[SUMMARY] urgent -- need help diagnosing system problem after ch anges to /var

From: Scott McCool (smmccool@aethersystems.com)
Date: Tue Aug 08 2000 - 10:53:54 CDT

Many thanks to everyone who responded, including:

Tim Conrad
Dave Grant
Vince Merrell
Rasana Atreya
Vinnie German
Kent Perrier

My original post is quoted at the bottom of this message.

I believe the problem was mostly, as Vince pointed out, incorrect
permissions. This was kind of a "duh" moment when I realized that as
careful as I'd been during the restore process, a couple places. I
recreated the /var mount point by hand, and the person who originally set up
the system had managed to change the system so root's files were created by
default with "oracle" ownership. So /var itself had improper permissions.
I had added a few files by hand from another tar file, meaning some other
files were improperly copied.

Repairing the permissions fixed the "hangs on shutdown/reboot" problem.

Thanks to those who pointed out that CDE errors are logged in a couple

1) Before user login, /var/log/dt/Xerrors contains cde errors
2) After user login, ~/.dt contains error messages

I discovered that the following appeared in ~/.dt/:

"dtsession: Unable to start message server - exiting"

I'm guessing this is causing my X login problems, and it only occurs with my
account (root and a test account are fine). That's not as urgent, and I can
track it down (though if anyone feels like shedding some light on it I
wouldn't turn down the pointer).

Anyways, much thanks to those who responded so promptly. The system is at
least functional again.

Moral? Always be careful with permissions when restoring from any type of
backup. The kicker of this is that on my first real restore on a linux
machine a few years ago I neglected to copy a mail spool over with the
restore permissions flag and had to change all 200 mail files over by hand
(before the power of awk/sed was in my realm of knowledge). I should have
remembered to check permissions when I saw strange problems seemingly
unrelated to /var contents.


Scott McCool wrote:

> Hello Sun Managers,
> Yesterday the power spiked at our location, and we don't yet have a UPS on
> our Sun E450. The surge appeared to cause a problem with disk 1, which
> housed /var and /opt. /opt was manually fsck'd and came back online, /var
> complained of bad blocks and would not remount.
> I had a very recent backup, so I 'newufs'ed /var (c0t1d0s0) and restored
> from backup.
> On startup the system appears normal and goes to a CDE login screen.
> Logging in, however, takes a long time and finally brings up a few
> windows but no manager (it, no button bar on bottom, window manager
> appear to be running at all).
> How can I diagnose what is causing this problem? I'm guessing something
> missing or wrong in the backup of /var....
> As I type this, shutdown seems to just hang...It says "Changing to init
> state s - please wait" but then just hangs....
> Any suggestions or pointers are very appreciated, and I will summarize.
> -Scott

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