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/etc/nologin appearing on upgrade

I was in the middle of upgrading to today's unstable when my machine became 
unstable.  The X server became confused and stopped accepting keyboard input 
for unknown reasons.

When I tried logging in over the network via ssh I discovered that 
/etc/nologin had somehow appeared and init was not functioning correctly.  
Due to a misbehaving init I had to press the reset button to fully regain 
control of my machine.

Does anyone have any idea of what the cause of this could be?

http://www.coker.com.au/selinux/   My NSA Security Enhanced Linux packages
http://www.coker.com.au/bonnie++/  Bonnie++ hard drive benchmark
http://www.coker.com.au/postal/    Postal SMTP/POP benchmark
http://www.coker.com.au/~russell/  My home page

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