Doesn't ask for password - doesn't login successfully

Ken Moffat ken at
Fri Apr 9 14:29:59 PDT 2004

On Fri, 9 Apr 2004 shalomnaumann at wrote:

> Hi,
> After spending lots of time, I finally got my LFS system
> installed...but it doesn't work. It boots up fine (though that took a
> rebuild of the kernel with a better configuration), and that goes much
> faster than on any distribution I've used before, but my problems
> start at the login.
> Basically, it gives the Login: prompt, but when I enter any username
> (I've tried root, which I have set a password for, shalom, which I've
> useradded but haven't set a password for, and goose, which doesn't
> exist). For all of them it just pauses for a few seconds and then
> returns to the Login: prompt. It doesn't ask for a password and it
> doesn't log in.
> Everything works fine in the chroot'ed environment. I can su , su -,
> su shalom, and su - shalom successfully.

 In chroot you bypass the login process.  I don't recall any past
problems where the system didn't ask for a password, so I suggest that
while you're in chroot you have a look at everything in /var/log,
particularly auth.log, to see if there are any clues.

> What did I do wrong and what must I do to fix it? I totally have no
> idea where to start. What controls the login part of the linux system?
> What could I have done wrong to make it fail. I more or less followed
> the book to the letter (though I did make a few mistakes including
> compilation of glibc with -O3 -march=pentium4 optimization and I
> didn't realise that I was unsuccessful in my install of both ncurses
> and binutils until I chrooted at the end of the book without /tools
> being in my path and they didn't work. I fixed that, though).

 Appendix B says that login is installed by shadow.  Like you I've no
real idea about the detail of the login process, but shadow seems to
cause it's fair share of puzzles.  I'd be suspicious of optimisation
problems.  Looking at the somewhat old installation on this box, login
links against libmisc and libshadow which both come from shadow, plus
libcrypt and libc which come from from glibc.

 If you can't find any informative messages in the logs, maybe try
rebuilding shadow without optimisation (and rerun whichever of pwconv
and grpconv you intend to use, then rerun passwd root).

> As a side point, where do I set defaults. For example, I noticed that
> when I su -, the path is quite weird and doesn't include the /sbin and
> /usr/sbin directories. Is there somewhere I can change defaults
> without using ~/.bashrc?

 Sounds like a BLFS question :)  See chapter 3 of the BLFS book,
probably the section Configuring for Adding Users.  Meanwhile, I suppose
fix the PATH in /root/.bash_profile, although on a box of mine that's
running 5.1-pre root's PATH is fine and it isn't obvious to me where
it's coming from.

 das eine Mal als Tragödie, das andere Mal als Farce

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