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Old 09-04-2009, 12:07 PM   #1
esteeven
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Registered: Oct 2001
Location: Bristol UK
Distribution: Arch Ubuntu Slackware
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firefox fails to start after I tinkered with my system


I was curious about Slackware 13 last night so downloaded disks 1 and 2. I really just wanted to see if ext4 was present as a file system (I've been using it on Ubuntu with no issues --- yet). So, I stuck the cdrom in and booted to from it.

When I got to cfdisk, I was pleased (for some unknown reason) to see ext4 there as an option. An "install" devil took over and I formatted / and installed Slackware 13. I have no idea what possessed me, apart from boredom with Ubuntu and curiosity. The install took no time at all and I was soon up and running in XFCE4. I was more than pleased with Slackware.

I panicked a little when I realised what I had done. I have a web project to finish and I was "playing" with my computer. I wondered why I hadn't just installed on a spare partition. I could have done but.... oh no!!! Not me. Not last night. I was avoiding work.

I quickly mastered slackbuilds.org (wow!!! What dependency hell in Slackware??? It was all so easy) and started looking around for a text editor with syntax highlighting. I normally use gedit. I was pleased that I was fully in control and it dawned on me that I had never been fully in control of my systems (as a past user of Madndrake, Suse, Debian and so on). I liked what I was doing and even suspend worked out of the box!! And automount.

That's when I messed up. df -h showed that I had installed over 3.5 gb in /. This should not be an issue : / is 10gb but I wanted to prune it. So I pruned away. After a reboot, my system wouldn't start firefox. The error message seemed to indicated that it was sed ? This was new territory for me. After years of using Linux, I had never had much to do with sed. And I think I might have removed it. Would this cause my system to refuse to open firefox?

The other symptom is that my cdrom drive does not automount any longer. So I can't get sed back easily. Strangely, my usb drives mount without problems. Is there a connection with sed?

I was sure I was only deleting non-essential software but , hey, you have to learn!!

I quickly reinstalled Ubuntu this morning (on another partition) so I am up and running but I really like Slackware. It's really good and I want to use it for everything.

My goodness. This started out as a plea for help but I am pleased to see I have written a positive comment about Slackware instead.
 
Old 09-04-2009, 02:33 PM   #2
gegechris99
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Registered: Oct 2005
Location: France
Distribution: Slackware 14.1 32bit
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Hello,

FYI, in case you mess up your Slackware installation later, you can always use the first installation CD to boot into your installation.

Excerpt from Slackware-HOWTO (available in the root directory of first installation CD).

Quote:
NOTE: If you install a kernel on your system that doesn't boot correctly,
you can still boot your system with the CD-ROM. To do this, you need to
enter some information on the boot prompt. For example, if your root
partition is on /dev/hda1, you'd enter this to boot your system:

huge.s root=/dev/hda1 initrd= ro

The "initrd=" option tells the kernel not to run the /init script on the
installer image in RAM, and the "ro" option makes the root partition
initially load as read-only so Linux can safely check the filesystem.
Once you've booted, you are in your messed-up Slackware system (albeit in console mode). Now it's just a matter of installing the missing packages that you will have previously saved on a USB key (of course you need to mount the USB key before). I think you can also you the CD but I've never tested that.
 
Old 09-04-2009, 03:13 PM   #3
tux_dude
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Registered: Dec 2008
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Start firefox from the commandline to get the exact error which is preventing it from starting.

To reinstall sed simply run
Code:
upgradepkg --reinstall sed-<version>
I think sed-4.1.5 is shipped with 13. sed is /a on the slackware cd.
 
Old 09-04-2009, 04:24 PM   #4
dwr1
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Registered: Aug 2009
Distribution: slack-current
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I managed to break firefox when I has a soft link from .mozilla to another folder, but later moved the other folder. Perhaps something similar happened when you pruned your system?

Also, when you run firefox from the command line, remember that the binary file is "firefox-bin". "firefox" is only a script.
 
Old 09-05-2009, 01:59 AM   #5
shadowsnipes
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Registered: Sep 2005
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 1,441

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yea, sed (stream editor) is one of those essential Slackware packages. A lot of scripts use it. In general, do not remove anything from the "a" Slackware package series unless you know what you are doing.

If you really want to "prune" Slackware, then you could omit the KDE series. You said you chose to use Xfce...
 
Old 09-05-2009, 02:38 AM   #6
esteeven
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Registered: Oct 2001
Location: Bristol UK
Distribution: Arch Ubuntu Slackware
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Original Poster
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I think that sed is the root of my problem. I am going to experiment some more this morning and I'll report back. Thanks for your answers.
 
Old 09-05-2009, 08:55 PM   #7
shadowsnipes
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Distribution: Slackware
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sed is used even in the firefox script. grep a bunch of scripts and you will see it has wide usage
 
  


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