Problems with gnome-terminal not starting properly under GDM

J.A. Neitzel jan.listbox at
Mon Oct 1 22:30:17 PDT 2001

Steve Bougerolle wrote:

>> 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 weird/old/outdated in the cc user's preference files???
> Problem solved!

Well, that's good to know!

> I checked the preferences, or anything that could be different in the two
> GNOME setups, and they were pretty much the same.  However, I kept going
> with that line of thought

That's the way! Yay, I have found that is the only way to really learn
stuff. If you kick it hard enough, long enough, it'll work out and do
what you want it to do. Part of the adventure! Boy, I like computing!
UNIX is life ;o) OK, enough rambling. Kind of life affirming to let one
thought lead to another, to another... And... Problem solved! UNIX is
good this way.

> and eventually worked my way back to /etc/passwd
> (which I should have thought of sooner), where user steve had an explicit
> entry for /bin/bash as the shell and user cc had nothing.  Fixing that
> seems to have solved the problem.

And... I don't intend to diminish this in any way, but here is something
else to think about... From  PASSWD(5), `man 5 passwd':

       The command interpreter field provides  the  name  of  the
       user's  command  language  interpreter, or the name of the
       initial program to execute.  Login uses  this  information
       to  set the value of the SHELL environmental variable.  If
       this field is empty, it defaults to the value /bin/sh.

Since sh as an interactive shell does have a little different behaviour
from bash (e.g. it reads different init files at startup). So with sh
processing your shell startup files differently, this could have
contributed to the problem in some indirect fashion.

> I guess I'd better write myself a decent adduser script to avoid these sort
> of messes again...

Yes, this does help. The one (script) that I use... It began life as
a derivation of the one from the HOWTO doc in the shadow tarball. About
a year ago, I cooked up my modification to this script and have been
using it since. So much easier! =) It has made user administration less
prone to cause headaches. Type one command; account is ready; notify
user; done.

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