SUMMARY: illegal instruction when attempting su

From: David Fetrow (
Date: Tue Nov 19 1991 - 04:12:59 CST

 On Nov 11th I sent out the following:

 Fellow Managers:

 I have a Sun 4/75 running 4.1.1 with only the security patches installed.
Although I can login to root, I am immediately confronted by the "login:"
prompt again.

 An "su" to root causes an "illegal instruction". (su'ing to myself, however,
works). the "su" is recorded as successful in the logs. Various root-level
daemons are also failing.

 Ordinary uers can log at will but Xterminals supported through xdm have the
same problem for all users: they are immediately bounced back to "login:".


 There were zero responses but in the past week it has been fixed (Sun
phone support was helpful) although the exact cause remains unknown. I
learned that, in general, if there is a "problem from Mars" NIS is a good
place to start looking :-).

 In particular: deleting the YP database entirely on the machine (it was a
slave server) and reinitializing it turned the trick. _Deleteing the
previous NIS database was necessary_ although the machine usually bound
itself to a different YP server. I hadn't included in initial report that
the primary NIS server was reporting problems updating the NIS database on
the slave server over the previous week.


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