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Dividing the Linux desktop
LWN.net Weekly Edition for June 13, 2013
A report from pgCon 2013
Little things that matter in language design
request_module: runaway loop modprobe char-major-0-20481
This is actually the same problem as the missing '/dev/console' but the device files get mangled somehow on the nfs server system.
Note that /dev/console is normally (maj,min) 5,1, but in this case, the kernel is pressed to search for 0,20481 which is notably outside the usual numeric range for device nodes.
I discovered this problem while using VMWare to run a Linux instance with an NFS root hosted from Mac OS X, while Vim discovered this problem doing the same but while running Windows.
It turns out that, if you run 'mknod -m 600 console c 5 1; mknod -m 666 null c 1 3', and then read the result back from within the VMWare instance of Linux, it's identified as follows:
# ls -la console null
crw------- 1 root root 0, 20481 Jun 3 2011 console
crw-rw-rw- 1 root root 0, 4099 Jun 3 2011 null
The solution: don't use mknod on Mac OS X or cygwin ;-)
In my case I created these critical device nodes on the NFS root from within the VMWare Linux instance with the use of a livecd iso, as a last resort.
In case anyone is interested, after re-creating the 'correct' device nodes using the VMWare Linux instance, the respective files on the nfs root (Mac OS X) show up as follows:
$ ls -la console null
crw------- 1 root wheel 0, 1281 Jun 3 13:27 console
crw-rw-rw- 1 root wheel 0, 259 Jun 3 13:28 null
Note: I'm using NFSv2 due to some brokenness with the Mac OS X NFS server implementation.
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