Weird behavior / admin privileges lost

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Weird behavior / admin privileges lost

Postby FrD » 2019-11-04 23:52

Hi all,

I just upgraded my install to the following:
- Kernel 4.19.0-0.bpo.6-amd64
- KDE Plasma 5.14.5

And now I seem to have "lost" my administrator privileges (which was fine prior to the upgrade):

I am able to log in at the login screen as usual, but I noticed something was wrong when I could not save /etc/default/grub after editing it (I wanted to enable verbose boot). Then I was unable to successfully edit my user profile in KDE System Settings to enable Automatic login (no error message, the check box just "unchecked" itself). Then I tried to create a new user, to replace my existing one which I thought might have been corrupted somehow. That failed too. I have administrator privileges. I am the only user on this system.

I did several hours of googling but I couldn't dig up anything conclusive. I did observe the following while trying to resolve the issue:
- "whoami" outputs my user ID
- "who" outputs blank
- "who --all" outputs blank
- "w" outputs an empty header w/no records

None of this was an issue prior to the upgrade. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
FrD
 
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Re: Weird behavior / admin privileges lost

Postby Deb-fan » 2019-11-05 01:23

Read up about the changes in Buster. Sounds like the polkit-policy files pkexec thing perhaps ? Per those changes try making your user root with "su -", "sudo -i" or "sudo -s" so you don't mess up the path. Then there's the whole editing files with the syntax as follows, example provided by Head_on. Obviously using the gedit text-editor in the example ...
gedit admin:///full/path/to/system/file


Assuming the text-editor needs a valid polkit policy file to work. As none of this admin:/// stuff works on this minimal Buster install any way. Am sure a cli text editor ie: nano would work with sudo and without issue. Am still getting my head around all these changes, so really not the person to ask overall. Haven't even bothered trying the pkexec junk on it. Personally for the time being have fallen back to using gksu. Others could explore stuff like lxqt-sudo, kdesu or whatever else suits a nixers fancy. Gksu is deprecated, gtk-gnome stuff anyway and known to have security flaws.

Seems like a whole lot of change for hard to tell what benefit. Used gksu for years without any issues, until-if I get around to adopting the new and improved am sticking with what I like and works for me. :)
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Re: Weird behavior / admin privileges lost

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2019-11-06 18:40

FrD wrote:I just upgraded my install to the following:
- Kernel 4.19.0-0.bpo.6-amd64
- KDE Plasma 5.14.5

How exactly did you do this? Please list the commands that you used.
Don't break DebianHow to report bugs

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Re: Weird behavior / admin privileges lost

Postby FrD » 2019-11-07 00:57

I executed an upgrade script from my distro's website, ie Neptune. But after I wrote the post above, more and worse issues kept coming up, culminating with total GUI loss.

That upgrade was wrecking my install beyond all recognition so I decided to cut my losses and installed the latest Debian 10 with LXQt. Why not get Debian proper rather than a distro that's based off of it? So far I'm glad I did, my derelict Pentium Acer laptop runs faster and the OS actually looks better. Lesson learned :)
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Re: Weird behavior / admin privileges lost

Postby cuckooflew » 2019-11-07 14:54

executed an upgrade script from my distro's website, ie Neptune.

It would have been nice if the OP just told us in the first post that they were using some other distro and it was not Debian. If installing Debian solved the problem, please mark this non debian issue as solved,
(Can be done by editing the first post subject line)
http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=142631&start=45
Or is it just me ?
My grand father knows all about everything:
…one flew east, one flew west,
One flew over the cuckoo’s nest.
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Re: Weird behavior / admin privileges lost

Postby FrD » 2019-11-07 15:46

@cuckooflew I apologize for the confusion. The silver lining here is that I converted to Debian.
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