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Re: How to choose safe configuration at boot time?

"Mike O'Donnell" <odonnell@cs.uchicago.edu> writes:

> WHAT I THINK IS WRONG: I think that my configuration of xdm is
> broken.

OK, I think I can help as I got myself in a very similar situation a
couple of times.  This is probably not an xdm problem, but an X
problem.  Most likely, in the course of upgrading, you did something
that left you with an X server that's not configured properly, or with
xdm pointing to an invalid X server.  So what you're seeing is xdm
repeatedly launching an X server that fails, or trying to launch a
non-existent server.  The best way to avoid this in the future is to
not reenable xdm (via rebooting) until you have tested that running
the X that xdm points to in /etc/X11/xdm/Xservers succeeds after your
upgrade xbase xdm, or other relevant X packages (Ctrl-Alt-Backspace
will kill X for you if it does run).

Now, how to solve your problem.  You're running lilo, good.  I think
you can just hold down the shift key at boot (unfortunately on my
machine I have to actually press it repeatedly just as lilo gets
started; holding it down doesn't seem to work), and when you get the
"lilo:" prompt, type "linux single".  This will boot linux in single
user mode, without launching X (I hope), and you'll be able to check
things out and fix the problem.  Check that /etc/X11/xdm/Xservers
points to a real server, and check that running this server directly
works.  The problem will hopefully be obvious at this point.

Good luck, and I hope that's it.

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