Unable to start SSH: /dev/null is not a character device

The “/dev/null is not a character device” message occurs in a VPS when an upgrade is performed and the /dev/null turns into a regular file.

# /etc/init.d/sshd restart
Restarting Secure Shell server: sshd failed!
/dev/null is not a character device!.

The /dev/null should be a character device as per the Linux standards. To fix the issue, remove the file

# rm -f /dev/null

Create the character device

# mknod /dev/null c 1 3

The file should look like follows:

# ls -la /dev/null
crw-rw-rw- 1 root root 1, 3 Oct  1 11:42 /dev/null

Now restart the sshd service

# /etc/init.d/sshd restart
Stopping sshd:              [  OK  ]
Starting sshd:              [  OK  ]
This entry was posted on Thursday, October 6th, 2011 and is filed under VPS Management. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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