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Confusion with passwords & updates.

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:10 am
by lazarus
Recently a friend brought me her laptop, LM18.3 Cinnamon, as she'd forgotten her password.

I reset it through /bin/bash in the grub menu and all seemed well. Except... she cannot su to root, it rejects her password. sudo works. Using sudo on her account I created a 2nd account for myself and added it to sudo group. She can su to my account, it asks for the correct password (ie. mine), but not to root. Hmmm...

Similar weirdness, which may be related: logged in on her account, update mgr shows everything is up to date. Log in on the fresh account and it shows a whole series of lvl4 upgrades in the queue, including the latest kernel, systemd, xorg, mesa and ndiswrapper. No lvl 3 or lower, just lvl 4's.

What the...?

Log out and log back in on her account, the queue is empty. Check the current version numbers... everything appears up to date.

Is this just a permission thing, the addition of the new account to sudo group meaning all these files need to be touched by the new account? Or does it actually want to download/install them all over again?

I'm not willing to hit the update button until I have some grasp of what's going on here and what the consequences might be.

Re: Confusion with passwords & updates.

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:53 am
by smurphos
For the Update Manager issue check the Update manager preferences on her account. She's probably got level 4 updates hidden.

For the su issue - does the root account have a password set? Depending on which version of Mint was first installed it might be set to her old forgotten password (started life as an 18.1 or earlier install) or might not be set at all (18.2 or later). Changing the user password does not change the root password if one is set.

Does sudo –i (using the user password) work to get a root shell?