OT: userdel bug and my unemployment claim

OT: userdel bug and my unemployment claim

Post by George M Jempt » Fri, 14 Jun 2002 12:24:56

Hello all:

My *nix skills are entirely self-taught, my employer provided no training,
and their critical software crashed as a result of a command I issued on
their HP-UX box.  I have tried to replicate the crash on RedHat Linux 7.2 to
no avail.

My / file system filled up after adding a user and transferring files into
that account.  So to free up space I tried userdel with the remove flag for
that user account, figuring I'd need to move that account somewhere else.

Unfortunately, HP-UX's implementation of userdel creates copies of
/etc/group and /etc/passwd, and then after working with the copies,
overwrites the original.  /etc however, was under the / filesystem, so with
insufficient room for the copies they were created as 0 byte files, with
which the original /etc/group and /etc/passwd were overwritten.

As mentioned I tried to replicate this on Linux but apparently it's
implementation of userdel is more predictable than HP-UX's.  The day after
this unfortunate incident, my supervisor prohibited me from filing a bug
with HP, and the software project manager accused me of acting recklessly.

The next day I was out of a job.  Now my employers are appealing the initial
unemployment finding in my favor (that I lost my position through no fault
of my own).

I know this is unconventional, but I was wondering if Linux experts would
like to weigh in on this?  I have until next Wednesday to present these, and
other documents, to the unemployment board.

Thanks in advance for everybody's consideration!


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