem rdisting from DEC 5500 to SparcStation
In-Reply-To: Your message of "02 Dec 92 16:24:21 GMT."
Date: Thu, 03 Dec 92 08:47:49 EST
From: (Daniel Trinkle)

     One of the most useful error messages in UNIX :-) Rdist sets up
a TCP connection to the rsh process running on the remote system and
tries do execute the command "/usr/ucb/rdist -Server". The first
thing it expects to see from the remote side (assuming there was no
"Permission denied") is the version number from the rdist -Server

     If there is something in the remote login's .cshrc (such as stty
command, etc), then that is sent back from the remote side before the
rdist -Server output. The local rdist interprets this giberish as a
bad version number.

     To test this hypothesis, run the command "rsh <machine> hostname"
where <machine> is the remote (Sun) system. If you see any output
except the remote system's hostname, that is your problem. If the
remote shell is csh, then check the remote user's .cshrc file. If
should have something like this close to the beginning

if ( ! $?prompt ) exit

     Basically, this says that if we are not an interactive shell (no
prompt defined), then exit from processing the rest of .cshrc. The
only things that should go before this are possibly setting the PATH
and umask.

Daniel Trinkle
Dept. of Computer Sciences {backbone}!purdue!trinkle
Purdue University 317-494-7844
West Lafayette, IN 47907-1398

Date: Thu, 3 Dec 92 08:25:39 CST
From: (Meg Grice)
Subject: Re: Problem rdisting from DEC 5500 to SparcStation

I had this problemm too. Move your .login and .cshrc files (or .profile)
and try it without them. This made mine work. I have not had time
to investigate exactly which line caused the problem.

Meg Grice ( Computer Science, UMKC
UNIX Systems Administrator 5100 Rockhill Road
USA:816-235-5212 Kansas City, MO 64110

Date: Thu, 3 Dec 92 09:30:57 CST
From: (Joe Ramey)
To: (William Edwards)
In-Reply-To:'s message of 2 Dec 1992 18:35:05 -0600
Subject: Problem rdisting from DEC 5500 to SparcStation

Maybe the PATH on the remote end is wrong? Maybe something in the
.login or .cshrc on the remote end is producing spurious output?

Assuming the root shell on the remote host is csh, try

        rsh remotehost which rdist

Maybe that will help you find what is wrong.

Date: Thu, 3 Dec 92 09:18:16 CST
From: Mike Raffety <>
X-Organization: Swiss Bank Corporation
Subject: Re: Problem rdisting from DEC 5500 to SparcStation

You've got something in the dot cshrc of the user doing the rdisting,
on the receiving machine, that's producing output (like an echo, or
maybe an stty).

Please be sure to summarize back to the list; thanks.

Date: 03 Dec 1992 08:06:08 -0800 (PST)
From: Bill Evans <evans%FANTASY@uunet.UU.NET>
Subject: Re: Problem rdisting from DEC 5500 to SparcStation
In-Reply-To: <>; from "William Edwards"
 at Dec 2, 92 4:24 pm
To:! (William Edwards)
X-Envelope-To: UUNET!!wse
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7BIT
Mailer: Elm [revision: 70.30]

I remember needing a patch for rlogin on the dec in order to get
to the sparcs. I don't have the patch number, but the dec help
desk knows about this problem.

     Bill Evans, 206.562.4505, FAX-206.562.4509

Date: Thu, 3 Dec 92 09:36:39 PST From: jeff@Gain.COM (Jeff DeHaven) To: Subject: Problem rdisting from DEC 5500 to SparcStation

Dude, I ran into a similar problem the other day, between a couple sun machines. I found it didn't have anything to do with rdist it was the stty variable in my .tset. I would grep through your dot files and comment out your stty variables. If rdist starts working then you know what the problem is.

Jeff DeHaven System Manager Gain Technology, Inc. (415) 813-8221

-- -- Bill Edwards, Senior Systems Analyst Dana Farber Cancer Institute; Div. of Biostatistics 440 Brookline Ave. Rm. M3A20, Boston MA 02115 USA (617) 732-3034;; wse@harvjmmy.bitnet

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