SUMMARY: URGENT: crt0: no /dev/zero

From: Marina Daniels (
Date: Mon Feb 26 1996 - 17:57:29 CST

     Thank you very much to the huge number of people that replied
     (immediately!) and those that reply after this posting
     - too many to list individually.
     (restores my faith in human nature :-)
  The system was a Sunos 4.1.3U1 (= Solaris 1.x) and these are general hints
(I apologize if I've missed out anybody's solution)

** To make system come up read-write in single user:
        "boot -sw"

or if you have already done "boot -s" which makes it come up read-only then
use "mount -o remount /dev/sd0a /" to make it remount the / disk read-write.

In Sunos 4.x (= Solaris 1.x) there is no such thing as 'boot -r' but there is a


which many people suggested I run to recreate the device files or else manually
recreate the missing file with:

        mknod /dev/zero c 3 12
        chmod 666 /dev/zero

Unfortutely both of these only produced the error message 'crt0:no /dev/zero'
(I did try rebooting anyway to see if it had fixed the problem despite the error
(I also could not 'grep zero MAKEDEV' to see major/minor numbers because it
wouldn't display to the screen).

A few people suggested this method which also looks good:

boot a SunoS 4.1.X Install CD-ROM, run 'suninstall' and install a
mini-root onto the swap partition of your system drive. Bootup using
this mini-root and you will be able to mount the old root.

Also, Brett Lymn ( had a few tricks which might be useful for
some of you in the future:

Ahhh 'tis the time that separates the wizards from the apprentices.
To get an ls of a directory you can use "echo *" which will echo all
the file names in that directory but not the modes. To convince sh to
do a cat for you create a shell function like this:

shcat () {
while read line
echo $line
done < $*

This will give you a shell function called shcat which you can then
use like this:

shcat /etc/fstab

to print out the fstab and see what the partitions are or any other
text file you care to look at.

In fact, there are just enough tools that are statically linked for
you to get a Sun up on the network and use rcp to copy things across
to the broken one.

Once again, THANK YOU ALL

______________________________ Forward Header __________________________________
Subject: URGENT: crt0: no /dev/zero
Author: Marina Daniels at CCD
Date: 2/26/96 6:08 PM

     Please reply as soon as possible as this machine is a dns server and
     mail server.
     SPARC IPX, running Sunos 4.1.3U1
     Someone has accidently removed the /dev/zero file while trying to copy
     it to another directory while setting up anonymous ftp on the machine.
     Unfortunately there is no system documentation whatsoever and all the
     other machines are solaris 2.x so I can't read the backup tape (uses
     'restore') on any other machine to see the major/minor numbers for
     /dev/zero - which I need if I'm to recreate it using 'mknod'
     If I boot the machine multi-user it comes up with lots of
     'crt0: no /dev/zero' messages while booting then won't let anyone
     login either at the console or from another machine.
     Console says 'init: /usr/etc/getty cons8 console failing sleeping'
     Booting single user allows me to type commands, 'pwd' works but
     commands such as 'ls' and 'df' and 'vi' only return
     'crt0:/no /dev/zero' messages and no other output.
     I tried booting off a cdrom "Solaris 1.0.1 SUNOS 4.1.2 for SPARC
     systems' and I was going to mount the root filesystem and restore the
     file onto there from tape but there is no 'mount' command on the cd!!
     In single user, I tried using 'restore if /dev/nrst1' but it says
     /tmp/rstdir825667802 cannot create directory temporary fopen: read
     only file-system'
     I think the best thing would be to restore the /dev/zero file from
     tape straight into the /dev directory if there was some way I could
     boot single user with a read-write / file system:
     ***IS THIS POSSIBLE? ***
     Someone suggested trying to find the /dev/zero file from where it was
     copied and moving it back but since I don't know what partitions
     correspond to what file systems (apart from / and /usr) and ls,and vi
     don't work this seems impossible.
     Help would be GREATLY APPRECIATED :-)

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