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no login prompt and other witty comebacks

Starting with debian ppc unstable running 2.4.23
sgi-xfs and ati r128, I upgraded to Xfree86 4.4.0-pre1
compiled with gcc 3.3.2. All of this works.
Next I compiled benh-2.6.0-test11 with gcc-3.3.2(but
also systematically with every possible combination I
can think of; and also gcc-2.95 with the same
results). Using the open firmware frame buffer I can
see that startup loads everything but then I don't get
a login prompt. It says:
Not starting Xdisplay manager (xdm); it is not the
default manager
INIT: ID "1" respawning too fast: disabled for 5

I get no local login prompt.
I can remotely login so I know the whole thing didn't
crash, and booting with kernel-2.4.23 I do get the
local login prompt. Changing /etc/inittab from
runlevel 2 to runlevel 3 or 5 didn't help.

Now using aty128fb I can symbolicly link /dev/fb/0 to
/dev/fb0 remotely login and start gdm, but now I can't
move the mouse or keyboard. 

If I start X this way and wait five minutes Xprt (x
print server I think) takes up 99% cpu. 

Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks

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