What's the point of the shell choice in single user mode?

Erik Trulsson ertr1013 at student.uu.se
Sat Dec 1 05:15:34 PST 2007

On Sat, Dec 01, 2007 at 04:44:27AM +0000, John Murphy wrote:
> I've just successfully done the world and kernel upgrade from 7 beta2
> to beta3. I've always had a mergemaster phobia, but it didn't seem too
> bad this time. I thought I'd broken it after choosing /bin/tcsh as my
> shell in single user mode. It grumbled about termcap (I think) and
> then gave me a "simple shell" with a % prompt.
> fsck and mount were unknown commands and even though I could change
> directory to /usr or /home they were (apparently) empty! Scary!
> I now realise it was because they were not mounted of course.
> I'll know to always accept the suggested /bin/sh in future, but I was
> wondering if the only reason a choice of a different shell is offered
> is to scare the unwary.

On possible scenario is that /bin/sh has - somehow - been corrupted, deleted
or otherwise made unusable.  In that situation it is very nice to be able to
choose some other shell so you can at least try to fix the problem.

<Insert your favourite quote here.>
Erik Trulsson
ertr1013 at student.uu.se

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