Best of Technical Support

Our experts answer your questions.
The Dreaded “LI” Problem

I put a second IDE hard drive in my PC and installed Mandrake Linux 8.0 on it. Now when I reboot, I have the dreaded “LI” problem, i.e., LILO displays only the first two letters of the LILO prompt. I believe the source of my problem is that I installed the second hard drive as slave on the secondary IDE. My boot partition (mounted as /) is hdd6.

—Frederic Mora, fmora@attglobal.net

Getting “LI” from LILO usually means that the first-stage boot loader was able to load the second-stage boot loader but has failed to execute it. This can either be caused by a disk's physical configuration inconsistency or because you moved /boot/boot.b without running the map installer. In practical terms, you indeed need to reconfigure /etc/lilo.conf to describe where (which disk) each partition is on your system. So, you need to reboot your system from a rescue disk and get into a root prompt so you can edit lilo.conf and point each element to where it is physically located (in accordance to the way your disks are identified: /dev/hdaX, /dev/hdbY, /dev/hddZ, etc.). After editing /etc/lilo.conf, run /sbin/lilo -v to write all to the disks and reboot. Look at the page www.fan.nb.ca/~aa126/troubleshoot-LILO.html for additional information on LILO.

—Felipe E. Barousse Boué, fbarousse@piensa.com

wu-ftp Won't Let Users in

I'm having some problems with logging on to the FTP server in my company. I've installed wu-ftpd and anonyftp to the server. The guest account has been created, but all the users are not able to log on to the FTP server. I'm sure that the password is correct.

—Alan Lim, alan_lim@astro.com.my

Check the log files in /var/log to see if they are telling you anything. You can use the -d flag in conjunction with wu-ftpd to increase the amount of logging. If you compiled the FTP dæmon yourself, check to see whether it is having problems with PAM or shadow passwords. It may not be sensing that this is required during the compile process. Please note that, in any case, this is a huge security risk. wu-ftpd is not designed to execute the chroot() function for normal user logins, meaning normal (nonanonymous) users will be able to access the entire system once they log in. You might want to consider fixing both issues at the same time by installing a more secure FTP dæmon such as ProFTPD or NcFTPD and configuring them to chroot() to the user's home directory.

—Chad Robinson, crobinson@rfgonline.com

Alan, please make sure that the shell account used with those users is listed in the wu-ftp configuration. Otherwise it will deny access even if the password is correct.

—Mario Neto, mneto@argo.com.br

I Have No Source and I Must make

I have installed or attempted to install almost every distribution available. The best install I have found is Mandrake 7.0, 7.1 and 7.2. The problem I have is I cannot get source code to install when I do configure. The system either gives me a syntax error or some file is missing. I've read all the read files, I have several books and I still can't find out what's wrong.

—Bill York, bill_york@pipeline.com

You should be able to install source files (such as the Linux kernel source) with RPM; just mount the source CD, cd to the directory containing the source RPMs, and use

rpm -i kernel-source-file.rpm

That should do it. Installing with RPM (in the case of Mandrake) is fairly easy, and it also takes care of most dependencies on other files. If you still get an error, then you probably need to install some other stuff before the actual file you are trying to install.

—Felipe E. Barousse Boué, fbarousse@piensa.com

Ignoring BOOTP Requests

I recently set up a DHCP server, and when I monitor the port I am seeing BOOTP requests that come from an old VAX system that gets its boot information from a machine on the other side of our router. Is there something I can turn off on my Linux box or configure to ignore those requests?

—Pat Derosa, pderosa@ap.org

Are the BOOTP requests actually causing problems or are they merely an annoyance in your log files? The ISC DHCP dæmon allows you to use the deny bootp option to ignore BOOTP clients, but that may not stop the server from logging the request. In that case, you may have limited options. You may be stuck with the message unless you are comfortable locating the line in the source code, commenting it out and recompiling the dæmon.

—Chad Robinson, crobinson@rfgonline.com

If you don't have “allow unknown-clients”, your DHCP server will not serve requests to machines that aren't explicitly listed by MAC address. Also, if you omit dynamic-bootp, your DHCP server will not serve bootp requests.

—Marc Merlin, marc_bts@valinux.com

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