189 Funny UNIX Error Messages

I was searching around and I’ve compiled a list of *nix errors found on an old newsgroup archive, reformatted for your reading pleasure.

Which one is your favorite?

  1. “Values of B will give rise to dom.”
  2. FATAL system error #nnnn CAUSE: We should never get here!
  3. OHHHH…. I give up Core dumped
  4. COMPILER UNABLE TO ABORT
  5. AN ATTEMPT WAS MADE TO WRITE BEYOND THE MAXIMUM ASSIGNED SPACE FOR A MASS STORAGE FILE. AN ATTEMPT WAS MADE TO EXPAND A MASS STORAGE FILE BEYOND THE MAXIMUM ASSIGNED SPACE. A READ FUNCTION FOR A MASS STORAGE FILE SPECIFIED AN ADDRESS (WORD 5 OF THE I/O PACKET) THAT IS BEYOND THE MAXIMUM ASSIGNED SPACE. A READ OR WRITE FUNCTION FOR A WORD-ADDRESSABLE MASS STORAG FILE SPECIFIED A MASS STORAGE ADDRESS (WORD 5 OF THE I/O PACKET) AND A TOTAL DATA COUNT. WHEN THE MASS STORAGE ADDRESS IS ADDED TO THE TOTAL DATA COUNT, THE RESULTING ENDING MASS STORAGE ADDRESS IS GREATER THAN 2*/35-1. A READ OR WRITE FUNCTION FOR A SECTOR-FORMATTED MASS STORAGE FILE SPECIFIED A MASS STORAGE ADDRESS (WORD 5 OF THE I/O PACKET) THAT IS GREATER THAN 2*/30-1. ADI ONLY: REFERENCE ATTEMPTED BEYOND THE ASSIGNED FILE WHEN THE FILE IS CONFIGURED AS A FH-432 OR FH-1782 DRUM.
  6. ERROR: A really big FUCK UP has been detected !!
  7. Momentaraly writing while seeking..
    Constantly writing while seeking..
    Momentaraly writing while reading..
  8. initstate: not enough state (%d bytes) with which to do jack; ignored.
  9. “Keyboard not present, press any key”
  10. “You lied to me when you told me this was a program”
  11. “PROGRAMMER GOOFED . . . YOU SHOULD NEVER SEE THIS MESSAGE”
  12. YOU CAN’T DO THAT!
  13. Man the Lifeboats! Women and children first!
  14. $ make :== $ sys$system:teco32 make
    $ make love
    Not war?
  15. That makes 100 errors; please try again.
  16. You can now delete more, or insert, or whatever.
  17. Sorry, I don’t know how to help in this situation.
  18. Maybe you should try asking a human?
  19. Sorry, I already gave what help I could…
  20. An error might have occurred before I noticed any problems.
  21. If all else fails, read the instructions.
  22. This can’t happen.
  23. I’m broken. Please show this to someone who can fix can fix
  24. I can’t go on meeting you like this.
  25. One of your faux pas seems to have wounded me deeply.. in fact, I’m barely conscious. Please fix it and try again.
  26. Interruption
  27. You rang?
  28. IMPOSSIBLE.
  29. NONEXISTENT.
  30. ETC.
  31. BAD.
  32. A funny symbol that I can’t read has just been input.  Continue, and I’ll forget that it ever happened.
  33. I suspect you’ve forgotten a `}’, causing me to apply this control sequence to too much text. How can we recover? My plan is to forget the whole thing and hope for the best.
  34. I dddon’t go any higher than filll.
  35. Dimensions can be in units of em, ex, in, pt, pc, cm, mm, dd, cc, bp, or sp; but yours is a new one!
  36. Something Rotten in Denmark, Interp Stack Not ALigned
  37. <Assorted DEC ID fruitcake> ILLEGAL ERROR
  38. bad magic number
  39. “very funny”
  40. “Unexpected ‘;’, expecting ‘;’”
  41. You can’t do that in horizontal mode.
  42. “COMPILER THWARTED”
  43. “Keyboard error or no keyboard present. Press F1 to continue.”
  44. “Argument is bletchful.”
  45. “Guru Meditation”
  46. “lint’s little mind is blown.”
  47. “Hot Damn! You need more ram!”
  48. String literal too long (I let you have 512 characters, that’s 3 more than ANSI said I should)
  49. And the lord said, ‘lo, there shall only be case or default labels inside a switch statement’a typedef name was a complete surprise to me at this point in your program
  50. You can’t modify a constant, float upstream, win an argument with the IRS, or satisfy this compiler
  51. This struct already has a perfectly good definitiontype in (cast) must be scalar; ANSI 3.3.4; page 39, lines 10-11 (I know you
    don’t care, I’m just trying to annoy you)
  52. Can’t cast a void type to type void (because the ANSI spec. says so, that’s why)
  53. Huh ?
  54. can’t go mucking with a ‘void *’
  55. we already did this function
  56. This label is the target of a goto from outside of the block containing this label AND this block has an automatic variable with an initializer AND your window wasn’t wide enough to read this whole error message
  57. Call me paranoid but finding ‘/*’ inside this comment makes me suspicious
  58. Symbol table full – fatal heap error; please go buy a RAM upgrade from your local Apple dealer
  59. “It seem you are trying to check the output from a word-processor. Not only does this not make sense, but you would probably damage the file
  60. if you tried so I am not going to let you do this!”
  61. It looks like the active file is messed up. Contact your news administrator and leave the “bogus” groups alone, and they may come back to normal. Maybe.
  62. Attention K-Mart shoppers: Blue Light special in out SYSTEM UTILITIES department. for the next 10 days we will be taking requests for the utilities that you think should be here. Thank you again for shopping K-Mart.
  63. “Things are not looking good!”
  64. “I didn’t think this set of error conditions could ever happen”
  65. “Now deleting all files. Goodbye”
  66. “file has bad magic.”
  67. “Hi Linda! We wondered how long it would take, for you to mess up this bad.”
  68. “The running master will not die…”
  69. “Shut ‘er down, Clancy, she’s a-pumpin’ mud!”
  70. An error has occured on the error logging device.
  71. “Out of order”
  72. “Hey are you talking to me? Try again!”
  73. “Invalid command. Feel ashamed for yourself and try again.”
  74. “Of all the commands available you picked the wrong one!”
  75. “Shut her down, Scotty, she’s sucking mud again!”
  76. ERROR 1164 HOW IN THE HELL DID YOU GET HERE
  77. WARNING: FILE GENERATED THE FILE WHICH WAS SPECIFIED AS THE ‘COPY TO’ OR DESTINATION FILE WAS NOT THERE AND WAS THEREFORE GENERATED BY JOBCONTROL. IF YOU DID NOT MEAN TO COPY TO A NEW FILE ELIMINATE THE FILE.
  78. NO ACCESS FOR $TOAD SERVICE A USER PROGRAM MADE A CALL TO A $TOAD SERVICE AND THE USER DOES NOT HAVE THE PROPER ACCESS TO BIT TO USE THAT SERVICE. ACCESS RESTRICTIONS ARE PLACED ON THE $TOADS SERVICES IN GENERAL, AND $CPRIOR, $PABORT, AND $SUSP FOR INDIVIDUAL RESTRICTIONS. JOBCNTRL ER 2167 : NO ACCESS TO VULCANIZE PROGRAM
  79. AN ATTEMPT HAS BEEN MADE TO VULCANIZE A REAL-TIME, MONITOR, OR NRH
    TYPE PROGRAM, OR A PROGRAM WITH HIGH ACCESS, ACCOUNTING FILE ACCESS,
    OR SUB-SYSTEM ACCESS. THE VULCANIZE REQUEST IS IGNORED BECAUSE THE
    USER DOES NOT HAVE ACCESS TO GENERATE SUCH A PROGRAM.
  80. IT’S NOT NICE TO FOOL POP!
  81. YOU JUST TRIED TO FAKE-OUT MOTHER NATURE, AND SHE CAUGHT YOU! SUPER-VULCAN NOW HAS YOUR NAME ON HIS ENEMY LIST, AND YOU CAN BE CERTAIN THAT FUTURE ATTEMPTS TO RESOURCE LFN 0,3,OR 6 WILL RESULT IN YOUR BEING ABORTED, SPINDLED, MANGLED, FOLDED, PUNCHED, DELETED, AND DEALLOCATED.
  82. PROGRAM FILE DESTROYED. THE PROGRAM HAS BEEN ABORTED DUE TO INCONSISTENCIES IN THE INFORMATION GENERATED BY THE VULCANIZER. THE DISC COPY OF THE PROGRAM MAY HAVE BEEN
    DESTROYED OR THE PROGRAM MAY NOT HAVE BEEN RE-VULCANIZED AFTER A MAJOR SYSTEM RELEASE. IN ANY CASE RE-VULCANIZE THE PROGRAM (RLIBS ALSO).
  83. minor alarm
  84. major alarm
  85. critical alarm
  86. alarm system failure alarm
  87. This application has violated system integrity and must be terminated.
  88. “You are a charlatan.”
  89. “Go away. You don’t exist.”
  90. Tsk tsk? Have I been a bad computer?
  91. line 2706 compiler error: schain botch
  92. Are you lonely?
  93. Anyone have a better memory of this than I do?
  94. ?NO ERROR
  95. I give up…. dumping core now!
  96. For heavens sake, doesn’t anyone just talk anymore?
  97. Not tonight, I’ve got a headache.
  98. I beg your pardon?
  99. Your place or mine?
  100. FORTRAN FATAL INTERNAL ERROR FATAL COMPILER DAMAGE REPORT FOLLOWS
  101. ?Invalid Character At Terminal — Please Go Away
  102. ?Unibus timeout — send in a new quarterback
  103. ?Ouch, That HURTS!
  104. You must be joking.
  105. Error: Error ocurred when attempting to print error message.
  106. Error #1: Power supply not found”
  107. ERROR 0: POWER NOT ON
  108. Break Rob’s knuckles
  109. “You can tune a filesystem, but you can’t tuna fish”
  110. $ man fish
    Don’t say “fish”, Bishop. It doesn’t mean anything.
  111. $ man overboard
    BUGS: No life raft
  112. “Oops! Error while handling error!”
  113. Can’t find wicked faraway objects.
  114. Can’t fit 27″ tape through 25″ door.
  115. “Invalid Error”.
  116. “code has no effect”
  117. “No message, no subject; hope that’s ok.”
  118. I the most critical examiner of all have determined that there is an error on line 42.
  119. Parity Error But Segment Doesn’t Found
  120. MORE CORE AVAILABLE, BUT NOT FOR YOU
  121. Shannon and Bill say this can’t happen”);
  122. PUNT
  123. ‘Weird magic happens here’.
  124. “Thou hast new mail.”
  125. Too much “sourcing” going on.
  126. Okie dokie
  127. Mail’s idea of conditions is screwed up
  128. ~h: no can do!?
  129. Too many regrets
  130. detract asked to insert commas
  131. metoo
  132. Somethings amiss — no @ or % in arpafix
  133. Made up bad net name
  134. ubluit
  135. Who are you!?
  136. ; why =
  137. “The impossible has happened!”
  138. Beam me up Scotty, there’s no life out here.
  139. “NO ERRORS DETECTED”.
  140. NO COMPILER DETECTED ERRORS.
  141. Holy Panes Batman, the window’s missing!
  142. “Holy PH, Batman, the buffer’s missing!”
  143. “Holy Vectors Batman, I can’t get more lines!”
  144. “System Error – Sureness out of Bounds”
  145. Mysterious Error -nnn
  146. Internal Error: Illegal hedge TV number. (huh?? what?!)
  147. Internal Error: BlinkThere or HiliteThere messed up.
  148. Bad External File System: Boy, is your system messed up. :)
  149. Hodie natus est radici frate
    “Today unto the root is born a brother’”
  150. Looks like mere mortals are trying to enter the Twilight Zone
  151. FATAL: Major security hack. Notify Administrator.
  152. Identity problems, eh ?
  153. Bad Craziness
  154. ’tis is no game for mere mortals
  155. Go away and get a life
  156. Death before dishonour ?
  157. Dave, don’t do that…
  158. Good afternoon, gentelman, I’m a HAL 9000 Computer
  159. Only few mortals may try to enter the Twiligth Zone
  160. Only real wizzards know the spells to open the gate of paradize
  161. Trying to unlock the door twice eh ?
  162. Use the force, Luke !
  163. Change balls, please
  164. Bad Craziness
  165. “NONE of your errors have been found”
  166. “Well, you ran into something and the game is over.”
  167. “Unused error message #xxx”
  168. “FALL DOWN GO BOOM”
  169. Data potato doo-wop doo-wop
  170. Okie dokie, core dumped.bash
  171. Puke.
  172. spurious multibus interrupt
  173. EDOTDOT!!!!
  174. Your guess is probably much better than mine.
  175. You wascal wabbit! Wandering wizards won’t win!
  176. savemail: HELP!!!!
  177. Who are you ?
  178. MAIL DELETED BECAUSE OF LACK OF DISK SPACE
  179. Can’t suspend a login shell (yet).
  180. EH?
  181. You are a charlatan, bordeaux.kpno.noao.edu
  182. “Your expression has defeated me”
  183. “Your formula has defeated me”
  184. WARNING: 54 – PROGRAM NOT RECURSIVE
  185. Help is not available for you.
  186. Masscomp C compiler:”Insane structure member list”
  187. User Error: An unknown error has occurred in an unidentified program while executing an unimplemented function at an undefined address. Correct error and resubmit.
  188. Liar, Liar! Pants on Fire!
  189. Error: Success

I think my favorite is “Man the Lifeboats! Women and children first!”There are SO many more I’ve found, this Haiku is probably best:

A file that big?
It might be very useful.
But now it is gone.

  • Dunc

    “Guru Meditation” isn’t *nix. At least, if it is, it wasn’t originally. It was the AmigaOS equivalent of the BSOD in 1.x, until the Commodore suits had it altered to “Software Failure” in 2.0. Commodore was no fun.

  • praxis22

    My favourite was always this 404: “you step in the stream but the water has moved on, this page is not found.”

  • http://www.chadwsmith.com/ Chad W Smith

    # 153 and # 164 are both “Bad Craziness” – Error reported to webmaster – please hang up and try again.

  • Michael Aronstein

    I like….
    ‘Weird magic happens here’.

    Sounds so much like what happens.

  • me

    Thanks for posting this, though I prefer the original with the full references to what particular application or operating system was responsible for the error in question — if you’ve a copy of that, it would really help provide historical context!

  • http://www.thealders.net/blogs Doug Alder

    #60 is the continuation of #59

    memory gone, dump c
    o
    r
    e

  • beu

    I remember the good old VCL.716 when told me

    All data lost … Have a nice Day!

  • Jenifer

    After reading The Truth about Linux I don’t think there is anything funny about linux or unix.

  • http://vadi-blog.com Vadim P.

    Oh hey, it’s Jennifer the troll again. Thanks for adding yet another comment to the Troll Cave!

    I wonder if you’ll ever get tired?

  • John Connely

    LOL, that is pretty funny! Good one indeed! LMAO

    JT
    http://www.FireMe.To/udi

  • TP

    Missing option: “Unholy Error – [Amen] [Repent] [Fail]“

  • Jenifer

    @ Vadim

    I don’t know jeni and I’ve never seen your page. Please stop stalking people. It’s not funny. It’s scary.

  • http://vadi-blog.com Vadim P.

    I don’t know what jeni are you talking about, but I’ve seen you promote your website in multiple places. Not stalking you – simply following latest Linux news, where you always manage to innocently slip a link to your website :)

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  • Nicholas

    Your numbering is broken on 59 and 60; they are the same error split into different numbers.

  • Mark Johnson

    tcsh% %blow
    %blow: No such job.

  • Tim

    #14 is VMS, not UNIX.

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  • http://filipinawebcamgirls.com/ RotoRooter

    My most hated error (my screens are gone?!?):

    Suddenly the Dungeon collapses!! – You die…

  • Luke

    It’s actually only 188 Messages – #60 is a continuation of #59 (check for newlines in your editor…)

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  • http://conceptjunkie.blogspot.com ConceptJunkie

    I got #89 recently from a malconfigured kerberos setup.

  • http://www.lapubell.com lapubell

    97. # Not tonight, I’ve got a headache.

    brilliant.

  • Jörgen

    After some frustrating errors at the matlab prompt:
    > fuck
    and the result was:
    > your place or mine?
    This was with an old matlab version.

  • AttackTribble

    Tim, yup, #14 is indeed VMS. In fact, so is #57 but since it’s DEC C so it’s shared with DEC Unix.

    I always liked the VAX BASIC compiler’s “Program lost, sorry.” Unfortunately it went away somewhere in the late 90s.

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  • Noam Samuel

    What? No “printer is on fire”?

    Also, “Error: Success” is pretty common. It comes from functions in C that don’t set errno when they fail.

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  • word_virus

    Two of my favorites I didn’t see on the list:

    “Treason Uncloaked!” when a remote host shrinks their TCP reply window

    and a comment I remeber seeing in some program’s error checking routine:

    OH MY GOD BEAR IS DRIVING CAR!

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    sorry vista<osx<blackbox<solaris<os2<every linux distro

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  • http://filipinacamgirl.com Jason

    Error: Your sex-drive has crashed

  • http://www.m4r-converter.biz m4r converter

    VMS, or UNIX.what an earth it is?

  • http://www.thepoint.com/users/andy-may956/profile Neta Wootton

    I enjoy reading through and I conceive this website got some really utilitarian stuff on it! .

  • Rene van Paassen

    New ones still pop up. osc is a command for the openSUSE build service. The error message is slightly sick.

    > osc pull
    osc pull makes only sense with a detached head, did you mean osc up?

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  • PeteC

    One from me: ….. Does Creator wish to sterilize biological unit?

  • http://clear.com clear

    Thank you for sharing your info. I truly appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting
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  • CJ

    copypasta’d from here: http://www.tmk.com/ftp/humor/computer-error-messages.txt
    Some of the backstories make for amusing reading.

    I think TMRC had a similar error message list at one stage, or maybe i’m just thinking of the jargon file.