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Old 09-22-2005, 07:38 AM   #1
kb_ganesh
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Registered: Jun 2005
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sudden problems with (guessing) gnome


i am using Ubuntu 5.04 Hoary Hedgehog on a AMD 2800+ computer..had installed it around 2 weeks ago..everything was very fine till yesterday somethings happened all of a sudden..i was generally working on my non-root account named normal which i usually use..then clicked on show desktop..it shows up but on clicking the trash bin icon it says "permission denied"..i check up the permissions tab in its properties window..and normal did have rwx rights for it..so was puzzled a bit..and decided to restart X server using ctrl+alt+backspace as sound also was giving a few problems..

now, instead of showing me the login screen, i got some error(dint have the brains to note it down)..and the screen shifts to tty1 where it shows me the textual login..i try logging in using normal and it accepts my password but finally says "cannot execute /bin/bash: permission denied"..?!? i try logging in as another non-root user and same error..try logging in as root..and good, it worked. i give the startx command and gnome starts up fine, albeit as root user..btw, i had never been able to(nor wanted to) login as root in the main login screen..guess thats some default setting in ubuntu..dint care to change it..so, now i start the terminal and give su normal and it says "no shell"..i check up permissions for /bin/bash..and it is set to allow read and execute for other users..

so, i restart the system..(i had setup gnome to log me in as normal by default without showing the login screen)..and i see that samba server doesnt start up properly, says failed(one more thing failed too..but i couldnt catch hold of what it was as the text scrolled up too quickly). this had never happened before. so this made for interesting observation..now, the time comes for gdm to start..and what happens instead is that i can see the normal brown background of ubuntu but a dialog box that says "Cannot start the session due to some internal error" with an ok button..i click that..another box comes up
Code:
aaYour session lasted less than 10 seconds. If you have not logged out yourself, this could mean that there is some installation problem or you may be out of diskspace. Try logging in with one of the failsafe sessions to see if you can fix this problem.
     View details(~/.xsession-errors file)
/etc/gdm/PreSession/Default:Registering your session with wtmp and utmp
/etc/gdm/PreSession/Default:running /usr/bin/X11/sessreg -a -w /var/log/wtmp -u /var/run/utmp -X "/var/lib/gdm/"0.Xservers" -h "" -l ":0" "normal"
session_child_run:Could not exec /etc/gdm/Xsession /usr/bin/gnome-session"
with an ok button..i click it and the screen goes black for 3 seconds before a new dialog box comes up saying this..
Code:
Cannot start the greeter program:you will not be able to login. This display will be disabled. Try logging in by other means and editing the configuration file
clicking ok here takes me back to tty1..

where is the problem? i am sure i havent edited any configuration files and stuff..and i checked out the file permissions of /etc/gdm/Xsession and /usr/bin/gnome-session too..they all have read and execute permission for others..i even tried creating a new user "try" and using su try to change to that account..again get the "No shell" error..

has anyone had this kind of problem before? hope someone can tell me how to solve this..in the meanwhile, i guess i have to log in as root..i am thinking of installing E17 too..but i would like to know where the problem lies and how it can be solved..

thanks a lot!!
 
Old 09-23-2005, 12:45 PM   #2
kb_ganesh
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doesnt anyone have any idea on how this can be solved?!? i dont want to be living on a root account forever..

EDIT:
24th sep:-

ok..i got no idea how it worked but it did..and i am happy it did..after a bit of googling, i found that its some problem with some file permission somewhere but i couldnt find out where the problem lay..so, i thought of this solution..

Code:
chmod o+r --recursive /
chmod o+x --recursive /
and then i restarted gdm..and lo and behold, it worked like a charm..i guess i can call it solved though it leaves my computer a bit vulnerable..if anyone here can tell me if this gives rise to any security loopholes(which i am pretty sure it would)..and what are the files i need to rollback the permissions on..thanks again!!

Last edited by kb_ganesh; 09-24-2005 at 08:59 AM.
 
Old 09-29-2005, 12:52 AM   #3
stymie d
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Registered: Sep 2005
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Good that you figured out it was a permissions problem.

And you are apparently aware of the potentially disasterous implications of your 'scorched earth' solution.

The real problem is that now you've done this, rolling back specifc permissions to lock down your system again is going to be tedious to say the least.

What I would recommend however is figuring out what caused the permissions 'crash' in the first place, or you won't have completely solvec the problem.

Good luck!
 
Old 09-29-2005, 12:53 AM   #4
stymie d
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just lucky you didn't throw a 'o+w' in there for good measure, though...
 
Old 09-29-2005, 02:25 PM   #5
kb_ganesh
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Registered: Jun 2005
Posts: 42

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well..it took some time but i soon figured out that it was a permissions problem after a while of googling..i know my solution was not the best solution but then i was so frustrated that i took the ultimate step..anyway, i reinstalled ubuntu 2 days after this..on repeated posts in the ubuntu forums that this was a very unsafe solution..but i still havent able to figure out what exactly caused all this to happen in the first place..still puzzled over it..
 
  


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