More Newbie Questions — Init 5 Works, Init 3 Doesn’t For “normal” Users

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OK, after 3 tries I got CentOS 6.6 installed (don’t ask). Now something very odd is happening. My regular user, me, can not login to level 3
without odd errors.

I get /home/ not found when it’s there and setup with correct permissions — well here I am using it in run level 5 just fine!

So, my normal user is left logged in at /root. Even if I move over to the correct /home area and then try startx (my preferred way of doing business), it does NOT start. Tries all kinds of things, and finally fails.

My next step is to take a look at the gnome startup script vs startx to see if I can figure out the differences if no one has encountered this before.

ps. the partitioning tool DID work, but a LOT of futzing with this. I
finally did end up with combining my old /opt and /usr with /, so hopefully I won’t run into any issues later.

6 thoughts on - More Newbie Questions — Init 5 Works, Init 3 Doesn’t For “normal” Users

  • Log in as root, and watch /var/log/messages, /var/log/secure, and
    /var/log/audit/audit.log while a “normal” user logs in.

    # tail -n0 -f /var/log/messages /var/log/secure /var/log/audit/audit.log

    /root or / ? The two are different, and non-root users should not have access to /root

    startx runs the X server, which will in turn run an X session. Gnome doesn’t have a “startup script” per se, but if it did, it would be an X
    session, something that runs after / under startx. There’s nothing there to compare.

    However, you could capture startx output and execution for debugging:

    $ sh -x /usr/bin/startx > startx.trace 2>&1

    The file “startx.trace” will have a list of all of the commands run, and all of their output (including errors).

    /var/log/X* might be interesting as well.

  • OK, this last bit sounds promising although this works as expected for root — starts up gnome flawlessly. My previous setup imported settings to use a display manager, etc. So, I need to check on this.

    Right now, one of my main concerns is that my old /home partition/direction is supposedly associated WITH current users I setup and yet…NOT! The system does not recognize this association even though it asked me about setting it up when I created my first real user on installation. I had to go in and reset uids but that’s no biggie and this process has worked fine before. I can’t help but think this is related to the startx issue.

  • Kay Schenk wrote:

    I missed parts of this thread: are any of them mounted NFS? From root, su
    – user, and then do ls -laF, and check the ownership and group,
    *including* of ./ (the current directory).

    I mention NFS because of issues we’ve been having here, but we’re connected to AD, and I need to fix /etc/idmapd.conf to have our domain.


  • Thanks for everyone’s help. It seems the not locating /home for users was related to startx problem.

    The /home partition in question had been an old one, ext3, and requested not to format. All that was well. Partition mounted, etc. Unfortunately, I had inadvertently installed selinux (OK, I saw that but didn’t’
    understand the consequences) and this was what was causing my odd non-root user login behavior (couldn’t locate /home) AND the startx problems from init 3 level. After talking to an RH admin colleague, all fine now. On to more fun items as I get up to speed on CentOS! :)

  • Kay Schenk wrote:
    Check to see if the setroubleshoot package is installed. If not, do it. It’ll generate log entries with sealerts, which will help you figure out how to shut up selinux…. Run it in permissive mode, in the meantime.

    mark “one of my permanent goals: shutting up selinux”

  • You probably want to execute

    # semanage fcontext -a -e /home /PATHTOYOURHOME
    # restorecon -R -v /PATHTOYOURHOME

    This tells SELinux to label content under /PATHTOYOURHOME as if it was under /home, and should fix most of your problems.