[SOLVED] Problems changing passwords.

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[SOLVED] Problems changing passwords.

Postby requiem18th on Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:04 am

Hello, I'm having an issue after changing my password under Cinnamon/LMDE.

I can change my password via terminal just fine. The password applet in the Settings application accessible through right-clicking the pannel can also change the password, and the change gets reflected on the terminal immediately. I also have no trouble logging into the graphical desktop.

The problem is with some applications, including the Password applet itself, as well as mint's software manager. In those applications the password never changes. It still requires the very first password I setup in this machine. Those apps must be managing my password differently because my account password definitively changes otherwise.

Any ideas what is happening?
Last edited by requiem18th on Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Problems changing passwords.

Postby kyrios on Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:41 pm

I don't know for LMDE but for the main edition, during the installation, the same password is set for your main user AND for root.
You changed your password but not the root password -> I guess this is why you now have some some apps - the ones that requires root privileges - that still prompt for your very first password.
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Re: [SOLVED] Problems changing passwords.

Postby requiem18th on Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:32 am

Thank you!

It worked alright. Question, why doesn't linuxmint disable the root account by default?
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Re: [SOLVED] Problems changing passwords.

Postby kyrios on Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:31 pm

You're welcome! :D

root account is required to perform some administrator tasks therefores it cannot be disabled.
Linix Mint offers you some security though : you cannot directly log in as root. Actually normally you always work with your normal account and when a task requires evevated privileges, you're prompted for administrator (root) password. If you read some tutorials using the terminal, you'll often see that you have to type "sudo" in front of the command to execute it as root (and must provide the password) instead of as your own user.

It's like the UAC of windows with the elevated privileges and the command "run as Administrator".
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Re: [SOLVED] Problems changing passwords.

Postby requiem18th on Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:28 am

No, i mean. In ubuntu, the root account is disabled, you can do this with:

Code: Select all
sudo passwd root -l


The -l option changes the password expiration date so that no passwords are acceptable. This means that you can't log in as root, ever. I tried logging in as root after reading your post, I switched to another tty and logged in as root without issues. i think it's a good idea to disable any accounts that aren't supposed to log in. In ubuntu it is locked by default but you can still perform administration tasks without root using sudo/gksu/gksudo/pkexec.

I bet linuxmint can do it too, it's just that cinnamon-settings is configured to use the root account instead of your own. In fact i tried to do so running:

Code: Select all
gksudo cinnamon-settings-users


Using my own account's password, it worked, i could change my password effectively, So mint doesn't need to enable root, it's just that the settings application is configured to use root. This seems intended to ensure that non-admin users can run some administration tasks using the root password without being in the sudoers file. I don't think this is a realistic expectation. When is a user going to be trusted with the root password but being excluded from the sudoers file? I think this is kind of a bug.

In fact further testing tells me that cinnamon-settings is using gksu instead of gksudo.

The two wrappers are very similar but they have slight graphical differences, And of course gksu asks for the root passwords while gksudo uses the sudo and asks for the current account's password.

I'll be glad If you could direct this to the appropriate person, please. Thanks.
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Re: [SOLVED] Problems changing passwords.

Postby kyrios on Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:39 pm

Sorry I can't help with that... my technical skills are too limited.
You may want to suggest improvement of cinnamon-settings for not requiring root privilege anymore there -> https://github.com/linuxmint/Cinnamon
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