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Old 05-25-2020, 10:06 PM   #1
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broken /etc/passwd? Cannot login. Possibly Active Directory related

For some reason I can no longer login to one of my accounts (ORGhs)

Here is my /etc/passwd content:

hafiz:x:1000:1000:My Name Local:/home/hafiz:/bin/bash
The ORGhs account is set up for Active Directory. It used to be weirdly named ORG^hs (yes, with a caret). But to login, it is ORG\hs. This user's home locations is at /home/ORG/hs I have no idea how and why it is now changed to ORGhs and why it is using sh instead of bash.

When I try to login from `hafiz` account:
su - ORG\hs
It prompts for password, but my password fails.

I also tried
su - ORGhs
su: Authentication failure
I've tried to change the password from a root account
sudo su
passwd ORG\hs
passwd: Authentication token manipulation error
passwd: password unchanged
I'm guessing I cannot change Microsoft's Active Directory from the computer

I also cannot select ORG\hs from login screen.
Before, I had to wait for a while before ORG\hs appears as a selection. Now, it won't appear at all and I had to login with hafiz account

OS: Ubuntu 20.04
Old 05-25-2020, 10:25 PM   #2
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I would guess that there is a problem with the way that the authentication routine is handling the special character in the user name. I suggest that you use root to change the user name to something bland using the usermod -l command. You may also have to change the home directory name and the password. See:

man usermod

Steve Stites
Old 05-25-2020, 10:46 PM   #3
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The backslash is a special character for the shell. su ORG\hs will be converted to su ORGhs. If the account name really contains a backslash, put single quotes around it or double the backslash, e.g. su - ORG\\hs.

The ORGhs account in /etc/password has nothing to do with AD. It's a local account.

You should be able to list all local and AD accounts with the command getent passwd. To only see AD accounts, it's probably getent -s ldap passwd.
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Old 05-26-2020, 01:03 AM   #4
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Hey, putting quotes around the username works!

I'll investigate on how to change username and home folder.

Old 05-26-2020, 11:29 PM   #5
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Well, for AD, 'ORG\hs' is actually AD domain = 'ORG', user = 'hs', but you normally only see that format on the login screen in MSWin.
I doubt that you'd use that on a local linux login.
Not sure how you connect Linux to AD though.


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