Linux Mint: expired?

All Gurus once were Newbies
Forum rules
There are no such things as "stupid" questions. However if you think your question is a bit stupid, then this is the right place for you to post it. Please stick to easy to-the-point questions that you feel people can answer fast. For long and complicated questions prefer the other forums within the support section.
Before you post please read how to get help

Linux Mint: expired?

Postby randyoo on Sat May 02, 2009 3:06 am

Hello,

I've installed Mint (Felicia, I'm pretty sure!) for my in-laws, whose Windows computer got a malware infection. It's been working fine for several months, but now I've gotten an email from them (sent from a different machine) saying that the Mint machine isn't working because the software expired. (!?!?!?!)

Does anyone have any clue what this might be talking about? The problem is, I'll have to talk them through everything over the phone, since I have no way to access the machine remotely... And I'm not too familiar with Mint, so if someone could point me in the right direction, that would be great.
randyoo
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 2:52 am

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 

Re: Linux Mint: expired?

Postby Fred on Sat May 02, 2009 3:29 am

randyoo,

Well, the software certainly didn't expire, so I am at a loss to say what the problem might be. We will need more information than that.

Sorry,

Fred
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.

Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on the menu. Liberty is an armed lamb protesting the electoral outcome. A Republic negates the need for an armed protest.
User avatar
Fred
Level 10
Level 10
 
Posts: 3356
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 11:59 am
Location: NC USA

Re: Linux Mint: expired?

Postby shane on Sat May 02, 2009 7:32 am

As an after thought... whenever I intend to help/support someone remotely, I always tell them to install open ssh... then an IP address, username and password is usually enough to get CLI access... some need router configuration... it helps *a lot*.

Expired? only after hell freezes over... the things most people have come to expect from their computers... sad.
User avatar
shane
Level 6
Level 6
 
Posts: 1300
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:15 pm

Re: Linux Mint: expired?

Postby psych1610 on Sat May 02, 2009 8:30 am

shane wrote:As an after thought... whenever I intend to help/support someone remotely, I always tell them to install open ssh... then an IP address, username and password is usually enough to get CLI access... some need router configuration... it helps *a lot*.

Expired? only after hell freezes over... the things most people have come to expect from their computers... sad.


Indeed. If you assign a static IP address (and forward the ports if behind a router) temporarily you can use the remote desktop feature to actually view their desktop and they can direct you to what the problem is exactly, just in case the command line isn't enough to figure it out. You don't have to make a new user account for this either. Perhaps they had a piece of proprietary software (like something running in Wine?) that is expired?
psych1610
Level 3
Level 3
 
Posts: 152
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 5:12 pm

Re: Linux Mint: expired?

Postby shane on Sat May 02, 2009 8:44 am

randyoo wrote:saying that the Mint machine isn't working because the software expired.


This is what needs clarifying... what do they mean by isn't working... what exactly do they expect to happen and what is actually happening... Then, what made them say that the software has expired? Was there a dialog? or did something just not work... There are too many possible ramifications of this scenario to give any real help.

If you need GUI access, Felicia comes with Vinagre that allows remote desktop viewing. It is easy to setup also. As for dynamic IPs, 'sudo ifconfig' in terminal will give you the info you need.Configuring the router... well that depends on the router.
User avatar
shane
Level 6
Level 6
 
Posts: 1300
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:15 pm

Re: Linux Mint: expired?

Postby randyoo on Sat May 02, 2009 6:54 pm

First, I'd just like to say thank you for the responses! :D

After speaking on the phone, I found out the problem was a corrupt filesystem. Apparently, it required an fsck, and was prompting for the root password, which... doesn't exist. :roll: Booted to the LiveCD, and made a few attempts at running the fsck from there. It corrected it enough that I could mount the partition and make a backup of the home folder, but still wouldn't boot, kept prompting for that non-existent root password and gave no alternative other than rebooting. Some quick Googling shows me that this has been an issue with Ubuntu for years...

Eventually, I gave up, reinstalled, and restored the home folder. I did get openssh installed, and the remote desktop feature (VNC server) works great, as well, so long as someone is logged in. (The wireless connectivity also depends on the logged in user, so my remote admin sessions kept getting interrupted when I rebooted.) :P

I asked specifically what he had read that was expiring, and he couldn't remember, said he'd wished he'd written it down. All he could remember was a message that something was expiring or terminating at midnight of April 30th... There's no telling what generated that message though, and I suppose it's a moot point, by now. Certainly the real issue was that the machine wouldn't boot due to the "fsck needed" issue, not because something "expired". :) Anyhow, thanks again for the replies!
randyoo
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 2:52 am

Re: Linux Mint: expired?

Postby shane on Sat May 02, 2009 9:02 pm

Hm... the only thing that I can think of that would expire is the user password. The system can be setup so that the user is forced to changed the password after a certain period. But that is not the default setup for Mint or Ubuntu. I can't think of anything else. The fsck problem seems too serious a bug to not have been fixed... then again, there are tons of those in Ubuntu.
User avatar
shane
Level 6
Level 6
 
Posts: 1300
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:15 pm

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 

Return to Newbie Questions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: br1anstorm, gold_finger, Hecubus, Wompoo and 24 guests