[2.1.72] very strange behaviour, please read

Thomas Pornin (bip@orion.ens.fr)
Wed, 10 Dec 1997 21:56:58 +0100


I have compiled a 2.1.72 on my alpha machine, and it does not boot.
Specifically, init stops when entering in runlevel 3. No error
message, and hitting Ctrl-Alt-Del triggers the normal reboot sequence
(killing processes, umounting filesystems, rebooting).

I tried passing "init=/bin/zsh" as an argument for the kernel (using milo).
The boot sequence stops on the strange message:
: can't open input file :
instead of giving me the prompt I would like.
And here begins the really strange part: I compiled the following little
C program:

#include <stdio.h>
#include <unistd.h>
#include <sys/types.h>
#include <sys/wait.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
int status;

if (fork() == 0) execl("/bin/zsh", "/bin/zsh", NULL);
return 0;

The binary is /root/uk . I boot linux with "init=/root/uk" as boot
argument. And it works ! I get the shell prompt ! Of course, by simple
application of Murphy's law, running init instead of zsh fails.

Please tell me what is happening out there. This is plain 2.1.72,
SMP deactivated, redhat 4.2 distribution, binutils upgraded to
2.8.1. The hardware is a Multia (Noname board), 40 Mbytes ram,
external scsi 3 Gbytes harddisk.

I would really love an answer from anyone, even if it is:
"you fuckhead, read the docs".

--Thomas Pornin, desperate

PS: 2.1.66 works fine. 2.1.70 and 2.1.71 already had the strange behaviour.
PPS: is there a known way to get rid of the annoying warnings "__r16 might
be used uninitialized in this function" ?
PPPS: zapping one of the two "#define SO_BINDTODEVICE 25" lines in
include/asm-alpha/socket.h might be a good idea two.