[volunteers] Why you are careful about /dev/null operations as the root user

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Wed Dec 16 22:51:28 PST 2015

I wrote:

> You know, I _should_ have figured that part out, too, because I was
> seeing the StartTLS failures in real time as I test-processed Exim's
> queue maually -- but I didn't investigate.  Moreover, I was fixated on
> the horrificness of /dev/null being suddenly wrong that I cd'd into the
> chroot's /dev and _didn't look around_.

Just musing about the above:  The thing is, normally it'd never occur to
a Linux user that /dev might have only a single file in it, because --
normally -- such a system would fall over immediately.  Heck, it
wouldn't even boot.

list.svlug.org running in a chroot makes it a special case, where the
surrounding system furnished a fully populated /dev right up to the
chroot'ing, and then the migrated system's processes stumbled forward
with the (empty) /dev inside the chroot, creating problems for processes
but not dire enough to bring the system down.

So, I still feel a _little_ sheepish about failing to notice the
chroot's /dev being totally empty, as normally that can't happen without 
much worse consequences.

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