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Old 02-02-2006, 02:05 AM   #1
Registered: Dec 2005
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Distribution: Ubuntu, Debian, Gentoo
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Question GNU Screen Error: Could Not Write /var/run/utmp: No such process

Whenever I run screen, or even if I run it with a command, there is a small delay, followed by that error flashing on the bottom of my console, further followed by the standard screen operation. I'm running Ubuntu Breezy (5.10), and screen version 4.00.02. /var/run/utmp exists, and has permissions 664, owned by root:utmp.

Is there any way to get rid of the error showing up every time I load screen, even if I don't get that feature working?
Old 02-02-2006, 09:09 PM   #2
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From screen --help:
-l            Login mode on (update /var/run/utmp), -ln = off.
which implies that screen -ln will disable the attempt to log the screen session to /var/run/utmp.

Your "can't write" problem might be related to your selinux settings if you're using selinux. (I don't know if Breezy even includes selinux, so that's just a suggestion.)
Old 06-10-2006, 12:33 AM   #3
ubuntu jonez
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Registered: Jun 2006
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I'm having the same problem. I'd would prefer to have screen log in and see entries using the 'w' command. From the end of 'man screen':

Screen must be installed as set-uid with owner root on most systems in order to be able to correctly change the owner of the tty device file for each window. Special permission may also be required to write the file "/var/run/utmp".

So, I suid'd /usr/bin/screen. (was sguid)
-rwxr-sr-x 1 root utmp 291K 2005-02-28 16:23 /usr/bin/screen*

$ sudo chmod u+s /usr/bin/screen

-rwsr-sr-x 1 root utmp 291K 2005-02-28 16:23 /usr/bin/screen*

After that I tried again and got:
$ screen -RD
Directory '/var/run/screen' must have mode 755.

$ ll -d /var/run/screen
drwxrwxr-x 3 root utmp 4.0K 2006-01-22 15:08 /var/run/screen/
(looks like 775)

$ sudo chmod 755 /var/run/screen

Same error
Could Not Write /var/run/utmp: No such process
Old 06-10-2006, 02:13 AM   #4
ubuntu jonez
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Registered: Jun 2006
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I'm running Ubuntu (Breezy Badger). I applied the latest updates and rebooted. The problem went away as mysteriously as it arrived.



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