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

On Wed, 11 Aug 2010 22:43 +0200, "Daniel Carrera" <>
> Hello,
> 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:
> --------%<--------
> # 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?

Well, when booting into single-user the disks are mounted read-only by
default.  My first steps in single-user mode are usually:

fsck -p            # to check disks for errors and then mark them clean
mount -u -w / # to remount / read-write
mount -a        # if you have other partitions in /etc/fstab that should
be mounted

I've never run inside a VM, so I don't know if that changes anything.

Ian Leroux

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