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Another Possible Solution

It sounds like your root file system isn't getting remounted read-write when the system boots up. Try logging in as root and running mount -w -n -o remount / by hand and see if there is a useful error message, or if you can then change the password.

Steven Pritchard, Southern Illinois Linux Users Group

Can I Use a ZIP Drive?

Is the IOMEGA ZIP Drive a supported device?

—David Jones

Linux Supports ZIP and JAZ Drives

Yes, both the SCSI and parallel port drives are supported under the 2.0.x kernels. You will need either the parallel support compiled in, or support for your SCSI controller. You can alternatively use modules to get the support you need. There are documents covering topics such as these in the Documentation directory at the top level of the kernel sources.

You should also get the latest eject package from or contrib on It can handle software ejecting of ZIP and JAZ drives under Linux.

Donnie Barnes, Red Hat Software


You may want to read the Linux ZIP Drive mini-HOWTO. It is available from any Linux Documentation Project mirror, including

Steven Pritchard, Southern Illinois Linux Users Group

Cannot Execute Binary File

I've been having this problem with some binary files I downloaded recently. When I try to execute the binary file, I get the following error:

If the shell is bash : cannot execute binary file
If the shell is tcsh : Exec format error. Wrong Architecture.

Along with this, there will be a message in /var/adm/messages saying:

"N_TXTOFF < BLOCK_SIZE. Please convert binary."

I've installed Slackware 96 with the Linux kernel upgraded to 2.0.24.


Support Needed in Kernel

My first guess is that you are trying to run a.out programs without a.out support in the kernel. Make sure that when you run make config, make menuconfig, or make xconfig in your kernel source directory you answer yes to the following question:

Kernel support for a.out binaries (CONFIG_BINFMT_AOUT)

and, for that matter, to this one as well:

Kernel support for ELF binaries (CONFIG_BINFMT_ELF)

While the majority of Linux software is now based on the ELF binary format, there is still a lot of software based on the older a.out format.

Steven Pritchard, Southern Illinois Linux Users Group