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xterm: no available ptys

My problem is back.  I get this every few months.
After 13 days of uptime, I can't open new `xterm's or `rxvt's (even
as root):

  bash-2.01# xterm
  Warning: locale not supported by C library, locale unchanged
  xterm: no available ptys
  bash-2.01# rxvt 
  rxvt: can't open pseudo-tty
  rxvt: aborting

An `strace' command shows simply I/O error:

  bash-2.01# strace rxvt
  [lots deleted]
  open("/dev/ptyp0", O_RDWR)              = -1 EIO (I/O error)
  open("/dev/ptyp1", O_RDWR)              = -1 EIO (I/O error)
  open("/dev/ptysf", O_RDWR)              = -1 EIO (I/O error)

The following command lists no users using any pty's! :

  bash-2.01# for i in /dev/pty* ; do echo $i; fuser $i ; done

However, I have this from `ps aux' :

rhogee    1500  0.0  0.5   812   320  p1 S  Jan 30 0:00 /usr/local/bin/gnuserv 
rhogee    1668  0.0  1.8  1772  1164  p0 S  Jan 30 0:01 -tcsh 

So I know some are in use!  

(Can you believe this?  I may have to reboot! :-)

I have Debian 1.3 but have installed XFree-3.3 (with xterm) and rxvt v2.4.5
separately from Debian.  Perhaps that is part of my problem.
Peter Galbraith, research scientist             <galbraith@mixing.qc.dfo.ca>
Maurice-Lamontagne Institute, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada
P.O. Box 1000, Mont-Joli Qc, G5H 3Z4 Canada  418-775-0852 - FAX 418-775-0546

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