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

arnold at skeeve.com arnold at skeeve.com
Wed Apr 26 00:29:51 AEST 2017


I too, on a 4.1 BSD or 4.2 BSD vax 780 at Ga Tech.  I forget who helped
me put things back together.  IIRC I had blown away "only" /dev, so it
wasn't quite so bad.

But yes, it's something you only do once.  :-)

Arnold

Álvaro Jurado <elbingmiss at gmail.com> wrote:

> I did it during my IBM days years ago. It was an AIX 4.2, I broke almost a
> half of /usr and /bin /etc... ashamed :-(
>
> Álvaro
>
> 2017-04-25 16:08 GMT+02:00 Larry McVoy <lm at mcvoy.com>:
>
> > 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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