Connection Refused

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Bill called late in the afternoon. "I'm trying to get this new server up and running, but the old SCO 5.05 is acting up. It's really weird: people who are already logged in are fine, but I can't get any new connections".

"Can you still login and out at the console?", I asked.

"Yes, I can - and on the serial ports, too, but not on telnet connections."

"OK, what about 'telnet localhost'?"

I heard keys clicking. "Nope, connection refused."

I didn't think he was running tcp wrappers or any other "on machine" firewall, but I asked. Bill confirmed he was not.

"Try 'ftp localhost'", I suggested. More clicking, and "Nope, that doesn't work either".

"Can you ping other machines?", I asked. Yes, he could.

"Hmm. Just one more thing: try 'ps -p `cat /etc/`'"

A brief pause, and then Bill said "Nothing but the ps header".

That was unexpected, but it did solve the problem.

"Well, I know what's wrong, though we are going to have to find out why this happened".

Do you know what was wrong, and how to fix it?


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