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Old 04-04-2009, 04:48 PM   #1
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Angry Unable to authenticate user with Fedora 10 and I know the password is correct

Help me please! Cannot log in! This is driving me INSANE!!!


Hello everyone. I have a bit of a problem here. My machine is running Fedora 10 (GNOME).

Here's what happened...

I was browsing the internet on facebook and doing some photo modification and whatnot (This likely has nothing to do with my problem). I was then about to start Apache because I am working on my webpage/server. I type "su" and enter the root password. I am 100% sure the password was good, but it told me it was incorrect. Baffled, I googled my issue, and found a quick fix (or so I thought).

The fix was to start Fedora in Runlevel #1 and change root password there. This seemingly worked fine. When this runlevel started, I was logged in as root (by default). Typed in "passwd" and entered a new password (lets say it was "asdf1234").

I then rebooted and started back up in runlevel 5. When I tried to log back in as my user, I am told "unable to authenticate user". Thinking I inadvertently changed MY user's password, I tried "asdf1234", but to no avail.

I also tried to make a new user and that did not work either.

Am I missing something here? My machine was working fine, then suddently just locked me out of everything. I would like to avoid having to re-install Fedora 10 yet another time. ANY help one can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance for your help!

Best regards,
Old 04-04-2009, 06:49 PM   #2
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boot to a live CD or rescue disk and check the /etc/passwd to make sure it has not become corrupt.
Old 04-04-2009, 07:18 PM   #3
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Try a reboot first. If you change a password you may need to log out. The root user can't log out of everything, so maybe a reboot will fix the situation. You can change the password of a regular user as root. Since root logins work now, you can log into a virtual terminal and use passwd to change a regular users password.

A keyboard encoding change can also cause a problem if you did that. If you use kdm, there may be a drop down picture to select the flag of your country. An change in character encoding can result in different keycodes or character codes sent to login.

One thing that can cause logging in to fail suddenly is if a partition has run out of disk space. For example, check for a runaway log file in /var/log, or maybe a multi-gigabyte ~/.xsession-errors file. The symptoms here are if you log in but are returned to kdm/gdm after a few seconds.

Last edited by jschiwal; 04-04-2009 at 07:19 PM.
Old 04-08-2009, 01:59 PM   #4
Registered: Jun 2008
Location: Dallas, TX
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can you log into a console maybe the problem is gdm/kdm/xdm? try <ctrl>+<alt>+<f2> and try to login as root or another id.

wasnt there a pam issue that got pushed out in updates awhile back? Maybe go back to single-user start network and try to update.

check your /etc/shadow too.

Do you use ldap or nis?

You wont need to reboot if you change root's passwd.


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