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I've searched here and on Google and not found the identical problem: all the ones I found seemed to involve networking.
I'm using Mandrake 9.2 on a single desktop machine with an ADSL internet connection. Besides root, there's only "jon" as a user.
I can go into an Xterm or one of the non-X Window terminals and su from jon to root almost instantly. Then I can change back to jon instantly. But the next time I su to root, it takes 25 seconds for the password to be authenticated. And this continues till I terminate my X Window session and start a new one.
I've never seen this problem, and I don't know exactly how to solve it, but it might be a problem with PAM's configuration. You might want to do a man pam and check your /etc/pam.conf or /etc/pam.d files. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.
Thanks, Zoombie--I looked at the manual pages and the files in /etc/pam.d and if the problem lies there, as it well might, I guess I'm sunk, since it's beyond my poor ability to figure out.
I do have another clue, though: I discovered that although logging in a second time as root, in an Xterm, takes 25 seconds, if I close that Xterm and open a new one, I can log in as root instantaneously as I always used to do. It's only the second and subsequent su's to root that take 25 seconds apiece. (Su'ing back to "jon" is always instantaneous, or nearly so.)
Instead of 'su' try 'su -' and see if that also takes 25 seconds for the password to be authenticated. I don't know if that will solve the authentication issue or not, but it would not hurt to try that.
When I issue "xterm -version" it opens a new xterm and in the starting xterm it prints
I tried su - and got the same result as without the hyphen.
One more possible clue? I've found that occasionally an application cannot be opened from xterm; the error is "unable to connect to x server." If I close the xterm and open a new one, the application runs OK.
Hmm! Tried using "exit" instead of "su jon" which I'd been using for all these months, and the delay doesn't happen when I su back to root. I guess I just need to learn a new habit. That's what I get for upgrading---I always end up with things that don't work like before....
I'll have to see if the programs-not-able-to-connect-to-x-server thing still happens if I've been switching identities back and forth this other way.