Serious error with faulty /etc/fstab

Gerard Beekmans gerard at
Thu May 16 17:34:54 PDT 2002

On Thu, May 16, 2002 at 07:00:13PM -0500, Kelledin wrote:
> Here's an idea: just have the boot scripts stop and try to exec sulogin when 
> this sort of error occurs?  It leaves the last error message up, and if 
> sulogin exists, it gives an administrator a opportunity to log in and see 
> what he/she can do.

The problem with sulogin is that it's very insecure to use. If the
password database file is corrupt (/etc/passwd or /etc/shadow if
applicable) or missing, sulogin will accept anything for a password and
give a root shell. If fsck stops because the root partition contained
errors, there is a possibility that the passwd/shadow files are damaged. If
it's not you on the keyboard it can pose an exploit as anybody can just hit
enter and have root access.

This probably isn't an issue for one-user machines but we thought it better
not to default to it.

Gerard Beekmans

-*- If Linux doesn't have the solution, you have the wrong problem -*-
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