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Old 09-20-2018, 07:48 AM   #1
LowInertia
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Cannot perform any action requiring root access on GUI


Hi guys/gals,

I m having a problem with my machine and I need your help.
I m running LinuxMint 19 Xfce on a Thinkpad t410, freshly installed (yesterday). I had to format it yesterday because after a kernel update I got a lot of program and system crashes. After not being able to reboot I had to install Xfce again and set up the whole system again.
After installing the OS again, I tried adjusting the trackpoint sensitivity by adding a text file on /etc/udev/rules.10 folder but after 2 modifications and reboots, I cannot anymore access the folder as root. I right click on the folder, I click on 'Open as Root' and nothing happens. I thought rebooting would solve the problem but it didnt. Furthermore, I cannot update through the GUI or even install any new program. Terminal lets me update, upgrade and generally gain root access but GUI doesnt.
It doesnt seem right and even though I know I can modify text files through the terminal I dont wanna be doing this thing everytime I wanna modify something.

Any idea whats causing this problem or any solution? If you want any more info on the system configuration that you think will be relevant, ask me for it.

Thanks.
 
Old 09-20-2018, 08:03 AM   #2
BW-userx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LowInertia View Post
Hi guys/gals,

I m having a problem with my machine and I need your help.
I m running LinuxMint 19 Xfce on a Thinkpad t410, freshly installed (yesterday). I had to format it yesterday because after a kernel update I got a lot of program and system crashes. After not being able to reboot I had to install Xfce again and set up the whole system again.
After installing the OS again, I tried adjusting the trackpoint sensitivity by adding a text file on /etc/udev/rules.10 folder but after 2 modifications and reboots, I cannot anymore access the folder as root. I right click on the folder, I click on 'Open as Root' and nothing happens. I thought rebooting would solve the problem but it didnt. Furthermore, I cannot update through the GUI or even install any new program. Terminal lets me update, upgrade and generally gain root access but GUI doesnt.
It doesnt seem right and even though I know I can modify text files through the terminal I dont wanna be doing this thing everytime I wanna modify something.

Any idea whats causing this problem or any solution? If you want any more info on the system configuration that you think will be relevant, ask me for it.

Thanks.
that's right bob/ie, this is called that is how it is written to be. if you are in a normal user account and want to use a GUI as root you , at lest I do, and I am sure others too, fire up the GUI app in the terminal as root.

ie
Code:
sudo kwrite
gives user root privileges to edit files as root. you can also just login su and do the same in a terminal without having to issue sudo every time.
this windows inversion
Code:
I click on 'Open as Root' and nothing happens.
somewhere somehow the script that controls that has to be screwed up. their is an app which name I forget that calls for the passwd of root, mostly I've seen it used with gparted in a non-root account.

Though when it is not working in whatever Distro I have installed and am in. Mostly because I'll end up using WMaker, or Fluxbox and they are not set up for such things. "out of the box"

I will just use sudo gparted, that is faster then having to go into the, "I got to fix that too now mode."

Last edited by BW-userx; 09-20-2018 at 08:10 AM.
 
Old 09-20-2018, 09:30 AM   #3
snowday
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Welcome to the forums!

If you are getting "a lot of program and system crashes" then that is a sign you're doing something wrong. No worries; we are here to help you do it the right way.

The safe way to edit system files is with a terminal-based text editor, such as nano, vi, emacs, etc.

For example:

Code:
sudo nano /etc/udev/rules.10
Here is a nano tutorial: https://www.howtogeek.com/howto/4298...e-text-editor/

It's also highly likely that your desktop environment of choice has a GUI "Settings" application for changing the trackpoint sensitivity. I'm not an Xfce user, though, so I can't help you there.

Good luck!

Last edited by snowday; 09-20-2018 at 09:32 AM.
 
Old 09-21-2018, 03:54 AM   #4
LowInertia
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Thanks for the replies and the suggestions.

As per the first reply, BW-userx, I tried 'sudo kwrite' but I couldnt find anything to run or even download. I ll give it a try later since I m going to work in a bit.
The GUI not responding to 'Open files as Root' makes me think as well that something is wrong with the script but I dont get what because I never even tried to open any filesystem folder apart from the /etc/udev/rules.10


As per the second reply, snowpine, I thought about using nano to edit the file, even though it was not my first thought .
The settings that the GUI offers dont affect the trackpoint behavior so I had to resort to adding that file myself. Last time I had done it like this it worked.

For now, I m gonna try the nano editor in the terminal later today and then try to see if there's any program to help fix the root issue. If not, I might as well format it again!

One last thing, is there anyway I can overwrite the system files of my current distro without formating? Like macOS has the option of reinstalling without messing with the user's data or windows (7, if I remember correctly)?
 
Old 09-22-2018, 01:38 AM   #5
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LowInertia View Post
I tried adjusting the trackpoint sensitivity by adding a text file on /etc/udev/rules.10 folder but after 2 modifications and reboots, I cannot anymore access the folder as root.
this is the root (pun intended) of the issue.
in a case like this, full documentation of everything you did is useful - for yourself, and for us, trying to help:
  • link to tutorial
  • commands issued
  • files edited
  • exact & full (error) messages received
and of course you always preserve the original file before editing it!
like that, you can always undo what you did.

Quote:
Terminal lets me update, upgrade and generally gain root access but GUI doesnt.
i totally acknowledge that you have some sort of problem here, but this is generally how you should do it!

did you troubleshoot your problem? e.g. made sure if it's the whole "GUI" or just one application?
if it's only 1 app, you can try to
  • kill it
  • restart it from a terminal
  • reproduce the error
  • see what terminal output you get
there's also logs for the GUI (that's the X session btw, or Xorg) to look at - i think you might find ~/.xsession-errors or some such in your home folder. failing that, /var/log/Xorg.0.log should contain information about the current (!) Xsession.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LowInertia View Post
One last thing, is there anyway I can overwrite the system files of my current distro without formating? Like macOS has the option of reinstalling without messing with the user's data or windows (7, if I remember correctly)?
i think some linux installers offer that option.
or there's surely tutorials out there.
but you should first take a backup of your $HOME (try 'echo $HOME' in a terminal) to be safe.
 
Old 09-22-2018, 08:38 AM   #6
BW-userx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LowInertia View Post
Thanks for the replies and the suggestions.

As per the first reply, BW-userx, I tried 'sudo kwrite' but I couldnt find anything to run or even download. I ll give it a try later since I m going to work in a bit.
The GUI not responding to 'Open files as Root' makes me think as well that something is wrong with the script but I dont get what because I never even tried to open any filesystem folder apart from the /etc/udev/rules.10


As per the second reply, snowpine, I thought about using nano to edit the file, even though it was not my first thought .
The settings that the GUI offers dont affect the trackpoint behavior so I had to resort to adding that file myself. Last time I had done it like this it worked.

For now, I m gonna try the nano editor in the terminal later today and then try to see if there's any program to help fix the root issue. If not, I might as well format it again!

One last thing, is there anyway I can overwrite the system files of my current distro without formating? Like macOS has the option of reinstalling without messing with the user's data or windows (7, if I remember correctly)?
the use of 'kwrite' was just an example of a GUI app being started with root privs and that's it. you can replace that with any gui app to give it root priv, not that it is recommended, only that it can be done. But, the app itself has to be installed on ones system.

Last edited by BW-userx; 09-22-2018 at 08:39 AM.
 
Old 09-22-2018, 08:58 AM   #7
hydrurga
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Rather than having to re-install each time, please use TimeShift to make a system snapshot once you have installed the base distro, once again when you have configured it and installed supplementary software (even several snapshots at discrete points during this process), and definitely one before you start fiddling with system files such as the /etc/udev/rules.10 folder. That way you should be able to simply roll the system back if you encounter problems.
 
Old 09-23-2018, 07:11 AM   #8
LowInertia
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Hydrurga, you make a good point there. I never felt the need to backup my data like this but it seems its better this way. Next time i will surely be using it.


BW-userx, I installed and executed kwrite, just to check and it works great but 'sudo kwrite' gives the message

'Executing KWrite as root is not possible. To edit files as root use:
SUDO_EDITOR=kwrite sudoedit <file>'

I m gonna have to install and execute another program that I know how to use



ondoho, I didn't watch any tutorial, I just read the suggestion on a forum and last time I had done it it worked. I m looking for the link of the exact article on the forum but I can't atm. I didn't save the original file because there were not any file, I had to create the '10-trackpoint.rules' text files. Problem is I cannot delete it right now
And, yes I think its problem of the whole of the GUI, not just the 'Open as Root' choice by right clicking because I cannot install any program on the Software Manager or Update Manager.

And while I know I am supposed to update, upgrade and install through the terminal, I ve gotten pretty lazy lately and I dont really use the terminal so I have forgotten some basic commands. The nano editor, e.g, I had totally forgotten about it.


An interesting update is that as of yesterday, closing the lid doesnt put the laptop to sleep, as it did before, even though the settings on the setting manager are unchanged. I think its time to reformat the machine as there are way too many problems to troubleshoot one by one. Which is not that big of a deal. Its sunday after all. Maybe I ll just have to spend some more time fiddling with system folders next time.
 
Old 09-23-2018, 07:54 AM   #9
hydrurga
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LowIntertia, you're using Mint 19. You may as well use the supplied text editor, xed, rather than kwrite, unless there's some specific functionality of kwrite that you can't do without. Keep it simple.
 
Old 09-23-2018, 08:52 AM   #10
BW-userx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LowInertia View Post
Hydrurga, you make a good point there. I never felt the need to backup my data like this but it seems its better this way. Next time i will surely be using it.


BW-userx, I installed and executed kwrite, just to check and it works great but 'sudo kwrite' gives the message

'Executing KWrite as root is not possible. To edit files as root use:
SUDO_EDITOR=kwrite sudoedit <file>'

I m gonna have to install and execute another program that I know how to use


ondoho, I didn't watch any tutorial, I just read the suggestion on a forum and last time I had done it it worked. I m looking for the link of the exact article on the forum but I can't atm. I didn't save the original file because there were not any file, I had to create the '10-trackpoint.rules' text files. Problem is I cannot delete it right now
And, yes I think its problem of the whole of the GUI, not just the 'Open as Root' choice by right clicking because I cannot install any program on the Software Manager or Update Manager.

And while I know I am supposed to update, upgrade and install through the terminal, I ve gotten pretty lazy lately and I dont really use the terminal so I have forgotten some basic commands. The nano editor, e.g, I had totally forgotten about it.


An interesting update is that as of yesterday, closing the lid doesnt put the laptop to sleep, as it did before, even though the settings on the setting manager are unchanged. I think its time to reformat the machine as there are way too many problems to troubleshoot one by one. Which is not that big of a deal. Its sunday after all. Maybe I ll just have to spend some more time fiddling with system folders next time.
you didn't have to go that far, you can use whatever GUI text editor that comes with your distro, and its good to see that one was on top of what you where trying to do, by giving you a message to change your sudo editor to whatever you tried using, though one might get around that if you do not want to change it by just log in root 'su' then fire up whatever gui text editor you have installed, geany, mousepad, etc... too would do,


the WM's I use I do not get such messages, though I mostly use it for gparted. and nano for the terminal, but you wanted a GUI. Slack is where I use kwrite sometimes for a post install mod to the mirror listings. sometimes I use nano, depends on my mood, but this is just me. It is nice to have the options available.


I do make a copy of system files before I mod them for that just in case I mess it up then all one needs to do is take that original and use it to copy it back over top the one that got screwed up, and you'll have an original on hand.
Code:
sudo cp -v somefile.conf somefile.conf.original
sudo nano somefile.conf
backing the entire system up for just one file, is a can do, but time consuming, especially if all you need to do is comment out or add a line or two into one file.

If you use Linux enough, just take it in and sort out what you want to keep about how to do this or that, then eventually you'll develop your own system of operation.
cheers

ps
Code:
nano -c somefile
if you want it to show line number

Last edited by BW-userx; 09-23-2018 at 09:04 AM.
 
Old 09-23-2018, 02:25 PM   #11
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LowInertia View Post
I didn't save the original file because there were not any file, I had to create the '10-trackpoint.rules' text files. Problem is I cannot delete it right now
if you still have terminal root access you can!
Code:
sudo su -
cd /dir/whhere/the/file/is
rm file
Quote:
And, yes I think its problem of the whole of the GUI, not just the 'Open as Root' choice by right clicking because I cannot install any program on the Software Manager or Update Manager.
aha!
that's bad.
seriously, we need to know what happened there in the first place.

Quote:
And while I know I am supposed to update, upgrade and install through the terminal
no, i didn't mean it like that actually.
it's totally ok to use synaptic.
but configuration is best done through a terminal.
 
  


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