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As of today I can no longer start a terminal? When I try to load gnome-terminal, the window appears but it just stops with a flashing cursor and no shell. If I try to start xterm, the window comes up and goes away instantly.
This started happening after a system crash I had last night. X had hung on me, completely hardware lockup. I couldn't kill X with ctrl+alt+backspace, my mouse wouldn't move, and I couldn't ssh into my machine to get a shell. So the only thing I could do was hit reset.
After I hit reset, the system aborted during the boot process and said my /etc/fstab didn't exist. It gave me the option to press CTRL+D to continue, or type the root password to fix the problem. I first tried logging on as root to fix the problem only to find that the file system was mounted as read only. There was nothing I could so I rebooted and went with the CTRL+D option. All that did was tell me I had to reboot yet again.
So I put in my RH9 CD and used it as a rescue disc. I tried using the automated recovery but it didn't work. It said my file system didn't exist. At that point I had a sinking feelilng but I didn't give up. I manually mounted my Linux root partition from the rescue CD and from there was able to make a new /etc/fstab
Now - the point of telling you all of that is that I think my terminal problem could possibly lie in my rebuilding of the /etc/fstab?
Am I missing something in the /etc/fstab that is preventing me from gaining access to the terminals from X? As I understand it, the terminals use some kind of virtual device to allow a user to connect. Something about DEVPTS ... is there a /dev/pts line that I need?
Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated. I have already exhausted myself looking online for the answer.
Bah - nevermind. I guess I just needed to sit down and work through the problem by writing it down. Surely enough, the /dev/pts line in the /etc/fstab was exactly what my problem was. (Which I had not previously thought of until I sat down to write that message.) But anyway - as soon as I finished writing and submitting this question I googled for "devpts fstab" and found an example /etc/fstab file. I added this line to the end of my /etc/fstab:
devpts /dev/pts devpts defaults 0 0
Then I did a mount -a and now everything is working again. Sorry for the post ... but maybe someone else will see it in the archives someday and it could help them out.