Tips and Tricks site for advanced HP-UX Engineers

15 Jun 11 Why HP-UX root shell needs to be /sbin/sh

Thanks to Jibn Antony of the Best Buy IDC team for validating.

So who cares what the root shell is? You do if you try to boot your system into single user mode with root shell changed to a shared executable shell, you will find out the hard way. The system won’t boot.

root@dxd22hxd# ls -l /bin/ksh
-r-xr-xr-x   2 bin        bin         538632 Nov 12  2007 /bin/ksh*
root@dxd22hxd# ldd /bin/ksh =>  /usr/lib/hpux32/ =>  /usr/lib/hpux32/ =>    /usr/lib/hpux32/ =>    /usr/lib/hpux32/ =>  /usr/lib/hpux32/ =>   /usr/lib/hpux32/
root@dxd22hxd# ldd /sbin/sh
ldd: “/sbin/sh” is not a shared executable.
root@dxd22hxd# ls -l /sbin/sh
-r-xr-xr-x   1 bin        bin        1402600 Oct 23  2007 /sbin/sh*
Note that /bin/ksh requires /usr to be mounted which is not the case with single user or lv maintenance mode.

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