Originally Posted by sofcrafts
Many thanks for the post -- I had a similar issue. Your solution :
usermod --home /root root
Excellent, glad to help.
I installed Lenny 5.0 on a and during setup just choose simple password for root as I knew I can change it later via the gnome gui.
After installation I changed the password in the gui and thats when the synaptic fault started.
That is very interesting. I strongly recommend/encourage you post a bug report, this appears to be fairly serious bug in the gnome gui.