inittab is so 1980s

“Hey Bob, what do you know about Fedora?”

“Plenty. It’s basically just like the Red Hat we use. What can I help you with?”

“My PC won’t boot anymore. I upgraded to Fedora Core 5 and then I did some cleanup. Now it’s messed up. Before I rebooted I couldn’t run anything but FTP.” Ah yes, “cleanup.” There are too many files in /etc, I’ll just delete some. Oh, and why would you upgrade to Fedora Core 5, when 6 is available?

“Tell me about this cleanup.”

“I used RPM to do it. This is what I removed.” He hands me eight printed pages of package names.

“Um, dude, why did you remove things like SysVinit, bash, and the kernel? Or, better yet, how? There are checks to make sure you can’t remove dependencies.”

“Oh, I used a bunch of flags for RPM. It wasn’t letting me do what I wanted.” You apparently stumbled across –nodeps.

“No doubt — there’s a reason it was objecting, by the way. It has something to do with the current state of your machine.”

“Oh. Um, so, can you help me fix this?”

“Sure. First, let me burn you the Fedora Core 6 DVD. Then the option you want is ‘Clean Install'”.

“Oh, I can’t just upgrade again?”

“You can’t upgrade packages that aren’t installed anymore. It’d be quicker to just rebuild it.”

During the DVD burn he asks, “How do you know so much about Linux?”

“How many machines do you think I’ve killed doing exactly what you did?”


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