Category Archives: Gondolin

Boot problems with systemd? Check /etc/fstab

My (actually this) Debian server failed to boot after a power failure last week, it turns out the graphics card failed too, probably because of the cold and the thermal shock, but replacing the card did not allow the computer to boot.

With systemd, if something happens in the boot process, despite some obviously specific failure triggering the problem, it tends to fob you off with a message to run

This feels like the machine equivalent of “Hey, I just saw some needle go past that broke the machine. Let me hand you a haystack so you can find it.”

The command that is a whole lot more useful, is:

which allows much more rapid diagnosis of many problems. In my case the whole thing turns out to be an old line in /etc/fstab – an obselete line to mount /proc/bus/usb. It shouldn’t have been there anymore, but I am slightly amazed and irritated that the whole boot process was abandoned because of one line in /etc/fstab.

But hopefully someone else in this situation will find the suggestion to check that file first useful.

Bandwidth regrade

I finally got sorted out to regrade the ADSL connection for Gondolin, the download speed is now (potentially) 8096 kbps, but perhaps more importantly for the server aspect of these things, the upload speed is improved by about a factor of two to 448 kbps. I haven’t done any substantive testing yet, but it’s certainly going to help me accessing the server from work.

Drupal Login Problems

So, in order to post that rant about PHP and SimpleXML I had to fix a problem that seems to have spontaneously arisen with Drupal (this content management system).

For some reason it wasn’t persisting login information, at least from firefox (sorry – iceweasel here on my Debian system). It’s interesting to note, reading about the bug, that it has been around for literally months and doesn’t seem to have been nailed.

So, anyway, I’ve installed some beta of Drupal, and yes, it now seems to be fixed… If I could only solve the problem that I can’t “uncollapse” parts of the content now.

UPDATE: OK, this seems to be a problem with firefox version 2, or probably really the CSS file for it. It works with Galeon, or when I tell firefox to fake being IE .