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  1. #1
    Linux Guru budman7's Avatar
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    Authentication failure


    I installed Linux Mint 17.3 with Cinnamon on to a USB stick.
    Then I updated the system via the software manager.
    Then a day later I rebooted to use Windows.
    When I tried to boot back into Mint, I got an
    "Authentication failed" message.
    So I rebooted into recovery mode to reset the password in case I had somehow typed it wrong or I changed it somehow.
    I used "mount -rw -o remount /" to be able to update the password.
    Successfully updated my password, rebooted to Mint only to see "Authentication failed" again.
    Any ideas on what I can do at this point?
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by budman7 View Post
    When I tried to boot back into Mint, I got an "Authentication failed" message.
    at which point in the boot process exactly are you getting the message, what precedes, what follows, does it hang after that or what?
    what is the full message?

    So I rebooted into recovery mode to reset the password in case I had somehow typed it wrong or I changed it somehow.
    I used "mount -rw -o remount /"
    this shouldn't be necessary in recovery mode, unless the system went into read-only for other reasons?
    please check that out:
    boot into recovery, do NOT remount rw, and see if you can write.

    in any case, while in recovery, you might want to look at some logs.
    try
    Code:
    journalctl
    and see what you can find.

    if you're overwhelmed by the output, you can try
    Code:
    journalctl -b|grep -iEC3 'error|fail|warn'
    but it's possible you'll be filtering out something important.

  3. #3
    Linux Guru budman7's Avatar
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    When I attempt to login, I get "Authentication failed" in a popup box.
    No hanging, it will let me type in the password again.

    The reason I did the rw step was because the first time I tried it I received a message saying the filesystem was read only and the password was unchanged.

    I will report the results of the journalct1 output.
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  5. #4
    Linux Guru budman7's Avatar
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    Journalctl command not found.
    Just to make sure I had the spelling correct, I did "jo", then hit TAB.
    This brought up 3 commands, no journal.
    So then I created a new user, doug1, and tried to login with that. Only to receive "Authentication failed" message again.
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  6. #5
    Linux Guru Segfault's Avatar
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    Just guessing, but I'd start with booting from a USB stick and run fsck on your filesystems.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by budman7 View Post
    Journalctl command not found.
    sorry about that, mint 17 probably isn't using systemd.

    if you indeed see a "system is read only" message, you should do what segfault says.

    tbh, i'd still boot into recovery and see if the system is indeed readonly.

    otherwise, it might be an X server error; i heard that removing ~/.Xauthority can sometimes help (typically happens when you tried to start X as root/superuser)

  8. #7
    Linux Guru budman7's Avatar
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    I did the fsck in recovery mode. It said "at inode 139694 there is a compression flag where no compression is needed" (paraphrased)
    It also said there were errors.
    Then it said that it exited with code 4.
    Then it hung for a long time. Ctl-Alt-Del did nothing to reboot. It just kept putting out
    starting/stopping system clock, saving it to hardware clock.
    Finally I just hard rebooted.
    I booted into a Linux Mint 18 live usb and did fsck from there and was told the filesystem had no errors, it was clean.
    Rebooted back into 17.3, only to see the same "Authentication failed" message again. For both users it was the same.
    I didn't even think to try booting into X as root.
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  9. #8
    Linux Guru Segfault's Avatar
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    Log on from console and run update/upgrade routine. Perhaps it fixes the issue. My 2.

  10. #9
    Linux Guru budman7's Avatar
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    I chrooted in following these steps.
    recovery - What's the proper way to prepare chroot to recover a broken Linux installation? - Super User

    I was unable to upgrade. Update worked fine though.
    Code:
    Fetched 1,433 kB in 32s (43.7 kB/s)                                            
    Reading package lists... Error!
    E: Encountered a section with no Package: header
    E: Problem with MergeList /var/lib/apt/lists/ftp.usf.edu_pub_ubuntu_dists_trusty_universe_i18n_Translation-en
    E: The package lists or status file could not be parsed or opened.
    mint ~ # apt upgrade
    Reading package lists... Error!
    E: Encountered a section with no Package: header
    E: Problem with MergeList /var/lib/apt/lists/ftp.usf.edu_pub_ubuntu_dists_trusty_universe_i18n_Translation-en
    E: The package lists or status file could not be parsed or opened.
    mint ~ # aptitude full-upgrade
    [ ERR] Reading package lists
    E: Encountered a section with no Package: header
    E: Problem with MergeList /var/lib/apt/lists/ftp.usf.edu_pub_ubuntu_dists_trusty_universe_i18n_Translation-en
    E: The package lists or status file could not be parsed or opened.
    [ ERR] Reading package lists
    E: Encountered a section with no Package: header
    E: Problem with MergeList /var/lib/apt/lists/ftp.usf.edu_pub_ubuntu_dists_trusty_universe_i18n_Translation-en
    E: The package lists or status file could not be parsed or opened.
    I am pretty sure when I upgraded originally, I should have made it so i did not get any level 4 or 5 updates as they are unstable.
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  11. #10
    Linux Guru Segfault's Avatar
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    -->
    This implies there has been probable filesystem corruption. Did you check out the file it is complaining about? You may need to remove it. Why did you need to changeroot? You couldn't log on from console?

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