SUMMARY: openwin command hangs Sparc20!

From: Erwin Fritz (
Date: Mon Jun 16 1997 - 17:15:30 CDT

Okay, it's not really a summary. Here's the original message.

> Ah, once again I turn to this list for assistance. Here's the situation.
> I have a Sparc20. The 'uname -a' shows:
> SunOS vulcan 4.1.4 2 sun4m
> The machine is an NIS client. We run automount.
> When I type 'openwin' after logging in, the screen flickers. The top
> half of the screen shows the OpenWindows backgroup. The bottom part
> becomes black. The mouse cursor is a 'busy' icon (the circle) and
> responds to mouse movement. The keyboard is dead and nobody can rlogin
> to the machine. Even 'STOP-A' doesn't do anything. A hard boot
> resets the machine.
> I'm not seeing any errors in /var/adm/messages or on the console window
> upon boot. The OpenWindows is a local (i.e. not mounted from elsewhere)
> copy.
> The SunSolve CD is not helping, nor is the man page on openwin. I've
> installed patches 100444-76, 100448-03, 100452-72 and 100478-01,
> to no avail.
> One of my users mentioned to me this morning that this problem has
> been occurring for months. Unfortunately this means that I can't
> tell if a recent change caused this situation or not.
> Is there any way to run OpenWindows in a 'debug' mode so I can see
> what's going on? Does anyone have any other ideas as to what's causing
> this?

Thanks to Michael Pavlov for pointing out that the 'openwin' command
is a shell script. What can I say? It's Monday. After 'sh -x'ing the
script, I determined that it was crashing in the call to 'xinit'.
I was considering my options when several people pointed out that
they needed the machine in a hurry.

Thanks to Jim Harmon for reminding me to check the cable itself. I
did and the cable was fine.

Because I had users screaming about the machine, I opted for the
fastest, although less than thorough, solution: I blew away /usr/openwin
and copied that directory from another machine which was working.
This seems to have solved the problem and gotten the users off my

Thanks for the advice!

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