[TUHS] was turmoil, moving to rm -rf /

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Wed Apr 26 00:18:43 AEST 2017


Problem was /etc has been burned too...  so the mknod command is off the
table.


On Tue, Apr 25, 2017 at 10:08 AM, Larry McVoy <lm at mcvoy.com> wrote:

> Whoever was the genuis that put mknod in /etc has my gratitude.
> We had other working Masscomp boxen but after I screwed up that
> badly nobody would let me near them until I fixed mine :)
>
> And you have to share who it was, I admitted I did it, I think
> it's just a thing many people do..... Once :)
>
> On Tue, Apr 25, 2017 at 10:02:26AM -0400, Clem Cole wrote:
> > Larry,
> >
> > I had to laugh when I read that because what you don't know is it was
> part
> > of my old Unix wizards test which was left over from a the day when one
> of
> > our hackers (whom I think you would later get to know so I'll not name
> him)
> > accidentally typed: rm -rf . as root from his / on his workstation.
> >
> > Because /bin/rmdir had been lost, he started getting errors when rmdir
> was
> > forked.  So he hit  ^C, but he had already lost:  /bin, /dev, /etc, /lib,
> > most of /usr.  He was a developer in the networking group so he was
> working
> > on network code which we could not trust would not panic (in fact we
> > disconnected the node from the ethernet immediately just in case).   But
> we
> > did have pretty much everything in /usr/bin/[s-z]* -- that is we think it
> > was deleting files in /usr/bin when he stopped it.
> >
> > We obviously had another working Masscomp box just like it. And of course
> > the shell was working on the machine that was in trouble.   We recovered
> > the system as it was.   Hint the key item is you have to start by putting
> > /dev back together and the solution to that problem has had been
> discussed
> > on this list.
> >
> > Clem
> >
> > On Mon, Apr 24, 2017 at 7:59 PM, Larry McVoy <lm at mcvoy.com> wrote:
> >
> > > This is gonna seem like I'm tooting my own horn, and I am a little, but
> > > here's an rm -rf / story.
> > >
> > > Clem will be amused because I was a junior or senior in college and a
> sys
> > > admin for a Masscomp with a 40MB disk with 20 users.  And I did some
> > > version
> > > of rm -rf /, realized part way through that I screwed up, and killed
> it.
> > > But /bin and /dev were gone so putting things back together was hard.
> > >
> > > But I did it and wrote up this little note for the people who came
> after
> > > me, if I was stupid enough to do this someone else would, was my
> thinking.
> > > You can get a sense of how scared I was in it if you read it carefully.
> > > It was a very long night.
> > >
> > > For an undergrad, I think it's not bad?  Maybe?  I dunno, I look at how
> > > much I needed to have understood to get the system back up, that's a
> lot
> > > of reading, playing, experience.  Love that Geophysics department, they
> > > pushed me.
> > >
> > > And it was during my (brief) foray into the *roff -me macros (I went
> > > -ms and never looked back).  Roff source on request to anyone who is
> > > twisted enough to want it.
> > >
> > > http://mcvoy.com/lm/masscomp-restore.pdf
> > >
> > > Complete with all the typos.
> > >
> > > --lm
> > >
>
> --
> ---
> Larry McVoy                  lm at mcvoy.com
> http://www.mcvoy.com/lm
>
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