Unable to use Mosh to connect to one of my servers

August 10th, 2012 | by David |

I’ve only used Mosh: the mobile shell for a  couple of weeks, but I am definitely a convert! However, I couldn’t get mosh to connect to one of my servers (an OpenVZ instance).

The error manifested itself as the client trying to connect to the server but not getting any response:

mosh: Connecting... [To quit: Ctrl-^ .]

Today I decided to debug the issue. As the client actually was trying to connect, I tried to simply start the server:

$ mosh-server new

MOSH CONNECT 60001 rSbp4ENDdzd/TKBOrrEeVg

mosh-server (mosh 1.2.2)
Copyright 2012 Keith Winstein
License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later .
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it.
There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.

[mosh-server detached, pid = 32582]

But when I checked the process list, it wasn’t running anymore:

$ pgrep mosh-server
$

Time to add some verbose output:

$ mosh-server new -v 

MOSH CONNECT 60001 hQ5ab1JjgUytXRZmy5ti6A

mosh-server (mosh 1.2.2)
Copyright 2012 Keith Winstein
License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later .
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it.
There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.

[mosh-server detached, pid = 14208]
forkpty: No such file or directory

This must be important: forkpty: No such file or directory, but what does it mean?

Some googling showed that it meant that /dev/pts was not mounted on my system, and it was indeed not mounted:

$ mount
 /dev/simfs on / type reiserfs (rw,usrquota,grpquota)

(Yes, I’ve also wondered why my host is running ReiserFS.)

So I checked my /etc/fsab:

$ cat /etc/fstab
proc  /proc       proc    defaults    0    0
none  /dev/pts    devpts  rw          0    0

It’s there, but still not mounted? Oh well, easy fix:

sudo mount /dev/pts

After that fix, I could successfully connect to my server with mosh!

  1. One Response to “Unable to use Mosh to connect to one of my servers”

  2. By Laurence on Dec 20, 2012 | Reply

    Thank you so much! Encountered the same problem, somehow mosh-server only started on root… a verbose check turned out the same problem you described and had to mount /dev/pts

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