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Thread: Debian Locks-Up Whenever I Use SU Privileges

  1. #1

    Debian Locks-Up Whenever I Use SU Privileges

    I recently installed Debain to hda7 (7.6GB) on my Dell Dimension 2400 (1GB) using the network install CD ("debian-6.0.3-i386-netinst.iso"). The installer dsecided my IDE drive was a SCSI device, so actually it is sda7. The installer had difficulty finding a video mode to match my monitor, but after 6 or 7 reboots it found a suitable mode, and there were no hicups after that.

    I manually partitioned sda7 as mount point for "/", filesystem: ext3, label: Debian, mount options: defaults, space reserved for superuser: 5% (the default); sda6 - filesystem: swap. The following software was installed: Graphical Desktop Environment, Print Server, File Server, SQL Database, SSH Server, Standard System Utilities. GRUB2 was installed to the MBR.

    Everything seems to work fine until I do something that requires SU privileges. Then everything except the mouse pointer locks up shortly thereafter, not instantly. For example, I needed to edit grub.cfg so I could boot DOS on sda1 and the two copies of WinXP on sda2 and sda4 (pre-existing). I was able to save the edits, then it locked-up. My only recourse has been to hard shutdown. The File Browser says I have 3.2GB of free space. Also, I cannot login as root, though I can use the root password to gain SU privileges anytime I want (for a few seconds or more).

    The system identifies itself as Debian "Squeeze". The press release @debian.org says that "Squeeze" has something to do with education and classrooms. I just wanted the latest stable release. This is my first attempt at Linux. Please help me diagnose the problem. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    N of the S of Ireland
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    20,504
    Instead of
    edit grub.cfg

    have you tried
    sudo edit grub.cfg

    and then entered the relevant su password? (the cursor does not move during such entry)
    Take nice care of yourselves - Paul - ♪ -
    Help to start using BiNG. Some stuff about Boot CDs & Data Recovery Basics & Back-up using Knoppix.

  3. #3
    Actually, I entered "su", then the root password. Then I did "edit grub.cfg". As I said before, "I was able to save the edits". GRUB2 boots the other three operating systems just fine. The problem is that Linux locks-up, seemingly shortly after invoking SU privileges, but I'm not positive that is the cause.

    I can't login as root at the initial login screen, but I have no trouble doing so in a terminal window. Maybe this is normal. It always accepts the root password. For example, if I try to view sda1 in File Browser, I get a pop-up asking for a password to mount sda1. I can view its contents for a while, then everything locks-up except the mouse pointer. I have to power-off manually.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    N of the S of Ireland
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    20,504
    Don't know abut Debian but in Ubuntu it can be done as per http://www.liberiangeek.net/2011/03/...natty-narwhal/
    Take nice care of yourselves - Paul - ♪ -
    Help to start using BiNG. Some stuff about Boot CDs & Data Recovery Basics & Back-up using Knoppix.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    The Mountain State
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    What desktop manager are you using? Gnome?
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    “When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.” - Thomas Paine
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