Debian Xen guests without /dev/pts – no SSH

by on Oct.25, 2008, under Linux, System Administration

I’ve been playing with Xen on a Debian host machine. I created a couple of guest machines using xen-create-image (set to use debootstrap to automatically install + configure a basic Debian install on the guest), and was unable to SSH to the guests – I got:

[davidp@masterplan ~]$ ssh -l root
root@'s password:
PTY allocation request failed on channel 0
stdin: is not a tty

I struggled with this for a while, for some reason accessing the guest’s console with xm console didn’t seem to work either.

However, I now managed to get console access to one of them using xm console domain, and found that /dev/pts wasn’t mounted – it wasn’t listed in the fstab file that had been created.

I added the following to /etc/fstab :

none /dev/pts devpts defaults 0 0

Now I can SSH to the guests. :)

4 Comments for this entry

  • bigpresh

    To expand on that a little, I found that creating /dev/pts then mounting it (as described in the post) worked, but it was gone again after the guest was rebooted, as /dev/pts no longer existed again.

    Once it was mounted again, I did an apt-get install udev, and all was well afterwards.

  • Thomas

    *LOL* I had the same problem last week… After upgrading Xen+Guests to lenny i had this problems.

    1. “xm console” was not avaliable
    Guest console stopped output after mounting partitions
    Add extra = ‘xencons=tty’ to guest config

    2. no ssh-login
    see error in the article
    Install udev package on the guest os.


    PS: Pls, post one week earlier next time ;)

  • bsn

    Thanks for the tipp. It works for CentOS as well.
    Just mount /dev/pts after adding the line
    to /etf/fstab.


  • labynocle

    you save my day ;)
    thank you for this tip !

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