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Thread: 11.0 Weird password problem in gnome

  1. #1

    Default 11.0 Weird password problem in gnome

    I'm guessing this problems came with one of the recent updates but I have no idea what it might be.

    I can "su" to the root user no problem in bash. However, I can't login to root through gnome on startup, nor can I login when asked to for things like allowing updates through the gui. Basically the root user is unavailable through the gui but is accessible through the command line.

    I've had this system for over year and it just started doing this.

    Does anyone have a clue what I could do to fix this?
    I have already done the obvious of using "passwd" to change the root password to see if that action would correct whatever went awry without success.

    The last update I was able to do, which must be close to the last time I was able to log in as root user was on 24 Feb. 2010 and it installed gmime, mozilla-xulrunner190, libgmime-2_0-3, mozilla-xulrunner190-gnomevfs, mozilla-xulrunner190-devel, gmime-sharp.

    Thanks,
    Reg

  2. #2
    palladium NNTP User

    Default Re: 11.0 Weird password problem in gnome

    Reg gie wrote:
    > I'm guessing this problems came with one of the recent updates but I
    > have no idea what it might be.
    >
    > I can "su" to the root user no problem in bash. However, I can't login
    > to root through gnome on startup,


    you should never log into Gnome/KDE/XFCE or any other *nix-like
    graphical user interface desktop environment as root..

    doing so 1) opens you up to several different security problems, 2)
    too many too easy ways to damage your system no matter how careful
    your actions (example: just browsing in your home directory while
    logged into KDE/Gnome/etc as root can lock you out later as yourself
    due to permissions damage), 3) and, anyway logging into KDE/etc as
    root is *never* required to do any and all administrative duties..

    so, always log in as yourself, and "become root" by using a root
    powered application (like YaST, File Manager Superuser Mode) or using
    "su -", sudo, kdesu, or gnomesu in a terminal to launch whatever tool
    is needed (like Kwrite to edit a config file)...read more on all that
    here:

    http://en.opensuse.org/SDB:Login_as_root
    http://docs.kde.org/stable/en/kdebas...uide/root.html
    http://tinyurl.com/6ry6yd
    http://tinyurl.com/ydbwssh


    > Does anyone have a clue what I could do to fix this?


    actually there are so MANY different ways damage a system by logging
    into Gnome as root that i'm not sure i know how exactly how to fix
    this particular way...i have a hunch, lets try this:

    in a bash terminal type, enter and give your root pass when asked:

    Code:
    sudo ls -hal /root | grep auth
    copy paste your output back to this forum..

    HELLO: if a real guru is reading and laughing at this attempt, and
    knows how to actually FIX this mess, please jump in and let me learn
    from you!!

    --
    palladium

  3. #3

    Default Re: 11.0 Weird password problem in gnome

    I don't as a rule log in as root. It doesn't mean that I think it's okay to not be able to and for one app. I use it is necessary to get updates for it.

    However, that is not the issue. The issue is that I can't do anything that root does through the gui. Right now that means when I click on the update icon and enter the root password, it doesn't work. This is bad and has nothing to do with the follies of logging in as root user.

    This problem occurred while logged in as a normal user, not a privileged user. In fact, the only time I log in as root through the gui is for that one program to get it's updates which is in the /opt/ directory well out of the way of the rest of the system.

    The output is thus:
    -rw------- 1 root root 16 2010-01-08 02:23 .esd_auth
    -rw------- 1 root root 9.7K 2010-03-29 21:16 .ICEauthority
    -rw------- 1 root root 54 2010-02-25 00:21 .xauth10YC5K
    -rw------- 1 root root 54 2010-02-25 00:29 .xauthMsUbkA
    -rw------- 1 root root 108 2010-04-02 20:33 .Xauthority
    -rw------- 1 root root 54 2010-02-24 10:59 .xauthPVa5xX
    -rw------- 1 root root 54 2010-01-10 23:27 .xauthSolEC8
    -rw------- 1 root root 54 2010-02-24 10:58 .xauthXdajia
    -rw------- 1 root root 54 2010-02-25 00:38 .xauthZ8hsb7

  4. #4
    palladium NNTP User

    Default Re: 11.0 Weird password problem in gnome

    Reg gie wrote:
    > has nothing to do with the follies of logging in as root user.


    normally, when i ask for help i don't tell potential helpers that
    their ideas on how to help are a folly...

    and, i ask how did you determine that this situation has "nothing to
    do" with it?

    how can you know what caused these symptoms since you have no idea
    what is broken?


    > This problem occurred while logged in as a normal user,


    no, the damage and the *problem* occurred on or soon after (using your
    words) "the last time I was able to log in as root user was on 24 Feb.
    2010"...and since then, that problem is causing the *symptoms* you see
    now..


    > In fact, the only time I log in as root through the gui
    > is for that one program to get it's updates which is in the /opt/
    > directory well out of the way of the rest of the system.


    hmmmm...the /opt directory is as "in the way" as all the rest of your
    system..

    and, you really need to figure out how to update that one app the
    correct way,,

    look, i do not know what is broken or exactly what you did this time
    you don't normally do when logged into Gnome as root, but i point out
    that below are FIVE files in /root which are dated on 24/25 Feb 2010


    > The output is thus:
    > -rw------- 1 root root 16 2010-01-08 02:23 .esd_auth
    > -rw------- 1 root root 9.7K 2010-03-29 21:16 .ICEauthority
    > -rw------- 1 root root 54 2010-02-25 00:21 .xauth10YC5K
    > -rw------- 1 root root 54 2010-02-25 00:29 .xauthMsUbkA
    > -rw------- 1 root root 108 2010-04-02 20:33 .Xauthority
    > -rw------- 1 root root 54 2010-02-24 10:59 .xauthPVa5xX
    > -rw------- 1 root root 54 2010-01-10 23:27 .xauthSolEC8
    > -rw------- 1 root root 54 2010-02-24 10:58 .xauthXdajia
    > -rw------- 1 root root 54 2010-02-25 00:38 .xauthZ8hsb7




    interesting isn't it that 24/25 Feb is right around the time you
    posted as the last time your system worked as it should..

    inside each of those five files on those two days is a *different*
    "magic cookie"..

    you may choose to believe that these symptoms beginning so soon after
    logging into Gnome as root a coincidence, i do not...[yes, i know you
    did it that way for years with no problems--to which i reply: you were
    lucky then, you are not now--do NOT log into any *nix-like DE as root,
    ever...not even for one program to update, not even to "just see" if
    the sound will work that way..]

    you seem to know more about it than i might, (and i freely admit i
    don't know how to fix it) so i'll suggest you wait here until a real
    guru comes along who knows what is broken and how to fix it..

    but, if i were you i think i'd start by googling something like:
    root in GUI apps "magic cookie"

    and when you find solve the problem (and the symptoms go away) i ask
    that (for the next person) you report back here on how you fixed it..

    --
    palladium

  5. #5

    Default Re: 11.0 Weird password problem in gnome

    Fair enough but you should know that I never logged on as root user around 25 Feb. I do all my normal updates as a normal user.

    However, when you do an update as a normal user, you have to put in the root user password for the normal update routines to work, which I did. At that point, at least for the update routines, I am logged in as root user, which is all I meant.

    I know I did not log in as root user and the do updates from a root log-in into the gui because of the files that were updated, which I listed... files for mozilla etc. are normal updates controlled by opensuse, nothing to do with my one program.

    I'll investigate these files .xauth... now that I know they have something to do with it I have a starting point for figuring out a solution and in the meantime if someone "in the know" can offer more information on how to solve this I will be most grateful.

  6. #6

    Default Re: 11.0 Weird password problem in gnome

    First, for anyone reading this the multiple session files noted above are normal. I have two linux computers, the other without this problem and it looks the same (that computer is my server).

    I found a partial solution. Thanks to the comments from palladium I was prompted to check out a file called /root/.xsession-errors

    It was easy to see by comparing the file from my problem computer and my server that there was something very wrong going on. In particular this line gave me an idea:

    Window manager warning: Failed to read saved session file /root/.metacity/sessions/default0.ms: Failed to open file '/root/.metacity/sessions/default0.ms': No such file or directory

    That is, I figured a "Safe mode" login would overwrite all session information and thus reset it back to a working state.

    So, a reboot and then an attempt to log on as root user in safe mode worked. I then logged out, and attempted to log in as root user in normal mode, that finally worked too. I then rebooted (I could have just logged out and in I guess but I didn't) and logged in as a normal user.

    Then attempted to perform updates but still not allowed so 2 down 1 to go.

    Will update as soon as I figure out this last piece.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    25,157

    Default Re: 11.0 Weird password problem in gnome

    What palladium said about those files was not so much as they causing a problem, but they are proving that you are loging in as root in the GUI.

    His conclusion (when my conclusion about his posts is correct) is that you thus may have broken anything and that it is useless for us to guess what you did. And I agree.
    Henk van Velden

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