SUMMARY: korn shell prompt is #

From: Sean Harvey (
Date: Fri Apr 23 1999 - 16:55:10 CDT

Original question:
All ksh logins to my Solaris 2.5.1 box are coming up with # as the prompt.  
env shows PS1=#       This is a new occurrence and I don't know why it's
It concerns me obviously since they appear to be root logins, though they
cannot view the /etc/shadow file so it seems to be just cosmetic.  
Interestingly,  an su - username results in a normal  $  prompt.   I have
checked /etc/profile and the .profile files.   It's not being set there. 
Any clues to where this # is coming from would be most welcome.
My problem was correctly diagnosed by two people. 
Thanks  Darren and PLB
I had stopped and started inetd via a telnet session.  That seems to have
been the root of the problem.  Here are Darrens words of wisdom:
Guess #1)

Someone (as root) killed and restarted inetd. Under solaris, inetd

inherits all environment variables and passes them on to children (like

telnetd and rlogind).

To test, do this.. Find inetd pid, then...

/usr/ucb/ps -eww <pid> If you see more than about 3 environment

variables (especially if you see strange ones like USER and HOME) then

that's what happened.

1a) Don't kill and restart inetd, just do kill -HUP <pid>. This used to

not work all the time under SunOS 4.x. It seems to work all the time

under 5.x.

1b) Try restarting it like this...   env -i inetd

I don't really have a guess #2.


Darren Dunham

Unix System Administrator Taos Mountain

Got some Dr. Pepper? Santa Clara, CA

< Please move on, ...nothing to see here, please disperse >



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