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Old 02-27-2006, 09:26 AM   #1
Registered: Aug 2003
Posts: 33

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unknown item 'FAIL_DELAY' etc. after login or su

When I log in or use su I get
configuration error - unknown item 'FAIL_DELAY' (notify administrator)
configuration error - unknown item 'QUOTAS_ENAB' (notify administrator)
configuration error - unknown item 'NOLOGIN_STR' (notify administrator)
configuration error - unknown item 'ENV_HZ' (notify administrator)
configuration error - unknown item 'PASS_MAX_LEN' (notify administrator)
configuration error - unknown item 'CHFN_AUTH' (notify administrator)
configuration error - unknown item 'CLOSE_SESSIONS' (notify administrator)

Before this started to occur I did apt-get upgrade.

Google finds a couple of cases of this same problem but I couldn't find any solution. Does anybody know why this is happening and how it could be fixed?
I'm running unstable with 2.6.15 kernel.
Old 02-28-2006, 05:53 PM   #2
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Location: nc
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I don't recomend doing apt-get upgrade, it will change the dynamics of every package on your system(or almost all) What is your distro: debian, mepis, ubuntu, ?
Old 02-28-2006, 06:21 PM   #3
Registered: Aug 2003
Posts: 33

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After some heavy digging I found a solution from Debian bug report logs.
Thanks for the answer anyways.

Here's the solution if someone should need it:
The problem is caused by upgrading package login.
apt-get for some reason doesn't remove FAIL_DELAY etc. from /etc/login.defs eventhough they are not needed anymore (and may not exist in that file). If you manually comment out those lines, everything should work.
Old 03-05-2006, 11:25 PM   #4
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Thanks, Kulmis!

I just ran into that problem after an upgrade tonight, but commenting out FAIL_DELAY fixes it.
Old 03-11-2006, 06:02 PM   #5
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Thanks, that did it.
Old 07-22-2006, 12:12 PM   #6
Registered: May 2005
Location: Essex and Norfolk
Distribution: Debian, Fedora 8 and 9, Mandriva 2009, Mepis, Kubuntu, SuSe 10.1, Slackware 12.1 - and Knoppix.
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THANKS! I just had a major Debian crash, and used apt-get upgrade in sheer desperation. Same list of messages, same fix!

I still can't get the GUI to start - boot-up ends with Login: - but I'm off to Google some more.
Old 12-30-2006, 11:31 AM   #7
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Cool solution, but is security compromised that way or a default fail_delay value is assigned?
Old 06-29-2007, 03:39 AM   #8
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Distribution: debian 3,4 solaris 9,10 aix 4
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after upgrade or distro upgrade better look at /etc/login.defs.dpkg-dist
some of the above settings are moved to /etc/pam.d/
and these are obsoleted


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