Cannot log in to bash

Saichovsky asked:

I was trying to install ncurses on a virtual Debian server on VMware and somehow was unsuccessful. After logging out of the console, I realized that I could not log in anymore. I cannot use tools such as scp, WinSCP or SSH client to get into the server. When I try to log in on the getty console, I get the below message and find myself at the login prompt again. In short, I’m locked out of the [virtual] server. This is a production server and therefore rebooting it would be a last resort.

I have downloaded a couple live CDs – Damn small Linux and Slitaz – which unfortunately cannot detect the VMs hard drives. Would changing the VM’s hard drive controller lead to data loss?

login as: saichovsky
saichovsky@172.16.13.7's password:
Linux myhost 2.6.32-5-amd64 #1 SMP Wed Jan 11 14:00:43 UTC 2012 x86_64

The programs included with the Debian GNU/Linux system are free software;
the exact distribution terms for each program are described in the
individual files in /usr/share/doc/*/copyright.

Debian GNU/Linux comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY, to the extent
permitted by applicable law.
Last login: Fri Nov  2 17:39:03 2012 from 192.168.3.166
-bash: error while loading shared libraries: libncurses.so.5: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

My answer:


Use a Debian live CD to rescue the system. Many specialized live CDs such as those you mentioned have kernels with only a very limited set of drivers. Since it’s a Debian system, the Debian installation media should have the necessary drivers.


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