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Old 08-28-2003, 02:25 AM   #1
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Denver, CO
Distribution: CentOS, Debian
Posts: 825

Rep: Reputation: 33

I just had a very strange thing happen...while i was working, the icons disappeared from my gnome desktop. i thought it was a bit odd, but everything seemed to be working fine, so i ignored it. when i restarted X though, i got the following error message before being dropped back to command line:

could not resolve the address "xml:readwrite:/home/mcd/.gconf" in the configuration file "/etc/gconf/2/path": Failed to create or open '/home/mcd/.gconf/%gconf-xml-backend.lock/ior'

and when i ended up back at promt, these were the last messages visible:

cat: /home/mcd/.Xauthority: no such file or directory
gconf-sanity-check-2 did not pass. logging back out

xauth: error in locking authority file /home/mcd/.Xauthority

I checked, and there was no ior file in the %gconf-xml-backend.lock directory. in my home directory, there was .Xauthority-c but not .Xauthority. i tried renaming that file, but i still get the same message.

i can still startx as any other user, just not mcd

does anyone know what's going on here? i'm totally lost!
Old 08-28-2003, 10:43 AM   #2
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Denver, CO
Distribution: CentOS, Debian
Posts: 825

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 33
nobody has any ideas? i'd really like to be able to fix this....
Old 08-28-2003, 12:24 PM   #3
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Denver, CO
Distribution: CentOS, Debian
Posts: 825

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 33
well, doesn't look like anyone cares, but i just restarted my machine, logged in and started up X with no problems. ::shrug::
Old 10-23-2003, 04:50 PM   #4
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Registered: Jan 2003
Location: Kansas City, Missouri, USA
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 1,040

Rep: Reputation: 47
I don't have any answers, but a similar (not identical) thing happened to me. The first trouble I noticed was that it took approx. 30 sec instead of about one second to su to root in a virtual terminal. I wondered if starting my X session over would fix that, so I logged out, issued "startx" and X wouldn't start, due to "timeout locking .Xauthority." After several attempts with same result, I went to fix a glass of Diet Sprite. When I got back, X had started up and everything appeared normal. Apparently the "timeout" didn't matter so much! Another mystery...

Then I found I couldn't access my home directory in Midnight Commander, as jon, but I could do it as root (after waiting 30 sec. again for the su to take effect...). Puzzleder and puzzleder, I finally, after several more denials from ls and from mc when I was jon, I became root and changed ownership of the /home directory to jon. Result: everything is at normal speed again, and I can see my files, etc. as jon.

Which is nice, but makes me wonder what kind of security considerations are involved here! If any. And just what was going on in the first place. I notice the .Xauthority file was last modified at 11:57 AM yesterday--I have no idea what I was doing then, but I've been able to view my own directories many times in between, so something else happened between now and then.


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