agetty and login
Richard A Downing
richard.a.downing at iname.com
Mon Jul 9 02:51:30 PDT 2001
I'm still trying to get LFS 3.0-pre3 (lfs-20010512) running perfectly on my
old 486 box - it's been a real pain because the IDE disk is very small and
the big SCSI that I built LFS on isn't visible to the BIOS and there wasn't
room on the ide to build a small /boot (well not without a whole heap of
trouble), anyway that's fixed now... I only mention it as it explains why
I'm still with pre3.
I have conisistently had a problem with agetty and login, from all 6 virtual
tty's (alt-Fn). Inittab is per the book.
I get /etc/issue displayed, then 'lfs0 login:', I type 'root', I get the
'Password:' prompt (yes I wait for it - it is a 486!), then I type the
password (yes I'm sure I get it right, including the case), and it doesn't
log me in, and it does'nt say 'Login incorrect', it just displays /etc/issue
then 'lfs0 login:' again. Often I can then login OK, but sometimes,
particularly with tty1, I need to repeat the operation several times before
eventually it lets me in. The non-determinism has me spooked! If I put in a
real bad password, then I always get a 'Login incorrect' response, so I
think getty and login are getting the chars I type. The same thing happens
with a non-root account.
I'm aware that the first login prompt comes from agetty and the second from
The key fact seems to be that /etc/issue IS repeated when the 'Login
incorrect' message doesn't appear, but if the login IS incorrect, then of
course 'login' doesn't repeat /etc/issue.
I know that agetty is passing control to login as I can see (ps ax from
another tty) the login program sitting waiting for the login response.
If I just run 'login' from a login shell, then it behaves correctly every
Is it time to start putting debug statements in login? Or can the great and
good tell me how stupid I've been again?
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