I have exactly the same problem as octino, except I'm running Fedora core 1.
It started with a similar problem: I couldn't login as any user except root. If I tried to logon with another user I got a message saying the system was going down for maintenance and an error message saying incorrect login. I searched on google for this problem and found out it was because the file /etc/nologin existed. Once I deleted that file I could login again as a normal user. So problem solved, everything working again!
But when I started my linux again today (I'm running it in Microsoft Virtual PC), again I could not login as any user, but this time the error message was: No directory /home/<username>! This was displayed after my motd.
If I login as root and do a su - <username> I get a message saying 'could not open session'
As far as I can remember I didn't change anything, I just shutdown the Virtual PC and next time I started it, this problem came up.
I searched again on google, and found a few users with the same problem, but no solutions. I've checked the following things:
- permissions on /home/<username> are all correct
- permissions on /home are correct
- permissions on /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow are correct
[root@fedora home]# ls -la
drwxr-xr-x 5 root root 4096 Jun 28 14:14 .
drw------- 20 root root 4096 Jun 28 13:49 ..
drwxr-xr-x 2 arjan arjan 4096 Mar 10 13:01 arjan
drwx------ 2 test test 4096 Jun 18 12:53 test
drwx------ 2 test2 test2 4096 Jun 28 14:14 test2
I changed the permissions on 'arjan' to 755 just to see if that would help, but it didn't. I created a new user with 'adduser test2' and 'passwd test2', but same result, the user can not login.
[root@fedora etc]# ls -la passwd shadow
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1528 Jun 28 14:14 passwd
-r-------- 1 root root 1064 Jun 28 15:38 shadow
Permissions for passwd and shadow are all standard.
Nothing seems wrong with the entries in passwd...
This is what I see in /var/log/messages when I try to login as a user:
Jun 28 15:41:12 fedora login(pam_unix): session opened for user arjan by
Jun 28 15:41:13 fedora -- arjan: LOGIN ON tty2 BY arjan
Jun 28 15:41:13 fedora login(pam_unix): session closed for user arjan
I'm running in runlevel 3, so console only, I don't have X installed.
I'm relatively new to Linux, but this looks like some setting is wrong somewhere... could have something to do with pam? I hope there are some experts here who can solve this weird problem