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Thread: su: Authentication service cannot retrieve authentication info

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    "Great North Wet"
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    Default su: Authentication service cannot retrieve authentication info

    This is the same day as a fresh install of TW on my new laptop (i partitioned and formatted everything).
    I can log in as myself but can not su to root or any other root auth requiring me to type a password
    i CAN ssh in as root (password-less) <= this should be a big clue but i don't know what to make of it
    rebooting doesn't help at all.

    How can i get more verbose info ?
    What does it mean 'user unknown' ?
    Can't retrieve authentication info from where? and why? whats the error?


    I'm in /etc/shadow and /etc/group i checked (and so is root)
    The id command reports my user # and group # correctly too

    journalctl shows this:
    Code:
    check pass; user unknown
    password check failed for user (root)
    pam_unix(su:auth): authentication failure; logname= uid=1000 euid=1000 tty=/dev/pts/4 ruser="OBFUSCATED ME" r>
    FAILED SU (to root) "OBFUSCATED ME" on pts/4
    Turkey Creek Jack Johnson: Nobody move!
    Doc Holliday: Nonsense. By all means, move.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Chicago suburbs
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    Default Re: su: Authentication service cannot retrieve authentication info

    Are you attempting to login at the graphic screen? Have you tried to login to a terminal?

    CTRL-ALT-F1 should get you a command line. Can you login there -- as yourself or as root?
    openSUSE Leap 15.2; KDE Plasma 5.18.5;

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    "Great North Wet"
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    188

    Default Re: su: Authentication service cannot retrieve authentication info

    I tried logging in to the gui screen for yast and with su to root in konsole - both fail, any login i tried as a user seems to work ok
    Ctrl-Alt-F2 and logging in as root works. ssh to the system as root works too
    Turkey Creek Jack Johnson: Nobody move!
    Doc Holliday: Nonsense. By all means, move.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    "Great North Wet"
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    188

    Default Re: su: Authentication service cannot retrieve authentication info

    I fixed it!
    First i tried a memtest just to be sure it wasn't some kind of HW glitch corrupting things. Believe it or not I have seen bad memory make a disk format fail - repeatedly at the same spot in the format.
    So, HW ok, the next thing i did was try the Update option from the install DVD.
    Whatever the update did, it corrected the bad file/setting.
    Turkey Creek Jack Johnson: Nobody move!
    Doc Holliday: Nonsense. By all means, move.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: su: Authentication service cannot retrieve authentication info

    I'm glad it is fixed. It's unfortunate that we don't know exactly what went wrong.
    openSUSE Leap 15.2; KDE Plasma 5.18.5;

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    "Great North Wet"
    Posts
    188

    Default Re: su: Authentication service cannot retrieve authentication info

    Yeh, i feel like i only hacked it instead of learning the root cause so i could avoid it in the future or, if it was some kind of corner case bug, report it so it could get fixed
    Turkey Creek Jack Johnson: Nobody move!
    Doc Holliday: Nonsense. By all means, move.

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