Solaris / Unix error messages are very short and often we need some more information about the origin of an error and a possible steps to fix the issues.
Here is a list of Solaris / Unix error messages for your reference, most of the error messages are generic Unix error messages but many are specific Solaris Error Messages. Please comment if you can provide some more details about these errors.
This is a multi part document , this part covers error messages starting from A to D
1. A command window has exited because its child exited.
2. admintool: Received communication service error 4
3. answer book: XViewerror: NULL pointer passed to xv_set
4. Arg list too long
5. Argument out of domain
6. Arguments too long
7. assertion failed: variable, file variable, line N
8. automountd[N]: No network locking on variable: contact admin to install server change
9. automountd[N]: server variable not responding
10.automount[N]: variable: Not a directory
11. Bad address
12. BAD/DUP FILE I=i OWNER=o MODE=m SIZE=s MTIME=t
13. Bad file number
14. N BAD I=N
15. bad module/chip at: variable
16. BAD SUPER BLOCK: variable
17. BAD TRAP
18. bad trap = N
19. /bin/sh: variable: too big
20. Block device required
22. Broadcast Message from root (pts/N) on server [date]
23. Broken pipe
24. Bus Error
25. Cannot allocate color map entry for “variable”
26. Can’t create public message device (Device busy)
27. Can’t invoke /etc/init, error N
28. can’t synchronize with hayes
29. cd: Too many arguments
30. Channel number out of range
31. chmod: ERROR: invalid mode
32. Command not found
33. Connection closed.
34. Connection closed by foreign host.
35. [Connection closed. Exiting]
36. Connection refused
37. Connection timed out
38. console login: ^J^M^Q^K^K^P
39. core dumped
40. Could not initialize tooltalk (tt_open): TT_ERR_NOMP
41. Could not start new viewer
42. cpio: Bad magic number/header.
43. Cross-device link
44. data access exception
45. Data fault
46. Deadlock situation detected/avoided
47. Device busy
48. /dev/rdsk/variable: CAN’T CHECK FILE SYSTEM.
49. /dev/rdsk/variable: UNEXPECTED INCONSISTENCY; RUN fsck MANUALLY.
50. Directory not empty
51. Disc quota exceeded
52. dumptm: Cannot open `/dev/rmt/variable’: Device busy
53. DUP/BAD I=i OWNER=o MODE=m SIZE=s MTIME=t FILE=f REMOVE?
54. N DUP I=N
The argument to a cmdtool(1) or a shelltool(1) window looks like
it is supposed to be a command, but the system cannot find the
To run this command inside a cmdtool or a shelltool, make sure
the command is spelled correctly and is in your search path (if
necessary, use a full path name). If you intended this argument
as an option setting, use a minus sign (-) at the beginning of
Both the cmdtool and the shelltool are OpenWindows terminal
AdminTool could not start a display method because a remote
procedure call timed out, so it can’t send the request. This
error results when admintool tries to access the NIS or NIS+
tables when networking is not enabled.
Verify the system network status with ifconfig -a to make sure
the system is connected to the network. Make sure the ethernet
cable is connected and the system is configured to run NIS or
The AnswerBook navigator window comes up, but the document viewer
window does not. This message appears on the console, and the
message “Could not start new viewer” appears in the navigator
window. This situation indicates that you have an unknown client
or a problem with the network naming service.
Run the ypmatch(1) or nismatch(1) command o determine if the
client hostname is in the hosts map. If it isn’t, add it to to
NIS hosts map on the NIS master server. Then make sure the
/etc/hosts file on the client contains an IP address and entry
for that hostname followed by loghost (reboot if you changed the
/etc/hosts file). Check that the ypmatch or nismatch client hosts
command returns the same IP host address as in the /etc/hosts
file. Finally, quit all existing AnswerBooks and restart.
For more information on the NIS hosts map, see the section on the
default search criteria in the NIS+ and FNS Administration Guide.
If you are using the AnswerBook, “NIS hosts map” is a good search
The system could not handle the number of arguments given to a
command or program when it combined those arguments with the
environment’s exported shell variables. The argument list limit
is the size of the argument list plus the size of the
environment’s exported shell variables.
The easiest solution is to reduce the size of the parent process
environment by unsetting extraneous environment variables. (See
the man page for the shell you’re using to find out how to list
and change your environment variables.) Then run the program
An argument list longer than ARG_MAX bytes was presented to a
member of the exec() family of system calls.
The symbolic name for this error is E2BIG, errno=7.
This is a programming error or a data input error.
Ask the program’s author to fix this condition,or supply data in
a different format.
This indicates an attempt to evaluate a mathematical programming
function at a point where its value is not defined. The argument
of a programming function in the math package (3M) is out of the
domain of the function. This could happen when taking the square
root, power, or log of a negative number, when computing a power
to a non-integer, or when passing an out-of-range argument to a
hyperbolic programming function.
To help pinpoint a program’s math errors, use the matherr(3M)
The symbolic name for this error is EDOM, errno=33.
This C shell error message indicates that there are too many
arguments after a command. For example, this can happen by
invoking rm * in a huge directory. The C shell cannot handle more
than 1706 arguments.
Temporarily start a Bourne shell with sh and run the command
again. The Bourne shell dynamically allocates command line
arguments. Return to your original shell by typing exit.
A condition in the program that was never expected to happen has
Contact the vendor or author of the program to ask why it failed.
If you have the source code for the program, you can look at the
file and line number where the assertion failed. This might give
you an idea of how to run the program differently.
This message results from a diagnostic macro called assert() that
a programmer inserted into the specified line of a source file.
The expression that evaluated untrue precedes the file name and
See “WARNING: No network locking on variable: contact admin to
install server” message for details. If the server is not
changed, data loss is possible in applications that depend on
This automounter message indicates that the system tried to mount
a filesystem from an NFS server that is either down or extremely
slow to respond. In some cases this message indicates that the
network link to the NFS server is broken, although that condition
produces other error messages as well.
If you are the system administrator responsible for the non-
responding NFS server, check it out to see whether the machine
needs repair or rebooting. Encourage your user community to
report such problems quickly but only once. When the NFS server
is back in operation, the automounter will be able to access the
requested file system.
The file specified after the first colon is not a valid mount
point because it is not a directory.
Ensure that the mount point is a directory, and not a regular
file or a symbolic link.
The system encountered a hardware fault in attempting to access a
parameter of a programming function.
Check if the bad address resulted from supplying the wrong device
or option to a command. If that is not the problem, contact the
vendor or author of the program for an update.
This error could occur any time a function that takes a pointer
argument is passed an invalid address. Because processors differ
in their ability to detect bad addresses, on some architectures
passing bad addresses can result in undefined behaviors.
The symbolic name for this error is EFAULT,errno=14.
While checking anode link counts during phase 4, fsck(1M) found a
file (or directory) that either does not exist or exists
To clear the anode of its reference to this file or directory,
answer yes. With the -p (preen) option, fsck automatically clears
bad or duplicate file references, so answering yes to this
question seldom causes a problem.
Generally this is a program error, not a usage error.
Contact the vendor or author of the program for an update.
Either a file descriptor refers to no open file, or a read (or
write) request is made to a file that is open only for writing
The symbolic name for this error is EBADF, errno=9.
Upon detecting an out-of-range block, fsck(1M) prints the bad
block number and its containing inode (after I=).
In fsck phases 2 and 4, you will decide whether ornot to clear
these bad blocks. Before committing to repair with fsck, you
could determine which file contains this inode by passing the
inode number to the ncheck(1M) command: by passing the inode
number to the ncheck(1M) command:
# ncheck -iinum file system
This message from the memory management system often appears with
parity errors, and indicates a bad memory module or chip at the
position listed. Data loss is possible if the problem occurs
other than at boot time.
Replace the memory module or chip at the indicated position.
Refer to the vendor’s hardware manual for help finding this
This message from fsck(1M) indicates that a filesystem’s super-
block is damaged beyond repair and must be replaced. At boot time
(with the -p option) this message is prefaced by the file system’s
device name. After this message comes the actual damage
recognized (see Action). Unfortunately fsck does not print the
number of the damaged super-block.
The most common cause of this error is overlapping disk
partitions. Donot immediately rerun fsck as suggested by the
lines that display after the error message. First make sure that
you have a recent backup of the file system involved; if not, try
to back up the file system now using ufsdump(1M). Then run the
format(1M) command, select the disk involved, and print out the
# format : N > partition > print
Note whether the overlap occurs at the beginning or end of the
file system involved. Then run newfs(1M) with the -N option to
print out the file system parameters, including the location of
# newfs -N /dev/dsk/device
Select a super-block from a non-overlapping area of the disk, but
note that in most cases you have only one chance to select the
proper replacement super-block, which fsck soon propagates to all
the cylinders. If you select the wrong replacement super-block,
data corruption will probably occur, and you will have to restore
from backup tapes. After you select a new super-block, provide
fsck with the new master super-block number:
# fsck -o b=NNNN /dev/dsk/device
Specific reasons for a damaged super-block include: a wrong magic
number, out of range NCG (number of cylinder groups) or CPG
(cylinders per group), the wrong number of cylinders, a
preposterously large super-block size, and trashed values in
super-block. These reasons are generally not meaningful because a
corrupt super-block is usually extremely corrupt.
A bad trap can indicate faulty hardware or a mismatch between
hardware and its configuration information. Data loss is possible
if the problem occurs other than at boot time.
If you recently installed new hardware, verify that the software
was correctly configured. Check the kernel trace back displayed on
the console to see which device generated the trap. If the
configuration files are correct, you will probably have to
replace the device.
In some cases, the bad trap message indicates a bad or down-rev
A hardware processor trap occurred, and the kernel trap handler
was unable to restore system state. This is a fatal error that
usually precedes a panic, after which the system performs a sync,
dump, and reboot. The following conditions can cause a bad trap:
a system text or data access fault, a system data alignment error,
or certain kinds of user software traps.
This Bourne shell message indicates a classic “no memory” error.
While trying to load the program specified after thefirstcolon,
the shell noticed that the system ran out of virtual memory (swap
See the message “Not enough space” for information on
reconfiguring your system to add more swap space.
A raw (character special) device was specified where a block
device was required, such as during a call to the mount(1M)
To see which block devices are available, use ls -l to look in
/devices. Then specify a block device instead of a character
device. Block device modes start with a b, whereas raw character
device modes start with a c.
The symbolic name for this error is ENOTBLK, errno=15.
This message alwaysappears at the beginning of rebooting. If
there is a problem, the system hangs, and no other messages
appear. This condition is caused by conflicting SCSI targets for
the boot device, which is almost always target 3.
The boot device is usually the machine’s internal disk drive,
target 3. Make sure that external and secondary disk drives are
targeted to 1, 2, or 0, and do not conflict with each other. Also
make sure that tape drives are targeted to 4 or 5, and CD drives
to 6, avoiding any conflict with each other or with the disk
drives. You can set a device’s target number using pushbutton
switches or a dial on the back near the SCSI cables. If the
targeting of the internal disk drive is in question, check it by
powering off the machine, removing all external drives, turning
the power on, and running the probe-scsi-all or probe-scsi
command from the PROM monitor.
This message from the wall(1M) command gets transmitted to all
users logged into a system. You could see it during a rlogin or
telnet session, or on terminals connected to a timesharing
Carefully read the broadcast message. Often this broadcast is
followed by a shutdown warning.
See the message “The system will be shut down in N minutes” for
details about system shutdown.
For more information on bringing down the system, see the section
on halting the system in the System Administration Guide, Volume
I. If you are using the AnswerBook, “halting the system” is a
good search string.
This condition is often normal, and the message is merely
informational (as when piping many lines to the head program).
The condition occurs when a write on a pipe does not find a
reading process. This usually generates a signal to the executing
program, but this message displays when the program ignores the
Check the process at the end of the pipe to see why it exited.
The symbolic name for this error is EPIPE, errno=32.
A process has received a signal indicating that it attempted to
perform I/O to a device that is restricted or that does not
exist. This message is usually accompanied by a core dump, except
on read-only filesystems.
Use a debugger to examine the core file and determine what
program fault or system problem led to the bus error. If
possible, check the program’s output files for data corruption
that might have occurred before the bus error.
Bus errors can result from either programming error or device
corruption on your system. Some common causes of bus errors are:
invalid file descriptors, unreasonable I/O requests, bad memory
allocation, misaligned data structures, compiler bugs, and
corrupt boot blocks.
This message from libXt (X Intrinsics library) indicates that the
system color map was full even before the color name specified in
quotes was requested. Some applications can continue after this
message. Other applications, such as Workspace Properties Color,
fail to come up when the color map is full.
Exit the programs that make heavy use of the color map, then
restart the failed application and try again.
This message comes from the lp print scheduler, indicating that
it is either extremely busy or hung.
If print jobs are coming out of the printer in question, wait
until they are finished and then resubmit this print job. If you
see this message again, the lp system is probably hung.
See the message “lp hang” for a procedure to clear the queue.
If lp is unable to create a device for printer messages, the
message FIFO could be already in use, or locked by another print
This message can appear while a system is booting, indicating
that the init program is missing or corrupted. Note that
/etc/init is a symbolic link to /sbin/init.
Boot the miniroot so you can replace init. Halt the machine by
typing Stop-A or by pressing the reset button. Reboot single-user
from CDROM, the net, or diskette. For example, type boot cdrom -s
at the ok prompt to boot from CDROM. After the system comes up
and gives you a # prompt, mount the device corresponding to the
original / partition somewhere, with a command similar to the
mount command below. Then copy the init program from the miniroot
to the original / partition, and reboot the system.
# mount /dev/dsk/c0t3d0s0 /mnt # cp /sbin/init /mnt/sbin/init #
If this doesn’t work, other files might be corrupted, and you
might need to reinstall the entire system.
The error number is 2 if /sbin/init is missing, or 8 if
/sbin/init has an incorrect executable format. This is usually
followed by a “panic:icode” message. The system tries to reboot
itself, but goes into a loop, because rebooting is impossible
This message sometimes appears when using a modem that the system
regards as a “Hayes” type modem, which includes most modems
manufactured today. The message can be caused by incorrect switch
settings, by poor cable connections, or by not turning the modem
Check that the modem is on and that the cables between the modem
and your system are securely connected. Check the internal and
external modem switch settings. Turn the modem off and then on
again, if necessary.
The C shell’s cd(1) command takes only one argument. Either more
than one directory was specified, or a directory name containing
a space was specified. Directory names with spaces are easy to
create with File Manager.
Use only one directory name. To change to a directory whose name
contains spaces, enclose the directory name in double (“) or
single (‘) quotes, or use File Manager.
The system has run out of stream devices. This error results when
a stream head attempts to open a minor device that does not exist
or that is currently in use.
Check that the stream device in question exists and was created
with an appropriate number of minor devices. Make sure that the
hardware corresponds to this configuration. If the stream device
configuration is correct, try again later when more system
resources might be available.
The symbolic name for this error is ECHRNG, errno=37.
This message from the chmod(1) command indicates a problem in the
first non-option argument.
If you are specifying a numeric file mode, you can provide any
number of digits (although only the final one to four are
considered), but all digits must be between 0 and 7. If you are
specifying a symbolic file mode, use the syntax provided in the
chmod usage message to avoid the “invalid mode” error message:
Usage: chmod [ugoa][+-=][rwxlstugo] file …
Note that some combinations of symbolic keyletters produce no
error message but fail to have any effect. The first group,
[ugoa], is truly optional. The second group, [+-=], is mandatory
for chmod to have an effect. The third group,[rwxlstugo], is
also mandatory for effect, and can be used in combination when
that combination does not conflict.
The C shell could not find the program you gave as a command.
Check the form and spelling of the command line. If that looks
correct, echo $path to see if the user’s search path is correct.
When communications are garbled, it is possible to unset a search
path to such an extent that only built-in shell commands are
available. Here is a command to reset a basic search path:
% set path = (/usr/bin /usr/ccs/bin /usr/openwin/bin .)
If the search path looks correct, check the directory contents
along the search path to see if programs are missing or if
directories are not mounted.
This message can appear when using rlogin(1) to another system if
the remote host cannot create a process for this user, if the
user takes too long to type the correct password, if the user
interrupts the network connection, or if the remote host goes
down. Data loss is possible if files were modified and not saved
before the connection closed.
Just try again. If the other system has gone down, wait for it to
When a user telnets to another system, this message can appear if
the user takes too long to type the correct password, if the
remote host cannot create a login for this user,or if the remote
host goes down or terminates the connection. Data loss is
possible if files were modified and not saved before the
Just try again. If the other system has gone down, wait for it to
After using the talk(1) command to communicate with another user,
the other person enters an interrupt (usually Control-c), and
this message appears on your screen.
Sending an interrupt like this is the usual way of exiting the
talk program. The talk session is over and you can return to your
No connection could be made because the target machine actively
refused it. This happens either when trying to connect to an
inactive service or when a service process is not present at the
Activate the service on the target machine, or start it up again
if it has disappeared. If for security reasons you do not intend
to provide this service, inform the user community, possibly
suggesting an alternative.
The symbolic name for this error is ECONNREFUSED, errno=146.
This occurs either when the destination host is down or when
problems in the network cause lost transmission.
First check the operation of the host system, for example by
using ping(1M) and ftp (1), then repair or reboot as necessary.
If that doesn’t solve the problem, check the network cabling and
No connection was established in a specified time. A connect or
send request failed because the destination host did not properly
respond after a reasonable interval. (The timeout period is
dependent on the communication protocol.)
The symbolic name for this error is ETIMEDOUT, errno=145.
This usually occurs because OpenWindows exited abnormally,
leaving the system’s keyboard in the wrong mode. The characters
that appear when someone attempts to login are garbage
transliterations of what someone types.
Find another machine and remote login to this system, then run
$ /usr/openwin/bin/kbd_mode -a
This puts the console back into ASCII mode. Note that kbd_mode is
not a windows program, it just fixes the console mode.
The usual reason for this problem occurring is an automated
script run from cron that clears out the /tmp directory every so
often. Ensure that any such scripts do not remove the /tmp/.X11-
pipe or /tmp/.X11-unix directories, or any files therein.
A core file contains an image of memory at the point of software
failure, and is used by programmers to find the reason for the
To see which program produced a core file, run either the file(1)
command or the adb (1) command. The following examples show the
output of the file and adb commands on a core file from the
$ file core core: ELF 32-bit MSB core file SPARC Version 1, from
$ adb core core file = core — program `dtmail’ SIGSEGV 11:
segmentation violation ^D (use Control-d to quit
Ask the vendor or author of this program for a debugged version.
Some signals, such as SIGQUIT, SIGBUS, and SIGSEGV, produce a
core dump. See the signal(5) man page for a complete list.
If youhave the source code for the program, you can try
compiling it with cc -g, and debugging it yourself using dbx or a
similar debugger. The where directive of dbx provides a stack
On mixed networks, it can be difficult to discern which machine
architecture produced a particular core dump, since adb on one
type of system generally cannot read a core file from another
type of system, and will produce an “unrecognized file” message.
Run adb on various machine architectures until you find the right
The term “core” is archaic– ferrite core memory was supplanted
by silicon RAM in the 1970s, although spaceships still employ
core memory for its imperviousness to radiation.
Various desktop tools display or print this message when the
ttsession(1) process is not available. The TookTalk service
generally tries to restart ttsession if it is not running. So
this error indicates that the ToolTalk service is either not
installed or is not installed correctly.
Verify that the ttsession command exists in /usr/openwin/bin or
/usr/dt/bin. If this command is not present, ToolTalk is not
installed correctly. The packages constituting ToolTalk are the
runtime SUNWtltk, developer support SUNWtltkd, and themanual
pages SUNWtltkm. CDE ToolTalk packages have the same names with
The full TT_ERR_NOMP message string reads as follows: “No
ttsession is running, probably because tt_open() has not been
called yet. If this is returned from tt_open() it means ttsession
could not be started, which generally means ToolTalk is not
installed on the system.”
This message appears in the AnswerBook navigator window, along
with an XView error messageon the console.
See the message “answerbook: XView error: NULL pointer passed to
xv_set” for details.
A cpio(1) archive has either become corrupted or was written out
with an incompatible version of cpio.
Use the -k option to cpio to skip I/O errors and corrupted file
headers. This might permit you to extract other files from the
cpio archive. To extract files with corrupted headers, try
editing the archive with a binary editor such as emacs. Each cpio
file header contains a filename as a string.
An attempt was made to make a hard link to a file on another
device, such as on another file system.
Establish a symbolic link using ln -s instead. Symbolic links are
permitted across file system boundaries.
The symbolic name for this error is EXDEV, errno=18.
This message can result from running an old version of the
operating system that does not support new hardware, or by
running an operating system that is not configured for new
hardware. It can also result from incorrectly installed DSIMMs or
from a disk problem.
Upgrade your operating system to a version that supports the new
hardware or machine architecture. For example, upgrading a
SPARCstation 2 (with sun4c kernel architecture) to a SPARCstation
20 (with sun4m kernel architecture) requires an operating system
upgrade or reconfiguration.
This is a kind of bad trap that usually causes a system panic.
When this message appears after a bad trap message, a system text
or data access fault probably occurred.¤ In the absence of a bad
trap message, this message might indicate a user text or data
access fault. Data loss is possible if the problem occurs other
than at boot time.
Make sure the machine can reboot, then check the log file
/var/adm/messages for hints about what went wrong.
¤ See the message “BAD TRAP” for more information.
A programming deadlock situation was detected and avoided.
If the system had not detected and avoided a deadlock, a piece of
software would have hung. Run the program again. The deadlock
might not reoccur.
This error usually relates to file and record locking, but can
also apply to mutexes, semaphores, condition variables, and
The symbolic name for this error is EDEADLK, errno=45.
An attempt was made to mount a device that was already mounted or
to unmount a device containing an active file (such as an open
file, a current directory, a mount point, or a running program).
This message also occurs when trying to enable accounting that is
To unmount a device containing active processes, close all the
files under that mount point, quit any programs started from
there, and change directories out of that hierarchy. Then try to
Mutexes, semaphores, condition variables, and read/write locks
set this error condition to indicate that a lock is held.
The symbolic name for this error is EBUSY, errno=16.
The system cannot automatically clean (preen) this file system
because it appears to be set up incorrectly or is having hard
disk problems. This message asks that you run fsck(1M) manually,
since data corruption might already have occurred.
Run fsck to clean the file system in question. See the message
“/dev/rdsk/N: UNEXPECTED INCONSISTENCY; RUN fsck MANUALLY” for
At boot time the /etc/rcS script runs the fsck(1M) command to
check the integrity of file systems marked “fsck” in /etc/vfstab.
If fsck cannot repair a file system automatically, it interrupts
the boot procedure and produces this message. When fsck gets into
this state, it cannot repair a file system without losing one or
more files, so it wants to defer this responsibility to you, the
administrator. Data corruption has probably already occurred.
First run sack -n on the file system, to see how many and what
type of problems exist. Then run fsck again to repair the
file system. If you have a recent backup of the file system, you
can generally answer “y” to all the fsck questions. It’s a good
idea to keep a record of all problematic files and inode numbers
for later reference. To run fsck yourself, specify options as
recommended by the boot script. For example:
# fsck /dev/rdsk/c0t4d0s0
Usually the files lost during fsck repair are these that were
created just before a crash or power outage, and they cannot be
recovered. If you lose important files, you can recover them from
If you don’t have a backup, ask an expert to run fsck for you.
The directory operation that was attempted, such as directory
removal with rmdir, can be performed only on an empty directory.
To remove the directory, first remove all the files that it
contains. A quick way to remove a non-empty directory hierarchy
is with the rm -r command.
The symbolic name for this error is ENOTEMPTY, errno=93.
The user’sdisk limit has been exceeded on a user filesystem,
usually because a file was just created or enlarged beyond the
limit. This almost always refers to a magnetic disk, and not to
an optical disc. Any data created after this condition occurs
will be lost.
The user can delete files to bring disk usage under the limit, or
the server administrator can use the edquota(1M) command to
increase the user’s disk limit.
The symbolic name for this error is EDQUOT, errno=49.
During file system backup, the dump program cannot open the tape
drive because some other process is holding it open.
Find the process that has the tape drive open, and either kill(1)
the process or wait for it to finish.
# ps -ef | grep /dev/rmt # kill -9 processID
During phase 1, fsck(1M) found duplicate blocks or bad blocks
associated with the file or directory specified after FILE= whose
inode number appears after I= (with other information).
To remove this file or directory, answer yes. If you end up
removing more than a few files in this manner, data loss will
result, so it might be preferable to restore the filesystem from
Upon detecting a block that is already claimed by another inode,
fsck(1M) prints the duplicate block number and its containing
inode (after I=).
In fsck phases 2 and 4, you will decide whether or not to clear
these bad blocks. Before committing to repair with fsck, you
could determine which file contains this inode by passing the
inode number to the ncheck(1M) command:
# ncheck -iinum filesystem