Lost user login and user home directories

I have lost the ability to login into my OS 11.1 system with any of my
defined user logins. The system returns:

"Cannot enter home directory. Using /"

If I 'OK' this, the next message (in a sort of DOS box) is:

"kstartupconfig4 does not exist or fails; the error code is 3. Check
your installation"

If I OK this then I am represented with the original user logon panel.

This sequence is the same for all the users defined on the system

I can login as root. When I do so I notice that there are no user
directories under /home

Is this recoverable? If so, how?


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and said I was.-*
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XEyedBear
8/12/2009 9:26:02 PM
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what changes were made to the system recently? For instance, did you
change partition layout, encrypted partitions, installed another OS,
updated kernel etc.. ?


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*   ~ There are 10 types of people. Those who understand binary, and
those who don't. ~ *
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G0NZ0
8/12/2009 10:06:01 PM
G0NZ0;2025365 Wrote: 
> what changes were made to the system recently? For instance, did you
> change partition layout, encrypted partitions, installed another OS,
> updated kernel etc.. ?

No, no changes of that sort; I did apply some changes which were
claimed to improve performance, but the only ones that I can think would
be in any involved were:

Used Yast to edit /etc/sysconfig to ensure that DMA was on for my hard
drives. I specified this using /dev/hda, (i.e I used /dev/hda:udma5)
when it should have been /dev/sda

I edited /etc/fstab to add 'noatime, nodiratime' to the ext3
declarations

I changed 'swappiness' from 60 to 10 via 'sudo sysctl -w
vm.swappiness=10' and then added this line (stupidly, exactly that line)
at the end of  /etc/sysctl.conf 

I disabled some services with Yast, none of which seemed to be relevant
to this problem (for example, disabling support for Bluetooth)

Other changes were to options in OpenOffice, and removing screen-saver


btw, you say "~ There are 10 types of people. Those who understand
binary, and those who don't. ~" - what happened to the other 14 ?


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XEyedBear
8/12/2009 10:26:01 PM
ken_yap;2025379 Wrote: 
> You should boot without the splash screen to see why it fails to mount
> /home.
> 
> I bet you broke /etc/fstab with your edit. You could have a look
> through to see if something is obviously wrong. For one thing there
> should be no whitespace inside the options list. So it should be
> noatime,nodiratime, not noatime, nodiratime.

You are absolutely right -I know I put a space after the comma.

How do I boot without the splash screen?


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XEyedBear
8/12/2009 10:36:02 PM
You should boot without the splash screen to see why it fails to mount
/home.

I bet you broke /etc/fstab with your edit. You could have a look
through to see if something is obviously wrong. For one thing there
should be no whitespace inside the options list. So it should be
noatime,nodiratime, not noatime, nodiratime.


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ken
8/12/2009 10:36:02 PM
Don't worry about that now, just go to one of the virtual consoles with
Ctrl-Alt-Fn where n is 1 to 6 and edit /etc/fstab with a CLI editor if
you can use one. Or login as root at the GUI and do the required.


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ken
8/12/2009 10:36:02 PM
AS I observed about an hour ago in another thread, it's the quality of
the people and the support they provide that makes this forum and this
distribution stand out....

So, thank so much. I'm up and running agaiin, so now I can go to bed
early and sleep instead of panic.


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XEyedBear
8/12/2009 10:46:01 PM
XEyedBear;2025386 Wrote: 
> So, thank so much. I'm up and running agaiin, so now I can go to bed
> early and sleep instead of panic.

A pleasure, mate. Have a good sleep.

One thing I learnt is not to do anything critical close to bedtime.
Unless one is insomniac and needs the distraction. :)


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ken
8/13/2009 12:06:02 AM
> Or login as root at the GUI and do the required.

never required.

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goldie
8/13/2009 12:33:51 PM
Except if you can't login as yourself because /home is not mounted so
the GUI won't start for you, and don't know how to use the CLI, which is
really something fixable.


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ken
8/13/2009 12:46:03 PM
of course, you know it *is* easily possible to edit /etc/fstab without
logging into the GUI as root, and you could have elected to walk him
through it....OR not..

coulda said something like:

- at first green screen type 3

- log in as root

- edit and save /etc/fstab (using whatever you wanna use) to take out
those unneeded spaces

- reboot OR

- mount /home (tell him how)

- log out

- log in as yourself

- go to rl 5

etc

-- 
goldie
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Teach man and you feed him for a lifetime.
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goldie
8/13/2009 2:36:08 PM
Actually I believe he does know how to use the CLI.

One-liner replies like yours are just unthinking dogma. What needs to
be done depends on the situation. And working out what to do and
weighing the risks and consequences is part of a sysadmin's education
which cannot be summarised with one-liners.


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ken
8/13/2009 10:16:02 PM
> working out what to do and weighing the risks and consequences is
> part of a sysadmin's education which cannot be summarised with
> one-liners.

i agree completely, i should have written something along the lines of:

-----------example------------------------
never required...learn more at:

http://en.opensuse.org/SDB:Login_as_root
http://docs.kde.org/stable/en/kdebase-runtime/userguide/root.html

lots has been written on this topic, for more you might see:
http://www.google.com/linux?q="GUI+as+root"

or search these fora from http://forums.opensuse.org/search.php
-----------end example------------------------


but, in fact i was replying to your posting, not his..

perhaps i was incorrect but, with your previously demonstrated level
of expertise here i didn't think you needed *all* the underlying
reasons on why not to encourage this, or any other unsafe practices
while tutoring neophyte Linux system administrators..

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goldie
8/14/2009 7:45:24 AM
I think "never login as root" is incomplete. More comprehensive would
have been "do not become root -unnecessarily-", and of course with an
explanation why.

Do I ever login as root? Yes sometimes I do, but not at the GUI, on a
VT, and only on local machines. Why do I do that? If I know I have
something that I need to fix in the config I will need to be root at
some point. If I login as myself and then su -, I'm at the same point,
and it will have taken me longer to get there. Yes, I could sudo, but
you know, if you get too used to sudo this and sudo that, then you get
desensitised to the dangers. Which is why I'm not a fan of the Ubuntu
scheme. But I don't try to disable that on Ubuntu machines I work with.

My assessment was that this was a one-off situation that the OP needed
to recover from. So it was a minor risk. In no way was I advocating
logging in as root at the GUI as normal practice.

Ironically I suspect the OP would not have got into this situation if
he had used YaST to edit fstab because it would have prevented him from
introducing a space in the options.


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ken
8/14/2009 8:06:02 AM
ken yap wrote:
> I think "never login as root" is incomplete. More comprehensive would
> have been "do not become root -unnecessarily-", and of course with an
> explanation why.
> 
> Do I ever login as root? Yes sometimes I do, but not at the GUI ...

AH! perhaps you misunderstood my "never required"..

because i certainly did not mean to "never use root powers" or "never
login as root" (i use root all the time), but rather i meant "never
log into KDE (Gnome, etc) as root" (which you say, above, that you
don't do either)..

i was specifically saying: never boot up to the login screen, and
enter root and the root password to sign into any Linux graphical user
interface...which is what i thought you meant...or, maybe i
misunderstood your "Or login as root at the GUI"?

>, on a
> VT, and only on local machines. Why do I do that? If I know I have
> something that I need to fix in the config I will need to be root at
> some point. If I login as myself and then su -, I'm at the same point,
> and it will have taken me longer to get there. 

no, if you have booted to KDE as a normal user, switched to a virtual
terminal and logged in as root you are NOT at the same place that
XEyedBear would be at if he followed your advice of "login as root at
the GUI" and at the green log in screen typed root and roots password!

certainly i was not suggesting that if operating in KDE as a normal
user and you open a terminal, you must then sign in as yourself and
THEN su to root...

nope....pop open that terminal and sign in as root is NOT what i meant
to never do...i do that all the time..

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goldie
8/14/2009 9:08:32 AM
I suspect you misunderstand the meaning of the phrase "do the required".
Here "required" means fix fstab. It doesn't mean that a root login at
the GUI is required to fix it, although it is one way and as I said, not
much of a risk if you are just going to do it just the once and not make
a habit of it. It's a somewhat archaic way of saying "do what's
required". It does not mean the same as "is what's required".

Should I also explain "just the once"? I won't try to use that other
phrase "for the nonce". ;)


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ken
8/14/2009 2:56:02 PM
ken yap adjusted his/her AFDB on Friday 14 Aug 2009 15:56 to write:

> Should I also explain "just the once"? I won't try to use that other
> phrase "for the nonce". ;)
> 
> 

Errr... depending where you are from I don`t think that phrase is very apt 
Ken, I will not even link to the urban dict for fear of offending.

:-)

-- 
Mark
Caveat emptor
Nullus in verba
Nil illegitimi carborundum
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baskitcaise
8/15/2009 12:19:57 AM
Yes, I see what you mean :), but do a search on the whole phrase "for
the nonce" and you will be directed to a very family oriented
explanation on Wikipedia.

A nonce is a term also used in cryptography, a word or phrase that is
generated at random and never used again.


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ken
8/15/2009 2:06:01 AM
ken yap adjusted his/her AFDB on Saturday 15 Aug 2009 03:06 to write:

> 
> Yes, I see what you mean :), but do a search on the whole phrase "for
> the nonce" and you will be directed to a very family oriented
> explanation on Wikipedia.
> 
> A nonce is a term also used in cryptography, a word or phrase that is
> generated at random and never used again.
> 
> 

Yep is also a middle English word that means at the once, or right away.

I must admit I had forgotten about the cryptographic reference.

Ain`t langwage fune :-)


-- 
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Caveat emptor
Nullus in verba
Nil illegitimi carborundum
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baskitcaise
8/15/2009 7:57:59 AM
Reply: