Can only log in as root

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WHVW
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Can only log in as root

Post by WHVW » Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:13 pm

Hi:
This keeps on getting more bizarre.
All I was doing was looking for files to transfer, when things seemed a little slow. So I re-booted, and got a box that said "Your home directory does not seem to exist", then going into the auto login screen with a countdown to log in, which produced the same thing. After a couple of loops, I thought "will it still log in as root?"When the countdown screen next appeared, I typed in "root" with its password. Et voila! there I was with everything intact: number of desktops, programmes, etc. Everything worked as normal. In root, that is.
Navigating to my home directory it displayed "0 files" Gone. Completely empty. I hadn't even used the "delete" command in that session....What in the world.......
(17.1, building a new install)
My first instinct is to nuke it, second just to re-create the user. Yet I am wondering about this box (Dell optiplex 270). I does crash a lot. I suspected memory, tested it, and sure enough, it flunked the test. So I cleaned the contacts, gave it a light coat of De-Ox-It, and it tested 100%. So that would appear to be O.K.
Is there a programme that will put the whole system through its paces and evaluate? Or should I just trash the box.
Opionions?
Thanks.

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kc1di
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Re: Can only log in as root

Post by kc1di » Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:41 pm

dirty memory can cause the problems you mentioned but you should do a scan of the hard drive, I'll bet it's going bad.
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trytip
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Re: Can only log in as root

Post by trytip » Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:45 pm

you don't need permission to wipe and re-install. i have seen far too many instances where desktop settings get corrupted or destroyed but never have i hear that the whole user home directory is gone. this is usual when you are human having error and confusion. not sure how you want users to respond, not sure what the question is
i would not login as ROOT (well i would but i know what i'm doing)
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WHVW
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Re: Can only log in as root

Post by WHVW » Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:13 pm

trytip:

With this drive, it is log in as root or not log in at all. Rather binary. As far as logging in as root, I know what I am doing but only to a certain extent. As with everything else, this is also a quest for knowledge, if I don't wade into it, (and take my knocks) I'll just be skimming the surface, and my level of competency will remain the same.

kc1di is probably right, the drive most likely is dying (even though it was DOD wiped and tested last week).
After all, all it would take is for the pointers to the sector that contains the home directory to go bad and that game is over...


Thanks

Cosmo.
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Re: Can only log in as root

Post by Cosmo. » Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:56 pm

Is (or should I write: Was) home on the system partition or on a separate partition?

WHVW
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Re: Can only log in as root

Post by WHVW » Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:30 pm

Cosmo: Separate partitions, I re-partitioned and re-installed Saturday night, hoping that a re-install and a more standard partitioning scheme might help. Thanks.
Attachments
Screenshot from 20180423.png

Cosmo.
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Re: Can only log in as root

Post by Cosmo. » Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:43 pm

The picture reveals the following:
You have a separate home partition, the mount point is where it is expected, but the partition does not get mounted.
For further investigation open the file /etc/fstab in a text editor and copy the content into the clipboard.
In the forum click the Code-button (looks like </>) above the text edit box, than press ctrl-v.

Further more open a terminal and enter

Code: Select all

sudo blkid -o list
Mark the complete result inclusive the command with the mouse and press ctrl-shift-C
In the forum click the Code-button (looks like </>) above the text edit box, than press ctrl-v.

As long as the home partition does not get loaded, its content (your user account) cannot get used by the system. So far it is clear, why you have the problem as described in the starting post.

BTW: The used size of the home partition is about 5 GB. Does this appear logical to you?

WHVW
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Re: Can only log in as root

Post by WHVW » Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:16 pm

Cosmo: Yes, 5GB is probably right in the ballpark.

Code: Select all

# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
#
# Use 'blkid' to print the universally unique identifier for a
# device; this may be used with UUID= as a more robust way to name devices
# that works even if disks are added and removed. See fstab(5).
#
# <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>
# / was on /dev/sda1 during installation
UUID=244bc6d1-84de-4702-b1da-23d4299c279b /               ext4    errors=remount-ro 0       1
# /home was on /dev/sda3 during installation
UUID=9dbb5e09-ce52-4273-82fd-6b95964a6c58 /home           ext4    defaults        0       2
/dev/mapper/mint--vg-swap_1 none            swap    sw              0       0
# swap was on /dev/sda5 during installation
UUID=da7e3410-9cc9-4bfc-a3c4-7698ee834ac9 none            swap    sw              0       0
/dev/fd0        /media/floppy0  auto    rw,user,noauto,exec,utf8 0       0


2 ~ # blkid -o list
device     fs_type label    mount point    UUID
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
/dev/sda1  ext4    2a       /              244bc6d1-84de-4702-b1da-23d4299c279b
/dev/sda3  ext4    2b       (not mounted)  9dbb5e09-ce52-4273-82fd-6b95964a6c58
/dev/sda5  swap             <swap>         da7e3410-9cc9-4bfc-a3c4-7698ee834ac9
/dev/sdb1  ext4             (not mounted)  282e6ade-ff7b-4f30-a18b-1fd3950ee34e
/dev/sdb5  LVM2_member      (in use)       4q820s-kKwC-27WE-xdVP-AFWd-amy2-IolLEm
/dev/sdc1  iso9660 Lubuntu 14.04.1 LTS i386 (not mounted) 
/dev/sdc2  ext4             (not mounted)  79831470-481d-446d-b582-172ac3ad6b56
/dev/mapper/mint--vg-root
           ext4             (not mounted)  cd004eb2-68d3-4322-b8d5-1b085fa10178
/dev/mapper/mint--vg-swap_1



           swap             <swap>         f373b1c3-ea02-4eeb-9de7-8cfd4be4904b
2 ~ # 
Thanks.

Cosmo.
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Re: Can only log in as root

Post by Cosmo. » Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:12 am

My suspicion was, that the UUID for the home partition would not match with the fstab entry, but this is not the case.

Look into the base of the file system of sda1. Does the folder home exist there?

BTW: The outputs would had been easier to get compared, if you would have provided them in 2 separate code blocks.

WHVW
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Re: Can only log in as root

Post by WHVW » Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:13 am

Cosmo: Not precisely sure what you mean by " the base of the filesystem sda1" , I presume you mean to open a terminal and attempt to navigate to /dev/sda1. Doing that gives me the good old "permission denied". Remember, root is all I have. What's worse, is that internet connexions on my only other machine (I will start a new post) have gone haywilre, only allowing me to reach sites using actual (sans nameserver) addresses, i.e. http://174.....:740 form, if I use "www.nameofsite.net" terminology, I get a "can't find server" message. Now my only option is this machine, as root, which freaks me out beyond measure. After we figure out just what has happened, I'll need to overwrite this portion of the drive, or use some other measure to clean it out

Thanks.

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trytip
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Re: Can only log in as root

Post by trytip » Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:17 am

have you created a new user? can you confirm that you have no user folder in home?
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WHVW
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Re: Can only log in as root

Post by WHVW » Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:39 pm

trytip:
When I navagate there all I get is an empty screen. I have created no new user on this machine, that's a good idea.
Screenshot from 20180424.png
Thanks.

WHVW
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Re: Can only log in as root

Post by WHVW » Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:54 pm

trytip:

Done. Don't know why I didn't think of that.
I did just that on the other (broken) machine, (to no avail) but I did not think of it here.
Now that I'm at least out of root, I feel much better,

Thanks.

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administrollaattori
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Re: Can only log in as root

Post by administrollaattori » Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:12 pm

Via Terminal

Code: Select all

mount | grep home

Code: Select all

whoami

Code: Select all

ls -la $HOME

WHVW
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Re: Can only log in as root

Post by WHVW » Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:38 pm

Cosmo, trytip, administrollaattori and all..

O.K. Here's some pure brainmelt for everyone:

After creating the new user, I wanted to update Firefox. Clicked on the Package Manager...no go. Tried a few more times..no go. O.K. go back to root and try it there, and crash! Allright, shut down and re start. The usual screen that asks for me to press "S" gives me an option to press "L" to fix errors.., yeah, why not?
The machine then logs into my original user, no "user does not exist" warning, no need to log in as root, it is as if nothing had ever happened!
My brain is fried..

Does anyone know what the bleep has happened? Can we rationally mark this as "solved" if no one knows why in the world it is fixed?
I have been to Computer Hell before, but after two weeks of this stuff....

Thanks.

P.S. the spell checker seems not to be working...something I need to enable?

Cosmo.
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Re: Can only log in as root

Post by Cosmo. » Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:04 pm

WHVW wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:13 am
Remember, root is all I have.
An important reminder. Actually I had forgotten this point, but this explains, why the home partition was not mounted.

From your last post it seems, that there was a failure in the file system, which prevented home to get mounted. Hopefully this is solved now.

jglen490
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Re: Can only log in as root

Post by jglen490 » Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:27 pm

If your /home is back, I would immediately do a backup of /home to a CD/DVD/thumbdrive/USB connected hard drive - anything to save what you have. Then do that routinely - for the rest of your life!! You never know ...
I feel more like I do than I did when I got here.
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trytip
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Re: Can only log in as root

Post by trytip » Tue Apr 24, 2018 5:58 pm

Image
Image

WHVW
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Re: Can only log in as root

Post by WHVW » Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:53 pm

Hi:

Trytip's cartoon....exactly how I feel!!!......
On a more serious note, and I know the answer will be somewhat subjective...I'm getting some nice, brand NEW drives, most likely 250 GB or so, what do you-all think would be the best formatting scheme? Maybe I should make this another post?

As usual, thank you all for your help.

Cosmo.
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Re: Can only log in as root

Post by Cosmo. » Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:56 pm

WHVW wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:53 pm
Maybe I should make this another post?
Definitely. With the current topic your new question does not match. (Assuming, that the old drives shall get completely replaced.)
And add the info, if this are both SSDs.

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