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Problem: "The password file is busy" / Read-only file system.


After a couple of false starts, I have managed to install NetBSD on a
qemu virtual machine. Yay!

My next problem is that I cannot login. I get the generic error you'd
expect if I was typing the wrong password. I thought that was pretty
odd because I was pretty sure I had the right password. No matter,
just reboot and go back in single user mode. So I do that, and it
turns out that for some reason I cannot write to my password file:

# passwd
Changing password for root.
New Password:
Retype New Password:
The password file is busy, waiting...
The password file is still busy, try again later.
Unable to change auth token: error in service module

That seems pretty odd. So I google for this and I find the following

Summary: "it probably means that the file /etc/ptmp has not been
deleted from the system"

Ok, so I try to delete the file:

# rm /etc/ptmp
rm: /etc/ptmp: No such file or directory.

Incidentally, the doc says that this file is a temporary copy of the
/etc/master.passwd file, but I do not have an  /etc/master.passwd
either. The only thing I have is /etc/passwd which looks normal enough
to me:

# cat /etc/passwd
root:*:0:0:Charlie &:/root:/bin/sh

Well... maybe if I create a new master.passwd file, perhaps that will do it:

# touch /etc/master.passwd
touch; /etc/master.passwd: Read-only file system

Hmmm... That doesn't look good at all. Pretty hard to do anything if
your disk is read-only. But at this point I'm stumped and I don't know
what to try. Any ideas?

Intolerant people should be shot.

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