December 3rd, 2004, 12:12
Well, I finally got around to putting 5.3 on my laptop and install when without a hitch. Had some trouble with XFCE, but Atlas helped show the error was all my own fault... ;0) The problem is I started toying with XDM and restarted before fixing up the oh so important config files, and now logging in gives me a bare grey X screen with nothing to do, and no way I'm aware of to launch a term window or anything. So I decide to restart into single user mode and just remove the offending entry in /etc/ttys untill I get things set up right. But once there there is no vi, and ed complains that /tmp is read-only. :0( Any help that saves me the time of re-installing everything would be great! I'm at a loss.


December 3rd, 2004, 12:45
When you drop into single-user mode during bootup /etc/rc has not mounted the drives yet and root is mounted read-only (so it can be fscked). The first things you need to do are

fsck -p
mount -w -u /

Then you can use ed. If you want to use vi as well, do this

mount -a -t ufs

to mount all the usual local filesystems.

An alternative to all that is, when you boot up normally and get the grey screen, press Alt-F1 to get a terminal login and login as root. You will be in a normal full-runtime shell with everything (eg vi, disk mounts, etc.) available.

December 3rd, 2004, 12:48
When in single user mode, the slices aren't mounted R/W. Here's what to do:

#fsck /

#/sbin/mount -u /

#fsck /usr

#/sbin/mount -u /usr

Then you should be set to use vi. You may still need to reference it directly as your path is probably not setup, so just launch it from /usr/bin/vi.

Good luck!

December 3rd, 2004, 12:49
Beaten by minutes! :icon_smil

December 3rd, 2004, 12:51
First follow-up! W00t!!! ;-)

December 3rd, 2004, 13:06
Thanks both of you!
I'm very happy to be able to skip the re-compiling of and xfce... I'm not a patient man! :0)

Well, I'm off to get more stuff messed up for you!