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tty1 unresponsive. How to reset?

Posted on 2004-09-21
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Last Modified: 2013-12-16
Hi there,

I'm running Gentoo linux.

It appears that tty1 has locked up after logging out. tty2-6 are all OK, so system is fine, but tty1 is locked up.

I use ctrl-D to logout from terminals, and with tty1 it shows "logout" on the prompt, the cursor is on the line below and frozen.
Not responsive to any keys, nor is the cursor blinking.

Is there a way, from one of the other terminals, to reset tty1 so I can log back into it?
I'm aware I can restart the system, but I'm sure there is a manual way.

Any ideas?

Rgds,
-Scronkey
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Question by:scronkey
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Expert Comment

by:jlevie
ID: 12119709
Depends on what casued the port to lock up. Log in on another terminal and see what processes migh be still running on the port (ps -ef | grep tty1 | grep -v grep) and try to kill them. If it is a hung process killing said process should unlock the port.
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Author Comment

by:scronkey
ID: 12119973
Hi there,

The only process running on tty1 was -bash

I killed the process, and now when I run ps -ef | grep tty1 | grep -v grep is:
4486 1 0 03:50 tty1 00:00:00 /sbin/agetty 38400 tty1 linux

When I kill the PID 4486, then run the ps -ef command, the same thing shows up, but with a different PID

I checked out the man page for agetty to see if there was something obvious in there I could do, but I gleaned nothing.

Also, the cursor is actually blinking on tty1 (I stated that it was not)
I don't know if this changes anything, as the terminal is still locked up.

Any further ideas?
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jlevie earned 100 total points
ID: 12125793
After you killed the bash process on tty1 the system fired off a getty to look for a log in on that port. So as far as the system is concerned the port is ready for use. Since that tty is still hung there's something else locking it up. Other than some wierd video problem all that I can think of is that perhaps you hit Ctrl-S during the logout. That's an XOFF and would block further output to the port. Hitting CTRL-Q should clear that and release the port if that's the problem.
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Author Comment

by:scronkey
ID: 12129269
Hi, thanks for your further investigation.

I have found the problem, similar to your suggestion here.
I would just like to confirm something for my own knowledge.

I tried hitting ctrl-q, to no avail. I tried ctrl-s & ctrl-q a few more times with no change.
Then I saw that scroll lock was on (d'uh) and this fixed it. (Thank you for helping out, even with such an embarrasing solution!)

What I would like to know is if scroll lock is simply toggling XON & XOFF?
I tested it on a functioning terminal (that had info scrolling in it) and ctrl-s AND scroll lock stop the scrolling. And ctrl-q started it again, as does scroll-lock.

So why, after hitting logout (then accidently hitting ctrl-s) does  ctrl-q not work? Is it because the short-cut keys are no longer available?

I'm probably confusing myself more here, but this is the first time I've ever seen what scroll lock does/can do.

Thanks for anyadditional info
-Scronkey
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Expert Comment

by:jlevie
ID: 12129358
> What I would like to know is if scroll lock is simply toggling XON & XOFF?

In most cases they are equivalent.
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