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I have a Debian Squeeze server installment, on which I have installed Gnome (because I wanted to be able to use Remote Desktop from Windows and develop directly on the server).

This is working, however, when I try to open up a Gnome Terminal I get the following error:

There was an error creating the child process for this terminal

I have search the web for an answer, and some places, people say it becuase the user is not in the ttygroup. The user I log in with is mol. Doing an id, I get uid=1002(mol) gid=33(www-data) groups=33(www-data),5(tty),1002(mol). This user is in the tty group.

Other places on the web, people are saying it is because /dev/pts isn't mounted, as suggests that you add the following to your /etc/fstab:

none /dev/pts devpts gid=5,mode=620 0 0

This I have also added to my /etc/fstab. Running mount gives me this output:

devpts on /dev/pts type devpts (rw,nosuid,noexec)

So this device is mounted.

This is were I, and the pages I have reached in my search, run out of ideas. What do I do?

PS. Running xterm from the run applications window gives no error, but also no terminal.

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What happens when you log in on a console, set $DISPLAY appropriately and try to run gnome-terminal? – voretaq7 Jul 29 '11 at 18:06
I am not sure I fully understand what you want me to try? I log into the server, get a gnome desktop. Then I ssh to the server, set $DISPLAY to :12 in this case, and the run gnome-terminal? It gives me the same error message on the gnome desktop, but nothing more on the console. – Mads Ohm Larsen Jul 29 '11 at 20:46
Hmm, just tried this again. When running the console as root I do get a terminal up and running on the desktop. This is saying Terminal (as superuser) in the title field, and I am logged in as root in this terminal. So it is a permission problem? But where? – Mads Ohm Larsen Jul 29 '11 at 21:24
up vote 0 down vote accepted

After a lot of fiddling around, searching through a lot of other sites online, I finally managed to get the terminals working.

Seems as if MAKEDEV was missing from /dev/, and a simple ln -s /sbin/MAKEDEV /dev/MAKEDEV; /dev/MAKEDEV pts worked wonders for my system.

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