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Old 10-15-2004, 07:43 AM   #1
SolarBear
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Users can't startx


Well after messing around with my system (what good is a system that actually WORKS ???) I've not been able to start X as a user. I get an error like

line 81 ; /dev/null : cannot read from file

Or something the like, 3 times. root can start it alright.

Also, I chose kdm as a login manager. This is kind of annoying because when I try to log in as a user, X doesn't start and I'm back to kdm.

I've tried removing XFree86 and then reinstall it so that scripts would be reinitialized but to no avail.
 
Old 10-15-2004, 08:45 AM   #2
rjlee
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Look for an xsession.log file; it may contain more information.

You can't read from /dev/null; it's a write-only device. For reading, you want to use something like /dev/zero. Obviously there's some reference to this somewhere in your scripts; your best bet is to find it.

If memory serves, KDM will run a script called XSession in order to log in a user; look for this script and read through it.

You could also try reinstalling the package containing kdm; it's more likely to contain the session scripts than X.
 
Old 10-15-2004, 09:07 AM   #3
macondo
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did you install x-window-system and a window manager?
 
Old 10-15-2004, 04:53 PM   #4
SolarBear
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macondo : yes, I have XFree86 installed as well as KDE and IceWM. None will work as a user.

rjlee : I tried reinstalling KDE, X and both but to no avail. I've looked through Xsession but my limited knowledge of shel scripting didn't help. Heck, I even lost my mouse while tinkering with them and it's back for some reason... anyway.

Here's the error I get at the end of my X output :

/usr/X11/lib/X11/xinit/xinitrc ; line 81 : /dev/null : Permission denied
/usr/X11/lib/X11/xinit/xinitrc ; line 1 : /dev/null : Permission denied
Xsession : unable to create Xsession log/error file ; aborting.

waiting for X server to shut down

/usr/X11/lib/X11/xinit/xinitrc ; line 150 : /dev/null : Permission denied

Last edited by SolarBear; 10-15-2004 at 04:54 PM.
 
Old 10-15-2004, 07:47 PM   #5
rjlee
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The problem appears to lie in /usr/X11/lib/X11/xinit/xinitrc or (concevably) the permissions of /dev/null.

For the first part, what are the commands on the lines that it's complaining about?

Secondly, what's the output of the command
Code:
ls -l /dev/null
 
Old 10-15-2004, 09:49 PM   #6
SolarBear
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Okay, here goes.

Starting at line 81, the block is the following :
Code:
if touch "$ERRFILE" 2> /dev/null && [ -w "$ERRFILE" ] &&
  [ ! -L "$ERRFILE" ]; then
  chmod 600 "$ERRFILE"
elif ERRFILE=$(tempfile 2> /dev/null); then
  if ! ln -sf "$ERRFILE" "${TMPDIR:=/tmp}/xsession-$USER"; then
    message "warning: unable to symlink \"$TMPDIR/xsession-$USER\" to" \
             "\"$ERRFILE\"; look for session log/errors in" \
             "\"$TMPDIR/xsession-$USER\"."
  fi
else
  errormsg "unable to create X session log/error file; aborting."
fi
We see 2 references to /dev/null...

What's strange is that line 1 is a comment and line 150 does not exist (file ends at 129).

As for the command, here are the permissions :
-rw-r--r-- 1 root src 41 2004-10-15 21:44 /dev/null

EDIT: Seems the problems really is with /dev/null...

I hand-made myself a .xinitrc file for my user and could log into IceWM. Yay.

So I decide to yell "Victory !" on this forum and start mozilla firefox but...
/usr/bin/mozilla-firefox : line 1 : /dev/null : Permission denied
/usr/bin/mozilla-firefox : line 79 : /dev/null : Permission denied
/usr/bin/mozilla-firefox : line 174 : /dev/null : Permission denied
/usr/bin/mozilla-firefox : line 281 : /dev/null : Permission denied


Makes me feel like /dev/null is broken or has incorrect permissions... is it safe to simply chmod 777 it ? And what exactly IS /dev/null ?

Thanks for your help.

EDIT #2: Well not fearing anything more than a fresh install, I decided to chmod 777 /dev/null and right now I'm in KDE as a regular user and everything seems to be fine. Still, I'd like to know if it's dangerous or something...

Last edited by SolarBear; 10-16-2004 at 12:36 AM.
 
Old 10-16-2004, 08:14 AM   #7
darthtux
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The problem is your /dev/null is a file and not a device. It should be a character device. You need to use the mknod command to create it.

man mknod

The permissions on mine are
crw-rw-rw- 1 root root 1, 3 Oct 6 23:23 /dev/null

The "c" means it is a character device.
 
Old 10-16-2004, 05:57 PM   #8
rjlee
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/dev/null should be the infinite bit-bucket device; anything written to /dev/null is discarded. (/dev/null acts as a zero-length file when you try to read it).

If you have it as a regular file, then anything written to /dev/null will be saved to the file instead; this could easily eat up gigabytes of disk space if you're not careful.

It should be a character-special file, major number 1, minor number 3.

This will usually make /dev/null (as well as a few other special files):
Code:
cd /dev
./MAKEDEV std
 
  


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