SUMMARY: Shutdown doing an rwall

From: Matthew Atkinson (
Date: Wed Apr 01 1998 - 07:01:36 CST

Dear All,

Thanks very much for all the people who helped me. My original problem
was that when I ran shutdown, it was attempting to send messages to all
users on all machines which had ever mounted an NFS partition from
the machine. A lot of these machines did not exist any more, and so
shutdown was taking ages.

My solution came in very quickly from K.Ravi of Oracle Software India
who pointed out that shutdown is just a shell script, which I can
therefore edit. For my purposes I still want to wall all local users,
but not on remote machines. Therefore I have edited the function notify
in /etc/shutdown to remove the offending lines. I have also been able
to add the -a flag after the wall, which will then also notify users
logged on via X sessions, as well as via telnet etc.

Other solutions suggested removing the file /etc/rmtab, which keeps the
information that showmount uses, and which shutdown uses to determine
whom to write to. However, this would mean that shomount wouldn't work
properly, and also this file is cached by mountd, so you need to kill
mountd to make it disappear properly. (Not a good move on a busy NFS
server). Thanks to Claude Charest for the suggestion though.

Another solution from Colin Melville at Mastercard was to use reboot,
but I still wanted to keep the wall functionality, just remove the
rwall, so this wasn't so good.

Other help came from Jayant Ramakrishnan and Michael Hill, but did not
quite fit the bill.

Thanks to all who helped.


Matthew Atkinson                      Phone:  +44 (0) 1904 462120
Sun Systems Technical Administrator   Fax:    +44 (0) 1904 462111
Information Systems Team
Central Science Laboratory            E-mail:
Sand Hutton, York, YO41 1LZ, England  Web:

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