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xconsole: "Couldn't open console"

Can someone tell me why xconsole called without the '-file' option isn't
able to read /dev/console?  I have /dev/console world readable:

crw-rw-rw-   1 root     root       4,   0 Apr  6 18:58 /dev/console

Yet it says it isn't able to open console.  On the other hand, "xconsole
-file /dev/console" works...  I know I can use /dev/xconsole, and that
works as well since you specifically have to specify the -file option.
This is an issue of compatibility across different machine types and I'd
like xconsole to be able to read from /dev/console without having to
specify the file. 

Clues, anyone?

Stephen Hsieh              Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
steveh@eecs.umich.edu      Univ. of Michigan at Ann Arbor

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