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Our experts answer your technical questions.
Corrupted Root Filesystem

I am trying to install Red Hat onto my Dell laptop using the partition I created for it. The install runs successfully, but when I try to load Linux it hangs up after these messages:

checking root filesystem
/ was not cleanly unmounted, check forced
Setting filetype for entry log in /dev (174593) to 6
Unattached inode 82384
(ie without -a or -p options)
An error occured during the filesystem check
Dropping you to a shell; the system will reboot
Give root password for maintenance

—Brian Weigner,

Seems your Linux root filesystem was corrupted somehow. You actually need to get into single-user mode by issuing a linux s command at the LILO prompt and wait until you get the # root prompt. Type:

e2fsck -r /dev/your-root-disk-device

This will go through the device and ask you what to do with each error it finds. This will probably ask many questions that should be answered. To properly answer all of them, some Linux filesystem experience is a must. This is risky business on a real production system. For now, since it is a fresh install and to make it easy, answer yes to all the FIX?, and REPAIR? and REMOVE unused/dirty stuff, questions. After you are done, try rebooting your system. If that doesn't work, maybe your best bet is to carefuly reinstall. —Felipe E. Barousse Boué,

To prevent this from happening in the future, run shutdown -h now (as root) before you power down. —Don Marti,

FTP Users Go Ape! Virtual Hosts Fail!

My FTP users are able to back past their home directory and go right to /. They are using leach FTP, and it allows them to go up levels even in their home directory.

Also, I have 20 virtual sites (by name, not IP) running on my Apache server. A couple of times when adding a new virtual host, it would not resolve until I moved it to the top of the list of virtual hosts in httpd.conf. Am I out of virtual servers? The computer is an AMD K6 200MHz with 64MB of RAM. —Aaron,

There is a hack in wuftpd to prevent users from cd-ing up, but you are probably better off installing proftpd if you aren't using that yet. It supports chrooting users in their home directory or some other preset directory. See: —Marc Merlin,

You're not out of virtual hosts, but this configuration can be tricky. Here are some things to check. Do any of the ServerName or ServerAlias values in the virtual hosts before the broken one match the broken one's name? If you have a ServerAlias * and add, it won't work. Keep everything with a * alias at the end. Do an nslookup to make sure that the DNS for all the virtual hosts works. Make sure that the NameVirtualHost directive is before the corresponding VirtualHost sections. Read and, of course, every webmaster's most-read and least-enjoyed reading material, error_log. —Don Marti,

I Have No Dialtone, and I Must Dial

I have a PCTEL internal modem, and I got the drivers from and have installed them. The problem is the modem keeps on dialing with the message NO DIALTONE. I was able to connect only once and that was after trying for a long time. Also, the transfer rate wasn't what I was expecting. —Krishna,

Try to see if adding X1 in your AT init string makes a difference. —Marc Merlin,

Spammers Fishing for Addresses

Increasingly, I see spammers attempting to send mail to my domains by simply trying a series of common first names (i.e.,,,, etc.) Is there any automated method of shutting down the connection after X failed addresses and, even better, adding their IP to sendmail's access database? —Waldo Jaquith,

You could write a small Perl script that parses the reject log, adds the IP to a blacklist and restarts sendmail when this happens. —Marc Merlin,


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