[techtalk] missing posts

Malcolm Tredinnick malcolmt at smart.net.au
Mon Jan 3 14:07:52 EST 2000

On Sun, Jan 02, 2000 at 05:12:06PM -0600, Aaron Malone wrote:
> On Sun, Jan 02, 2000 at 11:10:53AM -0500, Jeff Dike wrote:
> > > Because I screwed up my linux install, and had to start over yesterday
> > > :-) 
> > 
> > BTW, what did you do?  I'm having trouble thinking of anything short of 
> > trashing a disk that would call for a complete reinstall.
> Heh.  depends on your experience level.  I remember when I was first
> learning linux (redhat 2.something, I think), there were a couple of times
> when I screwed something badly enough that it was easier (and faster) to
> reinstall than to learn enough (on an unusable system) to make the system
> usable again. ;)

A few years back now I spent Christmas Eve upgrading a system from a.out to
ELF format binaries. I was following some allegedly step-by-step instructions,
but they were a bit like the "defusing the bomb" instructions from an old
M*A*S*H episode ... something along the lines of "move all these libraries,
delete this ... BUT FIRST make sure you leave this here".

Despite the fact that I had read the instructions completely before beginning,
I was sufficiently absent minded that I forgot the "but first" bit and managed
to remove important things like libc and something else that was essential to
a functioning system. I had enormous incentive to recover that system more or
less intact, since it contained some files I couldn't remember whether I had
recently backed up or not (right now, everybody is thinking "why didn't he
back up completely first" .... you don't think I asked that question 6000
times that day?). Everything worked out well in the end (thanks to a bootdisk
and a bit of head scrathing along the lines of "what the #$%! did I do to
cause that?"), but it would seem that removing your entire /lib directory
would be a reasonable way to nuke a system (of course, you would have to
forget to make a bootdisk first as well).

Malcolm Tredinnick

A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.

techtalk at linuxchix.org   http://www.linuxchix.org

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