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Old 05-23-2009, 09:08 AM   #1
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init: no more processes left and respawning too fast disabled

Hi all,

I have been using Fedora 7 (installed from DVD an year ago by my friend).

Yesterday when I rebooted the system it gave me the following message:

respawning too fast disabled for 5 minutes

I rebooted couple of time, but the message stuck on. I was able to get the command prompt without any problem, but, I did not know how to resolve the problem.

I googled around and found some information regarding getty etc...

Based on the information on the internet, I misinterpretted and commented a few lines on the file /etc/inittab. The following lines were commented by me:

1:2345:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty1
2:2345:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty2
3:2345:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty3
4:2345:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty4
5:2345:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty5
6:2345:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty6

I rebooted the system after that and now, in addition to the "respawning too fast disabled for 5 minutes" comment, I get

init: no more processes left in this runlevel

Again I googled around and understood that I have disabled all the terminals.

1. Is there someway I can rescue the system and bring it back to work. I have lot of important files on this PC, so, I do not want to format and install a fresh. Please let me know how I can resolve the problem.

2. I have already read that we can use rescue CD to solve the problem. My friend had installed using Fedora DVD and gave me a copy of the same. Where can I get the rescue CD. I have been able to locate the rescue CD here:

2a: Do I have to download all the 97MB and create a rescue CD by burning the image?

2b: Cannot I create a rescue CD from the DVD that I already have with me

2c: By simply using the rescue CD will I be able to get the system back into working condition. Will I get access to /etc/initab file by using the rescue CD? Kindly clarify how to work with the rescue CD

3. If I am able to access /etc/initab using the resuce CD and I uncomment those few lines, and if the initial problem saying "respawning" occurs, how can I correct the problem.

The initial problem occurred when I was trying to change the IP address, gateway etc frequently. I rebooted after that restarting network service a few time, and this is where I landed.

Any help and method to rectify these problems will be very helpful.

Thanks and regards,

PS: I have gone through a few posts including ( on as well. But, I think I have done lot of harm. Hope someone can let me know how to rescue the system.
Old 05-23-2009, 09:18 AM   #2
Registered: Jul 2007
Location: Scunthorpe, UK
Distribution: Ubuntu 8.10; Gentoo; Debian Lenny
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If you have a livecd handy, just stick that in. Mount your partitions on there and you can go in and set your inittab back to what it was.

What was the full respawning message? When you boot into a live cd, output the result of
#  grep -i respawn /var/log/dmesg.0
Old 05-23-2009, 10:58 AM   #3
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Hello James, I am away from the system now. I will use the live CD and mount the root partition and edit /etc/initab file.

I didnt know we could mount the regular file system and edit files from the live CD.

Can you give me some clue on why the problem "respawning too fast disabled for 5 minutes" came up to start with.

Old 05-23-2009, 11:15 AM   #4
Registered: Jul 2007
Location: Scunthorpe, UK
Distribution: Ubuntu 8.10; Gentoo; Debian Lenny
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Well, there are certain programmes which need to respawn automatically when they close- try hitting ctrl+alt+backspace to close X (so long as this starts autmatically, that is ) and it'll pop right up.

You almost solved this yourself by commenting out those lines, which stopped any terminals starting- The actual programme that is respawning too often has an error and needs rebuilding; when it errors and closes, it restarts right away and, again, dies. This vicious little circle is causing too much of a problem so the kernel stops it respawning for 5mins, so you can repair it.

Get the actual programme that errors, from dmesg presumably, and rebuild it.

But yes, a live cd can be used exactly for this- normal mount command (though, of course, mkdir a mount point first)
Old 05-24-2009, 10:59 PM   #5
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Thanks James,

will try the same and update here in the forum.

Old 05-27-2009, 04:39 AM   #6
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Location: Potchefstroom, South Africa
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Probably not applicable, but I once had this "respawning too fast" problem with an old serial "Intelliport 2" serial multiplexer on an SCO/Unix system at the Fire Brigade where I used to work. Turned out it was going bad (lightning strikes from several distributed serial terminals) and that this was screwing up respawns. TTY's would respawn, die, respawn, die - as a previous poster said, this causes the kernel to respawn over and over and over (i. e. infinitely) and this gets detected, and that's why it complains "respawning too fast".

I. e. the spawned application isn't running long enough (or at all), init detects this and stops trying - since it can presumably slow down your system or use up memory to infinitely respawn something that just instantly crashes again.


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