Problems with gnome-terminal not starting properly under GDM

J.A. Neitzel jan.listbox at
Mon Oct 1 08:55:08 PDT 2001

Steve Bougerolle wrote:
> I've got this annoying bug again where I can't open gnome-terminals.  With
> enough prompting I get this error message:
> "There has been an error while trying to log in.
>  If you are using Linux 2.2.x with glibc 2.1.x, this
>  is probably due to incorrectly setup Unix98 ptys."
> This ONLY happens with SOME user names.  ie, it works with root and if I
> log in as user "steve" but NOT if I log in as user "CC".  (CC and Steve
> should be equivalent setups, even with the same group).

Do all of these users have the same exact GNOME preference files? I don't
know where they are... ~/.gnome ??? Maybe there is something
weird/old/outdated in the cc user's preference files???

> I've checked all the docs I can find.  My system uses devpts - all the pty*
> and ttyp* nodes have been removed.  This seems to work fine for just about
> every other app I've tried; xterm works, PPPoE works, and as I said
> gnome-terminal works some times but not other times.

When did you remove the pty* and ttyp* devices, before or after
installing GNOME ??? I don't know if this really matters, but in
my experience it does? I don't know GNOME, but I had exactly the
same problem once a long time ago with KDE and Konsole.

Even after I removed the old pty devices in favour of devpts, that
stupid Konsole still wanted to open the old ones. They didn't exist.
It failed. I trashed Konsole in favour of XTERM. Yay, XTERM! =)

A regular old xterm is much better than any of these fake, desktop
environment terminal emulators out there.

> Permissions on the relevant nodes:
> crw-rw-rw-    1 root     tty        5,   2 Oct  1 13:38 /dev/ptmx
> drwxrwxr-x    2 root     tty             0 Oct  1  2001 /dev/pts
> and some of the currently-running pts, just for good measure (from ls -l
> /dev/pts):
> total 0
> crw--w----    1 cc       tty      136,   0 Oct  1 13:39 0
> crw-------    1 root     tty      136,   2 Oct  1 13:30 2
> The tty group is #4.  Here's the mount line from fstab:
> none                    /dev/pts                devpts  gid=4,mode=620
> 0 0

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