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X font and chown problems after slink -> potato

I used to have a slink system which worked basically just fine,
using custom kernels 2.2.1[0123] and the slinkified X from netgod.

Then I did an apt-get dist-upgrade to potato, which had problems.
(In particular, I made the mistake of specifying the gtk option
to the very early (0.2.1) version of debconf,
which blew a few postinstall scripts out of the water.
I only mention this in case it might be relevant.)

Everything has been fixed now except for X,
which shows the following problem(s):

On starting xinit, the xterm brought up only displays characters
as solid blocks of color the foreground color.

When the xterm is exited (if it had been originally launched by root)
the normal X server status messages are visible on the virtual terminal
from which the xinit was launched, followed by these lines:

   Cannot chown /dev/pts/0 to 0,0: No such file or directory
   Cannot chown /dev/ptyxx to 0,0: No such file or directory

   waiting for X server to shut down

On the other hand, when xdm is started,
lines in the xconsole which extend all the way to its right hand side
display legibly in the correct font,
while the remaining lines which stop before the right edge
have their "characters" displayed as solid blocks.
Likewise, the login display shows only solid blocks for its characters.
Notwithstanding this, I can logon, but then the xterms have the same
"solid color block" problem with fonts.

I have removed and reinstalled all the X related packages,
without changing the above behavior in the least.

I would appreciate any help that might resolve this.

Pardon me for sending this to debian-devel, but two earlier messages
to debian-user,
on  1999-11-07 06:10 +0000 (Subject: Cannot chown /dev/pts/0 to 0,0 ... )
and 1999-11-21 09:38 +0000 (Subject: X font and chown probems in potato)
brought no response.



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