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Linuxcare: Tales from the Tech Support Pit: Choose Your Paths Carefully…

[ Thanks to Zack
Brown
for this link. ]

Users of Microsoft operating systems frequently employ a
system reboot to fix problems. Unfortunately, the typical end-user
has been conditioned to expect an operating system that has bugs
and needs rebooting every few days. But under Linux, one of our
customers discovered an occasion where a reboot introduces a
problem.

“I rebooted my Linux system after a power failure,” the caller
explained, “and now I’m having some strange problems I haven’t seen
before. I watched the boot-up process after the crash, and
everything went normal. That wasn’t the problem. The fsck tests ran
to completion, too. But now some commands seem to be missing, and I
just can’t figure this out!”

“After he told us about the power outage and the grief it
caused, he described how gdm, the GNOME display manager, didn’t
work upon reboot. Normally, gdm would launch when booting into
runlevel 5 and give the user a graphical login screen. But after
this reboot, the system was only bringing up the console login
screen. After logging in, our caller couldn’t execute startx either
— it was resulting in a “Command not found” message.”


Complete Story