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darin3200 04-25-2004 06:56 PM

Can't su into root as normal user
I added a normal user when I first installed Gentoo and I was always able to su to get root access. But recently I have been unable to get root access using su. I have checked my /etc/group and I am in wheel.
Any ideas on how to fix this

SciYro 04-25-2004 07:46 PM

is su in /sbin or /bin?

darin3200 04-25-2004 07:52 PM


quatsch 04-25-2004 08:17 PM

what actually happens when you use the
command? any error messages?

darin3200 04-25-2004 08:39 PM

I type in my root password and I get


su: Authentication failure

quatsch 04-25-2004 11:38 PM

can you log in as root at all? Say from a text terminal.

Robert0380 04-26-2004 12:13 AM


darin3200 04-26-2004 08:37 AM


Originally posted by quatsch
can you log in as root at all? Say from a text terminal.
Yeh, i can log out of my user account and then log in as root, but not su from the user account.

quatsch 04-26-2004 12:26 PM

I found this:
seems like it's the same problem and has something to do with

zorba4 04-26-2004 02:53 PM

In AIX there is an option when creating a user : "user can su" (yes or not), and "another user can asu to this user" (yes or not).
Is there such an option in Linux ?

darin3200 04-27-2004 09:04 PM


Originally posted by quatsch
I found this:
seems like it's the same problem and has something to do with

I checked the /etc/pam.d/su file and I don't have the line give by the person the debain mailing list

Nishtya 04-28-2004 03:07 AM

Admittedly know nothing of Gentoo and am newbie, but are you using KDE? Have you recently upgraded to 3.2.2? There is a known bug:
Perhaps related?

darin3200 06-10-2004 03:54 PM

Sorry for the seriously late reply, I had the problem before kde was installed, I have the following

auth      required        /lib/security/
# If you want to restrict users begin allowed to su even more,
# create /etc/security/suauth.allow (or to that matter) that is only
# writable by root, and add users that are allowed to su to that
# file, one per line.
#auth      required    /lib/security/ item=ruser sense=allow onerr=fail file=/etc/security/suauth.allow

# Uncomment this to allow users in the wheel group to su without
# entering a passwd.
#auth      sufficient  /lib/security/ use_uid trust

# Alternatively to above, you can implement a list of users that do
# not need to supply a passwd with a list.
#auth      sufficient  /lib/security/ item=ruser sense=allow onerr=fail file=/etc/security/suauth.nopass

# Comment this to allow any user, even those not in the 'wheel'
# group to su
auth      required    /lib/security/ use_uid nullok

auth      required        /lib/security/ service=system-auth nullok

account    required        /lib/security/ service=system-auth nullok

password  required        /lib/security/ service=system-auth nullok

session    required        /lib/security/ service=system-auth nullok
session    optional        /lib/security/

I have also tried adding the line

auth      required    /lib/security/ nullock
but this prompts me for the password twice and gives the same error

geekgirl16 03-18-2010 12:03 PM

another solution
I found this post while searching for a solution to the same problem. My circumstances were a little different and the solution that worked for me may be relevant to someone else.

My OS is CentOS 5.4 in a production environment with several users who have access to the server for development so adding users to the wheel group in /etc/group is not an ideal solution. We like to try to keep our install as standard as possible across all servers. To that end, here is what I did to troubleshoot

checked permissions on /bin/su. They should be set as setuid...rwsr-xr-x. To make them this way, run chmod u+s /bin/su.

If that works then cat or vi the /etc/pam.d/su file. When I compared this file on the system that didn't work with one that did, I found that the working system had the following line:

#auth required use_uid

On the server that didn't work, this line was there but it was not commented out. Changing it to comment it out fixed the issue for me.

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