root password

Albert Cahalan acahalan at
Thu Jan 3 13:21:18 EST 2008

On Jan 3, 2008 4:06 AM, Bernardo Innocenti <bernie at> wrote:
> Albert Cahalan wrote:

> I quite like this "Press ESC twice for shell" solution.  Reminds
> of the FidoNet era, if you're old enough to know what I'm
> talking about.

Merely switching to the console should do the job.
Linux provides an ioctl, VT_WAITACTIVE, to let a
program wait for a tty to become activated.

With the SAK solution, child death will notify the
parent process. The parent can then start getty.

> >> Good point, but if we left just that in place, we'd have to
> >> ask people to use the ugly text console more often, where the
> >> keyboard works partially and there's no cut & paste.
> >
> > It's not ugly if you ship the nice 15x30 font I made.
> Where is it?  Does it include a decent amount of unicode
> glyphs?  sun12x22 has too few of these, so it doesn't even
> support many European languages.

I have about 2000 glyphs, but Linux currently can't handle
more than 256 (or 512 w/o bright backgrounds) because the
internal representation is still tied to VGA.

I thus trim my font to the regular PC character set. If the
kernel were fixed though, you could have 2000 glyphs.

The 256-glyph file is attached.

> > Cut-and-paste can be fixed, with the difficulty depending
> > on how perfect you want it. One can run gpm. This can
> > be started when a user logs in on the console. One could
> > even write something to feed that into the X clipboard and
> > back.
> Yes, theoretically.  But we don't ship gpm and we don't want
> to put much more effort on improving the console environment
> that only UNIX die hards like me and you enjoy using when we
> still have a journal that eats files and a mouse cursor that
> flashes when you render below it.

The project has failed if it doesn't create new UNIX die hards.
These will be the people who drive the future economy.
The non-nerd kids are getting toys.
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