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By James T. Dennis, tag@lists.linuxgazette.net
LinuxCare, http://www.linuxcare.com/

(?) Laundry List of RH 6.0 Problems or Hardware Blues

From root on Mon, 18 Oct 1999


I am hoping you will be able to help. I have various problems with Redhat 6.0

A Current problem

1. Whilst running gnome 1.04 I can access no terminal windows except kde terms.

Xterm window does not appear complaining about no ptys free

rxvt does not appear complaining about colour maps

Gnome-terminal appears but with no promt just a cursor which I cannot type into.

(!) Wow! That's pretty irritating.
The ptys problem suggests that your don't have the new /dev/pts psuedo-filesystem mounted. /dev/pts is a virtual filesystem (similar to /proc). It allows those programs with the appropriate library support to dynamically allocate ptys (psuedo-ttys, used by each xterm, telnet session, 'screen' window, etc).
My guess is that your other terminal emulators aren't using that method, so they are searching through the list of traditional ptys (/dev/ttyp*). It would be nice if the programs that try to go through the pts system would fall back to the old method automatically. (Of course I could be wrong, perhaps it is the xterm that is using the old method, and the others are getting they ptys dynamically. Look under /dev for ttyp* and look at the mount command for a /dev/pts.
The color maps problem suggests that the GNOME/Enlightenment theme that you're using is taking up enough colors that there aren't any available for your other applications. If you're running Netscape Navigator/Communicator before you try these commands, then it is the likely culprit --- it steals a lot of colors.
You could try starting X with --bpp 16:
startx -- :1 --bpp 16
... (this is to put a 2nd X session on a new virtual console, on the assumption that you are using a gdm, kdm, or xdm graphical login on :0).
With 16 bits per pixel (if your video card and configuration supports it) you should have lots more room in the color map.
Another alternative is to change your X configuration and disable your current list of startup applications (just start with an xterm as the session manager, no window managers, no xclocks or other widgets).
I have no idea what's wrong with your GNOME-terminal. It could be suffering from the color map shortage as well. Possibly it simply isn't communicating the problem as gracefully as rvxt.

(?) 2. While checking rpms gnorpm dies when I try to access System environment/ base (but only this category)

An xterm window sees to try to appear at this time.

(!) This sounds like its related to the problem above.
(Personally I don't use any GnoRPM or Glint type front ends to RPM. I just use the 'rpm' command).

(?) I can access gnome via gdm most of the time and run all programs except these I believe.. It could possibly be a problem to do with the gtk libraries bu I am running out of ideas

(!) I don't thinks the libraries are the problem in your case. Certainly you might want to download many of the 125 upgraded packages from ftp://updates.redhat.com
That site is very busy and often full. So you may want to go to a mirror site such as:

[ You'd better stick with ftp://ftp.cdrom.com/pub/linux/redhat/ and use human judgement for the directories beyond that; they keep changing the directory structure. -- Heather ]

There are at least seven GNOME related update packages there.

(?) B Recurring problem (which I think has caused the present problem.

regularly when rebooting e2fsck destrotys patrts of my file system. This has appeared in various ways:

moving directories into lost+found deleting entiring directories deleting/corrupting files (last deleted several files on my root partition particularly fstab causing current problem)

(!) Are you sure that e2fsck is doing the "destroying" here? It seems more likely that e2fsck is attempting to recover from damage that's being down to your filesystem during the previous session.

(?) This problem has caused me to re-install several times which timakes a long time on my system due to repeated Sig 11 faults.

(!) Whoa!
Have you read the Sig 11 page (http://www.BitWizard.nl/sig11)?
The bad news is that you probably have some bad memory or some other hardware problem. Did you check the "Scan for Bad Blocks" option when creating your swap partitions and filesytem? If not, go back and try that! Then go through the SIG 11 FAQ in detail.

(?) Any help would be appreciated

My system is

RedHat 6.0 running gnome, Afterstep and KDE 1.1.1pre2 Partitions /boot 7M / 220M /usr 820M /home 170M /dos 700M Kernel 2.2.10

(!) Be sure you are enabling the "Unix98 PTY Support" option under "Character devices" when compiling these new kernels.

(?) Motherboard PC Chips M590 Memory 64M PC100

(!) Try taking out first one, then the other of your memory modules (presuming that you have a couple of 32Mb DIMMs or SIMMs). If not, see about getting another memory module and trying that in the system. If that works, or you can't get more memory, then take your existing RAM in for testing.
Most SIG 11s are caused by faulty RAM. Nothing works your RAM like UNIX and Netware. They are a better burn-in test then any "memory test" software, or even test bench equipment. (They are the real world, whereas the test software and hardware are simulating the load that they create).

(?) 32X CDROM Graphics SIS 3D AGP Pro ebedded in otherboard generic V90 modem

(!) Even aside from the likelihood that you're suffering from hardware problems, I have to say again that I don't like the state in which GNOME was pushed into RH 6.0. I've seen its components dropping core files all over the few systems where I've run RH 6.x, and I've heard that this is the case for just about everybody. core files are a symptom of bugs. When almost everyone is getting core files in "normal operation" then the product/package is not ready for production use. Let's not adopt the Microsoft attitude towards "1.0" products.
With the upcoming release of RH 6.1 I certainly hope Red Hat has stabilized their flagship GUI.

Copyright © 1999, James T. Dennis
Published in The Linux Gazette Issue 48 December 1999
HTML transformation by Heather Stern of Starshine Technical Services, http://www.starshine.org/

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