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Old 12-22-2007, 07:21 PM   #1
Mathius
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Registered: Jul 2003
Posts: 17

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Using CentOS. XWindows won't boot.


Hi all.

I am extremely new to Linux. I have been using it for quite some time, but in all honesty, I have never made any effort to understand how the system itself works. I know the basics of the shell, but I use Xwindows for nearly everything, and there is a plethora of things I don't understand.

My friend used to handle any issues I had with linux, but he and I had a falling out, and I'm on my own. These days I mostly just surf the web, or download multimedia and I haven't kept up with my computer technology. I have grown complacent, having someone to troubleshoot things for me, and I don't even know where to begin.

I am running a dual boot setup, and I have been aware that my Windows XP has been giving me problems for some time, with nearly anything internet related, as well as continuing to move more and more slowly. I have never bothered to look into fixing this because I mostly use Linux. Unfortunately, my linux partition suffered a bad problem, and I am currently stuck with minimal access to the internet in Win XP. Currently I can't even check my e-mail because I'm only able to access certain websites. (possible problems with the DNS? I don't know).

Anyways, to the meat and potatoes of my linux issue:

The other night, while rebooting my computer, I noticed the little red exclamation icon that alerts me that there are updates available for Linux. I clicked on it, and used Launch2Update like I always have and began to update the computer. However, this time it gave me a message about there being a new version of Launch2Update, and I should use that instead. I didn't know how to go about doing this, so I continued with what I was doing. (probably my first mistake)

When the computer began to start installing the updates, it got about 3/4 of the way through the progress bar, when it gave me an error message, something about the kernel (bad news) and then froze up on me. I didn't understand the error, nor in my infinite wisdom (sarcasm) did I write it down. I left the computer sit like that for a while, and then finally chose to reboot. Big mistake.

Now whenever Linux begins, it goes through the entire checklist of programs, loads the CentOS front end screen, goes through the full progress meter, and then locks up and goes into the install type window, saying something about a problem with the default font, and that I should check a config file in /etc/x11/ and gives the location of a log to check as well.

It then proceeds to ask if I want to try and run xconfig and fix the problem, but it is then unable to load that as well.

The problem is, I cannot even begin to look into this problem because I don't know how to access the shell without being in XWindows.

I know there is a way to bypass xwindows in the startup and go directly to the shell, but I can't recall how to do that. I have tried ctrl+alt+F7 and F8 alternatively but it doesn't help me. I can go into interactive setup, and it gives an ok to every single item in the list.

I am at a loss as to what to do, but I figure the start is to figure out how to get to a prompt, and then check out that log and config files.

Any help would be appreciated. I am currently without e-mail, and can only access certain web sites in Windows XP.

Perhaps in the meantime, I will attempt to troubleshoot my XP partition.

Thanks in advance.

Mathius
 
Old 12-22-2007, 10:13 PM   #2
roy_lt_69
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Registered: Aug 2006
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
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I am not familiar with CentOS, but I can help with Linux in general.
To exit X try <ctl-alt-backspace>, you should then be at a command line or try <ctl-alt-Fn> where n is 1 to 6.
Or to avoid X altogether, try to select a Command line / Single user / Non-GUI mode of Linux if you have such a choice at boot.

Is your boot menu Grub or Lilo?
If Grub you can manually enter commands to boot to Command line.

OR you can try a Live-CD like DSL or Knoppix, or a rescue CD to boot your system to attempt any fix.

Also do you have a backup of your system?
If yes, the fastest and possibly easiest way to go, may be to do a restore!
 
Old 12-23-2007, 11:46 AM   #3
Mathius
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Registered: Jul 2003
Posts: 17

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Quote:
Originally Posted by roy_lt_69 View Post
I am not familiar with CentOS, but I can help with Linux in general.
To exit X try <ctl-alt-backspace>, you should then be at a command line or try <ctl-alt-Fn> where n is 1 to 6.
Or to avoid X altogether, try to select a Command line / Single user / Non-GUI mode of Linux if you have such a choice at boot.

Is your boot menu Grub or Lilo?
If Grub you can manually enter commands to boot to Command line.

OR you can try a Live-CD like DSL or Knoppix, or a rescue CD to boot your system to attempt any fix.

Also do you have a backup of your system?
If yes, the fastest and possibly easiest way to go, may be to do a restore!
I'm using Grub. I tried the "command line" option in the boot loader, and it just lets me run commands for Grub, of which I know nothing. There are also options to add new commands for grub, or edit exhisting ones. These are the only options I can find, and they don't seem to help me.

I need a way, at the least, to get into the linux shell, so I can start checking that config file, and perusing the logs to give me some idea of where to begin fixing it.

On a side note, I seem to be getting better results from Windows, which will undoubtedly aid in my problem fixing linux since i now seem to have full access to the internet again. The slow downs also seemed to be contributed to by a full hard drive (blush). I'm working on cleaning up enough space that I can start backing up stuff on dvd and clean up some room.

Mathius

Last edited by Mathius; 12-23-2007 at 11:48 AM.
 
Old 12-23-2007, 12:20 PM   #4
lin_myworld
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to go to the terminal in grub menu where the centos entry is there press 'e' to enter edit mode.now again press 'e' in the line where kernel /boot/vmlinuz..... type of thing is written and in th end of it give space and type single.. and press enter and the b to boot.

u will boot to single user mode and now u can handle what u want to do.
 
Old 12-23-2007, 12:20 PM   #5
teckk
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The config to boot into graphic or shell is your /etc/inittab
http://www.rt.com/man/inittab.5.html

5 will boot you into X, 3 will boot you into shell.

When you turn the box on boot into single user mode and edit the inittab.
Then you can edit your xorg or xf86 until you fix the fault. They are located in /etc/X11/ I think.

You should be able to update that box with yum without having X running if you need to.

If your repositories are configed right then issue as root
Code:
yum update
If you can't boot at all then you are going to have to use a live CD like knoppix to mount the partition and edit what you need to.

You should be able to boot into single use mode and as root fix the fault.

Not sure of what you messed up.
http://tldp.org/LDP/intro-linux/html/
http://linuxcommand.org/man_pages/
http://www.linuxhomenetworking.com/
 
Old 12-24-2007, 02:07 PM   #6
Mathius
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Registered: Jul 2003
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Ok, here's an update. I'm back in Linux again. Here's what I did, and what's still going on:

I edited Grub's command line to add "single" to the end of the suggested line. That allowed me to get to a prompt.

I immediately searched for that /etc/X11/xorg.conf file. I recalled that the error messages I was getting had something to do with a font, so I perused the file for something to do with a font, and sure enough found this line:

Code:
FontPath     "unix/:7100"
It didn't take me long to figure out that I have no unix directory, so this line obviously was a problem. I didn't really know where to find the correct entry, so I tried another approach and just commented out that whole line with a #.

After rebooting, Xwindows started right up, but I'm still having some issues.

The first issue, which is probably simple, is that for some reason my network is no longer activated when the system starts up. I have to manually go under Network Devices and click "activate" to get online.

I'm sure there is a simple way to fix that, but I don't know what it is.

The other problem is I'm still getting the little red exclamation mark that says there are updates, but every time I try to update, I get the following message:

Code:
There was a fatal RPM install error. The message was:
There was a rpm unpack error  installing the package: coreutils-5.2.1-31.7
IIRC that is the same message I got before, but so far the system hasn't locked up when I try it. I will reboot here in a few and see if I run into the same problem.

I tried typing "yum update" in the terminal, and it went through a whole bunch of things, but then it got to a certain point and hung. I wanted to take a capture of all the text, but somehow I accidently closed the window. I might try it again in a bit.

Thanks for the help so far. I think I'm almost through this.

Mathius
 
Old 12-24-2007, 02:46 PM   #7
teckk
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Distribution: FreeBSD Arch
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coreutils-5.2.1-31.7

Looks like the .rpm that update is fetching is defective. You may want to skip that while updating if you can or try another repository. I'm not near a Centos box right now, I switched over to FreeBSD here, but there are repo's online such as

http://dag.wieers.com/rpm/
http://wiki.centos.org/Repositories/CentOSPlus
http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=cen...=UTF-8&fr=moz2

Look at the man page for yum
http://linuxcommand.org/man_pages/yum8.html
and up2date
http://linuxcommand.org/man_pages/up2date8.html
 
Old 12-24-2007, 03:04 PM   #8
Mathius
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Registered: Jul 2003
Posts: 17

Original Poster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teckk View Post
coreutils-5.2.1-31.7

Looks like the .rpm that update is fetching is defective. You may want to skip that while updating if you can or try another repository. I'm not near a Centos box right now, I switched over to FreeBSD here, but there are repo's online such as

http://dag.wieers.com/rpm/
http://wiki.centos.org/Repositories/CentOSPlus
http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=cen...=UTF-8&fr=moz2

Look at the man page for yum
http://linuxcommand.org/man_pages/yum8.html
and up2date
http://linuxcommand.org/man_pages/up2date8.html
I'm not sure what to do with those repositories. Should I just go to those sites and will there be an explanation? Do I use yum to install them?

I will look at those two man pages.

Any idea why my network is set to inactive now when I reboot, and how do I fix it?

Mathius
 
Old 01-01-2008, 10:07 PM   #9
Mathius
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Registered: Jul 2003
Posts: 17

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
hate to do this, but the same issues are here. Also, should I not try to fix the problem with that font thing, instead of just commenting it out?

Thanks,
Mathius
 
  


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