Anybody have root password problems with LMDE 201303 RC?

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Anybody have root password problems with LMDE 201303 RC?

Postby Luke Seubert on Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:53 am

After a fresh install from a verified DVD of LMDE 201303 RC 32-bit Mate edition, I encountered a variety of problems with passwords, including a severe security problem with the root password. These issues include:

  1. Inability to log in after install using user password
  2. Graphical root password login attempts rejected, console logins OK
  3. No password required to log in as root on tty consoles

If anybody else has experienced similar problems, please post a comment to this thread. Let's compare notes. I would like to find out if this is a unique problem affecting only my particular installation for some odd reason, or if it is part of a larger systemic problem with the LMDE 201303 RC release.

Also, since these issues could be severe security flaws, if you have encountered this problem, please add comments to the bug reports I have posted. Since posting them three days ago, I have received no response from the LMDE developer community. A few additional reports confirming these bugs would verify that this is a systemic problem with the LMDE 201303 RC release and highlight the urgency.
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Re: Anybody have root password problems with LMDE 201303 RC?

Postby 0xnak on Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:05 am

Regarding passwords being rejected after a fresh install, did your password have any special characters in it by chance? If so, that is a known bug in the RC and has since been fixed in the ISO's currently in testing.

Bug:
https://github.com/linuxmint/community. ... issues/132

Thread:
viewtopic.php?f=189&t=126418
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Re: Anybody have root password problems with LMDE 201303 RC?

Postby Luke Seubert on Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:26 am

0xnak wrote:Regarding passwords being rejected after a fresh install, did your password have any special characters in it by chance? If so, that is a known bug in the RC and has since been fixed in the ISO's currently in testing.


Yes, it did, as my passwords always do.

I read through the bug report and webforum thread you posted. I can confirm your bug report and have posted a GitHub comment accordingly.

Clem states that the bug has been fixed and should be available in a more recent testing .iso. I would be happy to download, burn, and test to confirm the bug fix. However, there is no download link at the following webpage for this .iso:
http://community.linuxmint.com/iso/view/192

The LMDE 201303 iso available via torrent and from the mirrors are the same buggy .iso that I already tried. Could somebody direct me to a torrent or mirror link for the latest iso? Thanks.
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Re: Anybody have root password problems with LMDE 201303 RC?

Postby zerozero on Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:27 am

those isos are at the moment in testing (as you can see in the community page) http://community.linuxmint.com/iso and will be made available public when ready
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Re: Anybody have root password problems with LMDE 201303 RC?

Postby Luke Seubert on Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:28 pm

zerozero wrote:those isos are at the moment in testing (as you can see in the community page) http://community.linuxmint.com/iso and will be made available public when ready


Thanks for the comment, zerozero.

Apparently Linux Mint has a semi-closed testing process, in that the most recent testing iso files are available only to a group of testers but not the public at large. The exception would be, I am guessing, intermediate testing iso files which are available to the public as the major RC releases. Is this a fair summary of Linux Mint testing policy?

If so, could you share a link to a webforum thread or a similar resource outlining the rationale for this policy? I am curious to know how Linux Mint arrived at this policy, as opposed to making all testing iso files available to the public indiscriminately. Thanks.
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Re: Anybody have root password problems with LMDE 201303 RC?

Postby 0xnak on Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:47 pm

Luke Seubert wrote:Apparently Linux Mint has a semi-closed testing process, in that the most recent testing iso files are available only to a group of testers but not the public at large. The exception would be, I am guessing, intermediate testing iso files which are available to the public as the major RC releases. Is this a fair summary of Linux Mint testing policy?


As far as why, I never got an answer for that, but I can say that it is easy enough to be added to the testing group. Just make a community account, then hop on IRC and ask clem. The more testers the better.
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Re: Anybody have root password problems with LMDE 201303 RC?

Postby Luke Seubert on Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:23 pm

LMDE-UP6-Mate-i386-dev-20130304-1839

The problem is now worse. After downloading, burning, and installing from DVD the above listed development release; I can not log in at all. From the graphical login screen, I can not log in as either root or user. From the tty console screens, I can not log in as either root or user. The post-install LMDE system is useless.

I also tried booting up in recovery mode, but with the exact same negative results. I am locked out of the system.
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Re: Anybody have root password problems with LMDE 201303 RC?

Postby zerozero on Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:30 pm

i believe that you are seriously mistaken:
first, the place to post feedback about dev. releases is here >> http://community.linuxmint.com/iso
second there's no point whatsoever to post issues in the forum about isos that in dev. testing
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Re: Anybody have root password problems with LMDE 201303 RC?

Postby Luke Seubert on Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:03 pm

zerozero wrote:i believe that you are seriously mistaken:
first, the place to post feedback about dev. releases is here >> http://community.linuxmint.com/iso
second there's no point whatsoever to post issues in the forum about isos that in dev. testing

Well, zerozero, I might be mistaken, but I doubt it. If you have any suggestions on just 'how' I might be mistaken, I am willing to consider them and try out your recommendations for solving the problem.

Please be aware that I have been running Linux on the desktop for almost 15 years, and I have done hundreds of installs, and I do know how to type passwords properly, and how to doublecheck for silly mistakes such as the Caps-Lock key. That said, I have made enough dumb mistakes in these matters to remain humble, and open to well-considered suggestions. So, zerozero, fire away - tell me where I might be mistaken and I will continue working on this problem.

Meanwhile, if possible, I will post my problems in the forum which you recommended.

Do Linux Mint developers realize that there are now four, count 'em, FOUR! different places to post bug reports? I have had to log into and post bug reports on this issue, upon the recommendation of various people in this forum, to the following places:

  1. http://forums.linuxmint.com/index.php
  2. https://bugs.launchpad.net/linuxmint
  3. https://github.com/linuxmint/community.linuxmint.com/issues
  4. http://community.linuxmint.com/iso

Look guys, I am not being snarky here. I understand that this bizarre state of affairs - four different places for bug reports - was not planned or intentional. It just grew and evolved over time, and the decisions to set up these different fora for bug reports made really good sense at the time.

However, asking users to post bug reports to four different locations, setting up four different login accounts, and then keeping track of the same bug report across four different websites; well,that's a lot of work. Most people aren't stubborn and tenacious enough to do that. Most people just wouldn't bother filing so many bug reports, which leaves Linux Mint slightly less polished and stable for bug reports that were never made.

I appreciate how much work Linux Mint devs do, and how little spare time they have. You guys have a lot of stuff on your plate. I mean, come on, you take Ubuntu and clean up all of its bugs and trash and bloat before releasing something stable and decent, AND you maintain two forked desktop environments in Cinnamon and Mate. Yeah - lotta work - yeesh!

But at some point in the future, please give some consideration to putting together a unified bug reporting system. One website, one login, one place to report any and all Linux Mint bugs. It would help the developers, and it would help the testers as well. And in the end, it would help build a better distro for end users.
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Re: Anybody have root password problems with LMDE 201303 RC?

Postby zerozero on Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:23 pm

Luke Seubert
you might be right about several of the issues you raise above but you miss the point:

- if you are testing a dev. iso LMDE-UP6-Mate-i386-dev-20130304-1839 there's just one place to give feedback: here http://community.linuxmint.com/iso (the issues you find in those builds are non-issues because those builds are not released, are in testing)

actually if we go to the correspondent iso page http://community.linuxmint.com/iso/view/192 there's nothing there; so as a tester you are not doing your job properly. period.
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Re: Anybody have root password problems with LMDE 201303 RC?

Postby Luke Seubert on Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:04 pm

zerozero wrote:Luke Seubert
you might be right about several of the issues you raise above but you miss the point:

- if you are testing a dev. iso LMDE-UP6-Mate-i386-dev-20130304-1839 there's just one place to give feedback: here http://community.linuxmint.com/iso (the issues you find in those builds are non-issues because those builds are not released, are in testing)

actually if we go to the correspondent iso page http://community.linuxmint.com/iso/view/192 there's nothing there; so as a tester you are not doing your job properly. period.


Well, hacking and slashing my way through the jungle of painstakingly correct Linux Mint bug reporting methodology is a bit tough. But I have been slogging my way through, grinding down bit by bit, until I finally found the correct place to post my bug report. You'll give me credit for putting forth some effort here, won't you zerozero? (And far more effort than should be required for filing a bug report as I have already pointed out. Debian, one of the most bureaucratic and slow moving of the major Linux distros, makes filing bug reports much easier.)

Anyway, I did my job as a tester as best I could. I went to the page you recommended, but could not post anything there. There was no link to post comments, GUI button to post comments, or any information anywhere about posting comments, bug reports, or anything about the iso in question.

So, once again, Linux Mint made me jump through yet another hoop to file a bug report.

While I have no bug report filed on that page you cited because there is no mechanism in place to do so, I did send a private message to 'fredg', who is putting together these testing isos. My email was polite, detailed, and offered to help in any way I could. I even mentioned you, zerozero, and pointed out that you thought I was mistaken, admitted that I could be, and offered to work on this bug in any way I could to help get it resolved, whether the problem was with me, or with the LMDE test release.

I have not yet heard back from fredg, but I hope to soon and will work with him in any way I can to help resolve this issue. Meanwhile, I am once again re-installing the latest verified DVD, and changing my password this time so that it doesn't have any special characters in it, to see if that helps. This was reported to be part of the problem, and the alleged fix, in other bug reports relating to LMDE RC6 password issues I have come across.


So, zerozero, instead of giving me grief for not filing the bug report in the precisely correct obscure-and-hard-to-find bureaucratic niche-hole; how about cutting me a little slack, remember that you did point me in the right direction as best you could even though it turned into yet another hoop for me to jump through, and then be grateful that an obstinate prick like me is willing to keep grinding away at what could be a major security flaw and release critical bug, despite being told that I am wrong, making mistakes, blah, blah, blah, yada, yada, yada.

Tenacious bug reporters who are willing to do dull, detailed, grind-it-down, grunt work to chase down maybe bugs - people like me - we're your friends. Your very good friends. We are not clods to be airily dismissed with smug condescension.
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Re: Anybody have root password problems with LMDE 201303 RC?

Postby 0xnak on Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:52 pm

I'll admit that the testing and bug reporting process has been a little less than ideal for me as well. I wasn't even aware of the mint launchpad page...Sure, I agree that there should be a separate area for reporting dev/testing release bugs and prod bugs, but the artificial barriers put in place for the former greatly affect the latter. Also, I find my self reporting bugs in as many places as possible for visibility because I rarely get any responses. Unless things are happening quietly in the background, ISOs on the community site are passed (marked ready for RC or Stable release) or failed after one or two random people test the predetermined test cases. Often, I've found, these tests are being done in VM's and not on bare metal, which, when combined with the few amount of people testing, is very concerning. I really don't understand why there is a barrier in place for testing new releases. If someone can provide me with a good argument for why one of two sets of hand/or eyes is preferable for a release that hundreds or thousands of people might use as opposed to having testing open to everyone, I would really like to hear it. It's my opinion that a successful test of a release isn't just one or two people confirming that most of the things expected to work worked for them. There needs to be people actively tearing things apart looking for bugs, and there are more than a few of us willing to do that.

In short, the bug reporting system really needs an overhaul and the people that actually dig deep into testing releases and don't just record pass/fail results for predetermined test cases should probably be taken a little more seriously as we are the people that are actually going to be using these releases on a daily basis on prod machines.
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Re: Anybody have root password problems with LMDE 201303 RC?

Postby zerozero on Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:07 pm

Luke Seubert wrote:While I have no bug report filed on that page you cited because there is no mechanism in place to do so, I did send a private message to 'fredg', who is putting together these testing isos. My email was polite, detailed, and offered to help in any way I could. I even mentioned you, zerozero, and pointed out that you thought I was mistaken, admitted that I could be, and offered to work on this bug in any way I could to help get it resolved, whether the problem was with me, or with the LMDE test release.

I have not yet heard back from fredg, but I hope to soon and will work with him in any way I can to help resolve this issue. Meanwhile, I am once again re-installing the latest verified DVD, and changing my password this time so that it doesn't have any special characters in it, to see if that helps. This was reported to be part of the problem, and the alleged fix, in other bug reports relating to LMDE RC6 password issues I have come across.


So, zerozero, instead of giving me grief for not filing the bug report in the precisely correct obscure-and-hard-to-find bureaucratic niche-hole; how about cutting me a little slack, remember that you did point me in the right direction as best you could even though it turned into yet another hoop for me to jump through, and then be grateful that an obstinate prick like me is willing to keep grinding away at what could be a major security flaw and release critical bug, despite being told that I am wrong, making mistakes, blah, blah, blah, yada, yada, yada.

as i said before (saying again) and also agreeing with some points 0xnak raises here all the procedure (bug reporting, iso testing, test-cases) could be improved
this is a discussion for other day (and probably other place)

what you don't want to see is that not being part of the testing team (as it looks you are not otherwise you would know where to report the issues regarding this particular build and more important you would have access to that page to write in there) you shouldn't have that iso with you (this is the first problem: there's a breach here); second you shouldn't be giving feedback about something that in reality doesn't exist (and the point is not if it's good or bad; testers feedback is on that page i linked before)
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Re: Anybody have root password problems with LMDE 201303 RC?

Postby clem on Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:33 am

Hi there,

I'm locking this topic before somebody says something they might regret later on :)

To be brief:

- If you're part of the testing team, please comment on http://community.linuxmint.com/iso/view/192, that's where Fred will look for feedback on this private ISO, nowhere else.
- If you're not part of the testing team, please explain how you managed to get this ISO (which is password protected and only available to the testing team), if there's a leak here we need to close it.
- This particular bug was fixed but it's possible the fix isn't complete. Please send us your password by email so we can troubleshoot (well, not your exact password, but the same layout of characters, numbers and special characters). In particular if it contains quote signs it's possible our fix isn't good enough...

I'm available at root@linuxmint.com.
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