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Thread: Logging on Password Problem

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    158

    Logging on Password Problem

    I have been using Ubuntu 14.04 for about 3 weeks or so, dual booting with Windows 7. Yesterday evening, while using Ubuntu OS, I found I could not get onto BBC Homepage. The screen went grey and I was given the option of waiting or forcing a halt to the download attempt. I did one and then the other. Later I logged off and logged back on, this time to Windows 7 which configured the OS after having downloaded some updates earlier in the day. As a matter of fact the Windows configuration did not go as normal. It had about three goes at completing the configuration having to re-start itself about three times and ending up by starting itself in what looked to be 'safe mode'.

    Anyway, most of of the above might be irrelevant to the problem I now have which is that Ubuntu does not seem to be recognising my logging in password. I can get in only as a 'guest'. Can anyone please tell me how I can restore things to normal in Ubuntu? I have, by the way, tried a start up using the Ubuntu 'Advanced' option but the has not solved the problem.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    52° N 6° E
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    2,869
    Distro
    Xubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Logging on Password Problem

    Does it say: "Incorrect password" or does it accept your password and bounce back to the login screen immediately?

    In the first case, it's a password problem. You can try resetting your password using this link: http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/resetpassword

    In the second case, it's the graphical session that crashes as soon as it starts, taking you back to the login screen. The usual suspect would be the file .Xauthority in your home directory, which, through incorrect usage of sudo, may have become root-owned. .ICEauthority sometimes causes the same problem. Both must be owned by you and have permissions -rw------- (octal 0600). If you login in the console (ctrl-alt-F2) or from a root shell (recovery mode), you can check and fix if needed.

    Windows updates might interfere with grub, but as you get to the login screen that's not your problem.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    158

    Re: Logging on Password Problem

    It does not say "incorrect password". I am using the same password that I used when installing of Ubuntu. It accepts the password but after a delay of, maybe 45 seconds, it bounces back to the password screen. I don't think I've used sudo. Not yesterday anyway when it wet wrong. I am relieved to know Windows updates did not cause the problem though they did seem to upset Windows itself for a time.
    I am not sure what I have to look for, or do, when I press ctrl-alt-F2 (or get to root shell) but I will investigate. By the way, I seem to get a choice of two or three recovery options plus generic options, all titled linux xxxxxx. Does it matter which recovery option I choose for Ubuntu 14.04?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Distro
    Xubuntu

    Re: Logging on Password Problem

    Oddly, I had this same endless login loop and fixed it just today. Perhaps it will work for you, too.

    * Boot from a LiveDVD/USB and get to a desktop (or boot from another install on the machine if you have one, which is what I did);
    * Navigate to the /home/user folder;
    * Hit CTL+h to reveal hidden files/folders;
    * Look for 'ICEauthority' and 'Xauthority';
    * Delete them and reboot - both files will be regenerated on reboot.

    Any luck?

    PS: If you're confident, you could hit F2 at the endless login screen and delete those files using the tty ... Good luck either way.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    158

    Re: Logging on Password Problem

    I am getting into deeper water I fear. I got onto terminal via ctrl-alt-f2 and after putting in my user name and password I inserted the command rm ~/.Xauthority which I believe to be the file removal command. The reply was something like "Cannot remove xxxxxx Permission Denied". I then tried the same for .ICEauthority and again permission was denied. I think I still have the USB with which I did the original Ubuntu install. If I plug that in and switch on where will it get me to?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    6,179

    Re: Logging on Password Problem

    Don't panic yet

    First of all can you post the results of these commands from the Ctrl-Alt-F2 virtual terminal:

    Code:
    ls -ld ~
    
    ls -l ~/.{ICE,X}authority

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Xubuntu

    Re: Logging on Password Problem

    Easy. You need:
    Code:
    sudo rm ~/.Xauthority 
    sudo rm ~/.ICEauthority
    That simple. You need to do it as root, that's all. You're fine.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    6,179

    Re: Logging on Password Problem

    ^^^ yes but if a user can't rm files (even root owned ones) from their own directory, it possibly indicates the home directory ownership itself or permissions are messed up

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Re: Logging on Password Problem

    OP gives no indication they've run the commands as root. Probably why they're getting "Cannot remove xxxxxx Permission Denied". Should probably try with sudo first, then move on if it doesn't work.

    Worked for me in virtually the same situation yesterday (after five hours of trying to figure it out) as I mentioned earlier. I changed from GDM to XDM login manager and wound up with an endless login loop; right password, back to login screen ad infinitum, which looks the same or similar to OP's problem. Deleting those two files and rebooting fixed it. Worth a try.

    If they won't delete running with sudo, well, that gives us some new clues.
    Last edited by Bucky Ball; June 13th, 2014 at 05:12 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    158

    Re: Logging on Password Problem

    Thanks steeldriver and Bucky Ball. Firstly I tried "ls -d~" and received the reply "/home/gordon". Then I tried "ls -l ~/.{ICE,X}authority" and the reply was "/home/gordon/.Xauthority".

    I then put in "sudo rm ~/.Xauthority" and reply came back "[sudo] passsword for gordon:" I inserted my password and the terminal input for me, which is "gordon@Gordon-HP:~$" came back. I then inserted "sudo rm~/.ICEauthority" and the reply was the terminal input again.

    I then escaped from the terminal, shut down and re-booted. The log-in page appeared but when I put in my password the log-in page re-appeared. The only difference was, instead of having to wait half a minute or so for the log-in page to re-appear, it came back almost immediately. Progress of some sort I guess.

    Sorry to be such a pain. Any other suggestions other than a complete re-install? Am willing to try anything within my limited competence.

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