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 firstname.lastname@example.org'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
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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