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Okay, so I made a really stupid mistake.

I made a shell script that runs nodemon /path/to/nodejs/file and added it to the boot process via update-rc.d defaults 99, thinking I could use this to automatically start my Node.js server on boot in case/when I restart my server.

node and nodemon are commands that, when run, change the command context so that I can run Node-related commands. I can then exit out of the process by pressing Ctrl + C.

But when I boot, it's like the machine hasn't registered my I/O devices and I can't type, so I can't quit (or execute any other command). Nodemon just runs.

Is there some other way I can remove this startup command? It's farfetched, but I really screwed it up and I am not sure how to proceed.

share|improve this question
live dvd. edit/remove the file you messed up ;) – Rinzwind May 10 '14 at 18:33

Just use a live CD or USB. Boot from it, choose "Try Ubuntu" and then mount your installed system's drive. For example, if the / drive of your installed system is /dev/sda1, you would want to do

sudo mkdir /mnt/oldroot
sudo mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/oldroot

Once you have done that, you should be able to navigate to the /etc/rcX.d directories and delete the relevant links. These directories (one for each runlevel) conatin links to scripts located in /etc/init.d. So, once you've removed the links, you may as well go and remove the script that you created in the /etc/init.d directory.

Once you've done that, reboot and you should be OK.

share|improve this answer
It's Ubuntu Server, so there's no "Try Ubuntu." What should I do when I get to the main menu? I don't want to install Ubuntu Server, I'm afraid I'd wipe everything. Do I run "Rescue a broken system"? – M Miller May 10 '14 at 18:42
@MMiller you need to use a live CD. One that lets you boot into a live session. I've never installed the server edition. If that won't let you, just download a desktop ISO or, use a different Linux distribution. There's no need for it to be the same one. For example, you could try Damn Small Linux which is a 50MB image and will also allow you to fix your problem. – terdon May 10 '14 at 18:46
Thanks. I was having difficulty running DSL (something weird about how my hard drive is configured), but I managed to get into a root command line from Recovery Mode, get access to the disk, and delete the shell file. – M Miller May 10 '14 at 21:21

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