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  1. #1

    boot system password setup failure crash bug report


    While this should go to the PCLinuxOS forum according to advice in the OS, posting there was refused unseen, so perhaps it will be seen if it's here.

    After I created a boot system password and saved it (or whatever the next button said), the following PCLinuxOS Bug Report appeared (blank lines and leading spaces omitted and ellipsis or suspension points so in original):

    =====

    The "drakboot" program has crashed with the following error:
    update-grub2 failed: stdin: is not a tty
    /usr/sbin/grub2-probe: error: failed to get canonical path of 'none'.
    ...propagated at /usr/libexec/drakboot line 49
    Perl's trace:
    drakbug::bug_handler() called from /usr/libexec/drakboot:49
    Used theme: Adwaita
    Please report this to the PCLinuxOS forum.

    =====

    Subsequently, the password fields were empty.

    I've reinstalled the same edition of PCLinuxOS (2016 FullMonty).

    How can I test that the password works?

  2. #2
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    A boot password? A password that is entered before the system boots? Why? Set your root and default user passwords from the CLI after you login the first time. In any case, this sounds like a bug for me since before the system boots there is no stdin/stdout/stderr and no devices active.

    FWIW, have you considered a more "mainstream" and better supported distribution than PCLinuxOS?
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

  3. #3
    I don't need the boot password for booting up and it's probably not meant for that but for the bootloader's maintenance. I guess I'd have to try to read or edit the bootloader; and I'd have to find a way to do that given the limitations of root access so far (see in this forum the thread titled "root password fails in normal use but ok in some contexts" (I'm one post short of being allowed to give the URL even within this website)).

    I have used other OSes and I like some of them. I want security and don't need as much friendliness, other than that I need a GUI including for root or sysadmin. So I've used Fedora Linux and may well again. I currently use openSuse 13.2 Linux, which I also like. I poked around and saw credible recommendations for PCLinuxOS and decided to try it. Most OSes have some problems but that's not necessarily a deal-killer. I tried PC-BSD, which is FreeBSD with a GUI and put together by the same organization. FreeBSD is trusted by apparently most Web hosts (my guess is that many of them modify FreeBSD without putting their changes into the main development process so the development community looks smaller than it is), but PC-BSD doesn't allow root GUI access, which I discussed a couple of times online but for which I concluded no fix is forthcoming, so I erased it in favor of PCLinuxOS. I was told NetBSD is for people more paranoid than FreeBSD users, but it seems to have a very small support community and a smaller user base than with FreeBSD, risking more security flaws unless its capabilities are limited, so I stayed away from that OS, as well as from NetBSD.

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  5. #4
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    Myself, I run CentOS 6.8 (latest 6.x Red Hat variant). It allows root GUI access. Ditto CentOS 7.x (newer model - uses systemd instead of initd). I have been running it (7.x) on my laptop, but really don't prefer it to 6.x. As for security, most Linux systems are as safe as the others. Mine has iptables and SELinux extensions (access-control lists, secure access to applications, etc). They are very configurable. The only other things you can add for security are A/V and other software such as to detect hacking attempts (root-kits, trojans, etc), but if your system is behind a firewall, this should not be an issue. If your system IS Internet-facing, or accessible via a router pin-hole (VPN and such), then that is another thing. I use ClamAV for my A/V scanning - just scanned my system today - all 12 TB of disc - and found no issues.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick_Levinson View Post
    While this should go to the PCLinuxOS forum according to advice in the OS, posting there was refused unseen
    erm.
    that can't be.
    maybe they hold posts for moderation, but they will not flat-out refuse them.
    unless you did something to get your self banned.
    did you?

  7. #6
    @nihili: Yes, it can and is what happened. Pre-posting moderation is not apparent. On banning, I already addressed the registration cancellation and thread deletions there in this forum's topic "bug: screen redraw seems bad after print screen".

    @Rubberman: Security varies. SELinux is not everywhere. It appears PCLinuxOS has its own system (MSEC) and I think openSuse doesn't have SELinux either (it likely has something else) (if that's part of the fallout from Edward Snowden I didn't see much debate about the NSA's role in Linux). Yet both likely have decent security. I once installed Ubuntu, which emphasizes friendliness, and found it going on the Internet during the installation and without asking or telling me, but somehow it knew what city I was in and I asked at an Ubuntu forum and my analysis was not rejected (I don't know if recent *untu releases do this). PC-BSD recently included Adobe Flash without asking (it won't be in the next release) and Flash is a security problem because it spawns Flash cookies. Larger developer communities make staying on top of security flaws easier. Linux and BSD are much better than Windows on several grounds but variations still crop up between distros.

    I haven't tried CentOS, mainly because I understand most development in that family of distros is in Fedora. I do use my Linux laptops on the Internet and probably should tighten exposure security more. I've seen a debate on whether Clam is as thorough in collecting signatures, although I suppose apart from that it should be okay. (On a Mac about 20-25 years ago, Symantec's or Norton's AV let us write our own signatures and I often went to a major public library to find some to write.)

  8. #7
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    Fedora is where Red Hat refines new code and such. RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, Scientific Linux, Oracle Linux, et al) is where the proven and finalized code ends up. If you want bleeding edge, go Fedora. If you want rock-reliable stability, go CentOS or similar. You won't get the latest kernels, but what you do get is widely supported and can run 24x365 without problems. I only reboot my system when they push a new kernel for security patches. Just got one this morning, but I haven't rebooted yet. Probably tomorrow.

    Corporate mission critical systems these days are primarily some version of RHEL 6.x (mostly CentOS), but some are starting to migrate to RHEL 7.x (slowly since it requires a lot of infrastructural procedure changes). I used to run Suse - I may still have it on some old system gathering dust somewhere in my closet - but I have been running RHEL clones for 10 years now and don't see the need to change.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

  9. #8
    The bootloader password usually disappears. I enter it with confirmation but the next time I look at the password fields with my settings they're empty. It may have no role. I don't think this is much of a bug if it doesn't do anything anyway. Without it, to change bootloader settings you'd need a root password anyway, so that's probably good enough.

    The setting is usually for GRUB2 with graphical menu. I tried changing to GRUB with graphical menu but that wouldn't allow a password. I changed to GRUB with text menu and did a cold boot but that didn't need a bootloader password. I didn't try LILO with text menu or changing the boot device menu, not wanting to risk something permanent. The password, which was 14 characters, grew to 37 masked characters; when I pasted the string into a text editor, 14 masked characters appeared there. I went back to GRUB2 with graphical menu and no password.

    Using something like CentOS or Suse makes sense for stability of a central server that's for a specific purpose (like file serving or network booting), but I guess not for a single-machine system where utility and productivity app versions should be recent. At least that's my off-the-cuff thought. I stop short of beta testing a distro, although many utilities and minor apps are long-term beta versions anyway. When a distro version's end-of-life comes, I often try another distro, not because the EOL one is bad but so I get more experience with different distros.

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