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Strange /dev/pts/ problem


I have been experiencing a strange problem lately on my debian laptop. I
am not sure whether it is debian related or kernel related, but I could
not find any mention of such a problem on the kernel archives, so I am
trying to ask here.

Here is the problem:

If no terminal is already opened and an ordinary user tries to open a
wterm, it will fail with the message: "wterm: can't open slave tty
/dev/pts/0". It would work if root tries to open it. Likewise, an ordinary
user cannot open /dev/pts/1, but root can. At this point, it gets really
strange: assume that root has already opened two terminals, so that the
first free slave terminal is /dev/pts/2. This one (and apparently all the
terminals numbered above 1) can be opened by an ordinary user...

I did not realize this problem until now because I was using an old
version of aterm that does not use the UNIX98 PTY's, so I cannot tell if
it is due to the last kernel change (to 2.4.0). This behaviour is
consistent among all the terminal emulators that have been compiled to use
the new framework: xterm, aterm, rxvt, wterm all behave the same.

I am running libc6 version 2.2.1-1, with a kernel 2.4.0 in which I have
configured the use of the devfs architecture.

Any ideas ?

Please also CC answers to me, since I do not read actively the zillions of
messages going through this list.


François Gelis / BNL - Nuclear Theory / gelis@bnl.gov

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