Friday, November 20, 2009

Time to Give Back

OK. I haven't fully gotten this blogging thing completely squared away, but gather I can rant or post information.

I'm pretty much out of rants these days, but have been working hard uncovering weirdness while trying to configure a laptop for my granddaughter Casey.

I've logged the solutions, but had not yet posted them so that others might benefit. So now I do.

The most fearful are those in the bowels of /bin and /etc because you really need to muck about as root and that can be a dangerous thing.

But I have already reinstalled this thing about three times, so it was the time to go a bit further:

Problem: All of a sudden I get

Permissions on the password database may be too restrictive

su: incorrect password

when trying to change to root with the su - command.

"All of a sudden" because I had not done anything (I swear!) other than restore the root password which had gone south a few days ago.

Googling brings all kinds of interesting stuff, all of which I tried with no success.

This worked:

+ Log in as normal, going to user through the preestablished automatic login.

+ Log out as user and back in as root.

+ Go to YaST > Security > Local > Security Overview. We find Use secure file permissions disabled. Enabled it and set it to Easy.


It's easy when you know how.


Of all the intermediary research and trial and error that I went through in getting here, one source I would recommend is /etc/permissions. I had wanted to find something like this a long time ago without success. This file and its associated ...easy, ...standard, ...paranoid parallels are the basis for the Linux file ownership and permissions system.

You use them (as root in a rescue login) with

chkstat -set /etc/permissions
chkstat -set /etc/permissions.{easy,secure,paranoid}

or call


as YaST does after it thinks that files have been modified in the system.

Hope this helps.