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Primary symptom: /proc/self/fd is there and normally populated, however /dev/fd is not. Process substitution therefore fails, because bash wants to create files under /dev/fd.

/dev/.static/ and /dev/.udev are populated. aptitude udev shows that the Debian package is installed, even though udev cannot be supported on this Xen vps (and, I believe, isn't supported by default until later stable versions of the Linux kernel).


Linux version (root@potige) (gcc version 4.1.2 20061028 (prerelease) (Debian 4.1.1-19)) #1 SMP Tue Dec 5 20:43:23 CET 2006

The Debian inst. is an up-to-date Lenny 5.0.4.


I can solve the immediate problem by symlinking from proc/self/fd to /dev/fd, and putting the appropriate script in init.d. But are there any risks arising from Debian being misinformed about what my vps can do? And if so, what should I do about it?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Most Xen HowTos I've seen (HowToForge, indicate that udev needs to be enabled at image creation by passing --role=udev to xen-create-image.

I doubt you can create an image that uses udev on a running system that doesn't support it, but it might be possible.

My best guess is that you should remove the udev package from your Lenny guest (apt-get remove udev), and let it use the old devfs. If you have packages that depend on udev, you may need to remove them and find alternatives that do not.

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Accepted: the link is spot on. I have emailed my vps provider, who understands the issue, but is in no hurry to upgrade the Xen server. – Charles Stewart Feb 24 '10 at 15:23

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