[nSLUG] An unusual Ubuntu logon problem

Frank Geitzler frank.geitzler at ns.sympatico.ca
Thu Aug 20 10:40:52 ADT 2015


My apologies for taking so long to reply to your messages, John and
Norm.  I have been trying to make the best use of the weather by
staining both sides of a picket fence (about 160 feet x 2) and been too
tired to properly document my efforts in resolving this logon problem.
The problem is further compounded by my limited Linux experience,
although I had almost 30 years of mainframe computer programming and
support, and DOS, Windows and OS/2 experience before I retired a number
of years ago.
Norm, I don't remember being able to find the jill/.xsession‎-error log
-where would I look for it?
I looked for 'inittab', as suggested in an earlier message, but when I
entered 'where inittab', the only result was
'usr/share/man/man5/inittab.5.gz'.  That didn't appear to be anything I
could edit.
John, I authorized the 'jill' user id, and then entered 'sudo telinit
5', expecting to see the Ubuntu desktop.  Nothing appeared to happen,
I then did 'sudo shutdown -r now', and when the Ubuntu logon screen
appeared, attempted to logon as 'jill', hoping to obtain the Ubuntu
desktop.  Instead, I was returned to the Ubuntu logon screen, with no
apparent error message.  I repeated the process several times, with the
same result (why should I have expected anything else?).  There may be
an error log somewhere which I could examine, but I don't really know
where to find the log, or what to look for in it.
This is not a high priority -the 'guest' userid does what I need this
old laptop for, but it just doesn't retain any 'favorites' in Foxfire,
so it is necessary to key in a search address every time -a minor
nuisance.
I just would like to determine what might have caused the problem, if
possible, so I could prevent it from happening again.
Thanks for your help,
Frank

On Sun, 2015-08-16 at 15:14 -0700, John Weintraub wrote:
> Your Jill account ended up in single-user mode. You can try a couple
> of things, they should work. The first is to type 'telinit 5' (no
> quotes) or 'sudo telinit 5', which should put you back into
> graphical/multi-user mode (normal operations for most Ubuntu systems
> running a GUI like gdm, kdm, or xdm, or lightdm). 
> 
> Then log out, once in graphical user mode. The system should retain
> the GUI (runlevel 5) in its configuration. To be sure, once you logged
> back in, do a terminal-based shutdown and restart ('sudo shutdown -r
> now'). You should find Jill back at runlevel 5.
> 
>   The other thing to try is typing 'sudo startx' at the single-user
> terminal prompt. The reason for the 'sudo' is, it will launch runlevel
> 5 in admin/root mode, so you can make edits to whatever files you
> need, such as inittab, which is where the runlevel is recorded. Then
> log out, once in graphical user mode. The system should retain the GUI
> (runlevel 5) in its configuration. To be sure, once you logged back
> in, do a terminal-based shutdown and restart ('sudo shutdown -r now').
> You should find Jill back at runlevel 5.
> 
> 
> Let us know if either of these worked.
> 
> 
> Cheers, JJW
> 
> 
> 
> 
> On Sun, Aug 16, 2015 at 11:54 AM, Norm <anamelech at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
>         You might find something in the. ~jill/.xsession‎-error log.
>         I've only had this happen when home directory permissions get
>         changed, or using an 'obscure' shell
>         
>         
>         -- 
>         Norm
>         
>         From: Frank Geitzler
>         Sent: Sunday, August 16, 2015 15:39
>         To: nslug at nslug.ns.ca
>         Reply To: Nova Scotia Linux User Group
>         Subject: [nSLUG] An unusual Ubuntu logon problem
>         
>         
>         
>         
>         
>         I have an old laptop running Ubuntu 12.04.  I have several
>         logon IDs on it, one with Administrator authority (call it
>         'Jack'), and one without Administrator authority (call it
>         'Jill').  When I show the file system, and open the 'home'
>         folder, there are two folders inside the 'home' folder: 'Jack'
>         and 'Jill'.
>         When the computer is powered on, the Ubuntu 12.04 logon
>         selection screen appears, prompting for a choice of user and
>         password.   
>         When the 'Jack' user logs on, the normal Ubuntu 12.04 desktop
>         appears, and the computer behaves normally.  However, when the
>         'Jill' user logs on, a full-screen terminal session appears,
>         and it is necessary to click the mouse on the terminal session
>         in order to be able to enter terminal commands.  Entering the
>         'exit' command logs off the 'Jill' user, causing the Ubuntu
>         12.04 logon selection screen to re-appear, prompting for a
>         choice of user and password.
>         I have no idea what could have caused the change in the 'Jill'
>         ID, which previously had a normal desktop.  I could just
>         delete the user and re-create it (no significant files would
>         be lost), and will probably do so in a few days, but it would
>         be interesting to find out if there is some other way to
>         determine what might have happened, and perhaps recover the
>         use of the ID in a less drastic way.
>         Does anyone have any suggestions?
>         Thanks,
>         Frank 
>         
>         
>         
>         _______________________________________________
>         nSLUG mailing list
>         nSLUG at nslug.ns.ca
>         http://nslug.ns.ca/mailman/listinfo/nslug
>         
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> 
> John Weintraub
> #333-7451 Moffatt Rd.
> Richmond BC Canada
> V6Y 3W3
> 604-813-9830
> johnweintraub at gmail.com
> 
> _______________________________________________
> nSLUG mailing list
> nSLUG at nslug.ns.ca
> http://nslug.ns.ca/mailman/listinfo/nslug


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