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  1. #1

    Unable to log in unless using root account

    I'm pretty new to Linux and would appreciate your thoughts on this: I have a number of accounts on my system and used to be able to log in with any of them. Recently, something must have changed as I can no longer log in with anything but the root account. I first noticed this when using PuTTY for remote access.
    This is where it gets a little bizarre! If I try to log on with an account other than root and I type an incorrect password I am informed that the password is incorrect and prompted to enter it again. If I type the correct password returned to the login prompt. If I do the same using PuTTY I am returned to the login prompt if I enter an incorrect password and if I enter the correct password the session ends with an error (Network error: software caused connection abort).
    If I log in as root and su to another account I receive a permission denied message but if I type whoami the account appears to be the specified user. If I su - to the new account I do not receive an error message. This may, of course be totally unrelated!
    I did find an article that suggested that the problem mat be related to permissions on some files / directories. The following was correct:
    /etc 755
    bashrc 644
    /home/useraccount directory 740

    Thanks in advance for any assistance you can provide.

  2. #2
    Linux Guru bigtomrodney's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    What is the default shell for each of these users? If they are disabled it might be something like /bin/false.
    awk -F: '{print $7}' </etc/passwd
    That would explain them logging out again.

  3. #3
    Thanks for the quick response. The default shell for the users is /bin/bash. There are a couple of (old) accounts that are set to bin/false but not the ones that I have been using.

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    there are many issues tht can keep someone from logging in (beside the file permission that u say have already checked)
    i ll try address few of them

    1. nologin -> ur shell mightbe false or nologin, sheck in /etc/passwd to see ur shell
    2.expired acount -> chage -l username wil display the acc info
    3. user being locked -> if u see "!" before the encrypted passwd of tht user in /etc/shadow try usermod -U username this will unlock the account
    4.check for missing /etc/shadow or /etc/passwd or /etc/group or /etc/securetty (or commented tty name in last file), bust since u can log in as superuser this hardly can be the case. if u identify the problem as one of these do get back i ll may try givin the workin solution in detail

  6. #5
    Thanks for the ideas:
    shell is ok
    accounts are not expired
    No ! before passwords in passwd file
    All files are in place
    Back to the drawing board .....

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