Can't login as root on gnome

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Can't login as root on gnome

Postby inky » 2011-03-09 19:40

I have squeeze with gnome. Various apps let me log in as root when needed to but if I logout as a user and try to login as root it won't let me (won't authenticate password). I had this problem before and reinstalled Debian and definitely checked for it to allow me to do this and it worked for a while after new install. Apparently some update overrode my preferences. This is a major defect and may force me to abandon Debian. I don't use root often but I don't have any use for a operating system that won't let me use it. Anyone know how to correct this. I am not interested in using a terminal on a regular basis or ever for that matter.
Thanks
INKY
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Re: Can't login as root on gnome

Postby BowCatShot » 2011-03-10 13:57

I have a brand new unaltered installation and it won't let me log in as root either. That is at the initial login screen. Once logged in as a user I can su to root successfully. I don't know if this is by design or is a bug. If by design it sucks!
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Re: Can't login as root on gnome

Postby TobiSGD » 2011-03-10 14:37

It is by design. You are not allowed to login as root in a GUI. That is not a bug.
Why would anyone login as root in a GUI? This is a real security risk.
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Re: Can't login as root on gnome

Postby MarcusW » 2011-03-10 14:38

I think it's by design, but it's easy to change. ("logging in as root" at the installation means the root account is enabled, gdm will still reject it) Open the gdm settings -> Security -> Allow root/admin to log in.
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Re: Can't login as root on gnome

Postby inky » 2011-03-10 15:38

Thanks for responses. Nice to see others have the same problem. If it is a security issue it should still be an option for those of us who can't use terminals. How do I get into GDM to change settings. Can I do this from the gnome or do I need to use terminal. I am pretty sure I had this option on the install and set it to let me login and then something took it away. On my expermental install it was on the login page and I was able to change it but on this working install and my previous install I wasn't able to find it again.
Thanks
Inky
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Re: Can't login as root on gnome

Postby TobiSGD » 2011-03-10 16:28

inky wrote: If it is a security issue it should still be an option for those of us who can't use terminals.
It is an option, but it is not enabled by default. What do you mean with "can't use terminals"? You can do almost all administrative tasks in the GUI, you are asked for the root-password if it is needed.
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Re: Can't login as root on gnome

Postby julian516 » 2011-03-10 16:45

@ inky:
I am a relatively new Debian user as well. In my experience TobiSGD is right. If I am operating in the GUI I usually am asked for a root password when that is required for something I wish to do. I would not change the default log in behavior! Really, do not log in as Root. That is a wise security provision. If you sit in your favorite coffee shop and log in as Root somebody 5 tables away just got the keys to your digital kingdom.

Most of the time I go to the terminal and it really is not hard. Give it a try!
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Re: Can't login as root on gnome

Postby inky » 2011-03-10 17:56

I can also put in the root password when it asks for it and that works. I am a lousy typist and have a lousy memory making using a terminal a pain. Security isn't an issue for me because no one has access to the machine but me. Sometimes there are things I need to do that I can't do through the package manager etc. Right now I need change the update files from squeeze to testing so it will update the way I want it to. I have to have root access to update that file and I can't find any other way to do it. Plus it's my machine and I want to be able to access any way I want whenever I want.
Thanks for responses.
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Re: Can't login as root on gnome

Postby TobiSGD » 2011-03-10 18:17

inky wrote:Security isn't an issue for me because no one has access to the machine but me.
Not if your machine is connected to the Internet.
inky wrote: Right now I need change the update files from squeeze to testing so it will update the way I want it to.
You can do that with Synaptic.
inky wrote:Plus it's my machine and I want to be able to access any way I want whenever I want.
Of course you can do that, it is your machine. But then don't complain if your machine is compromised or borked because of that.
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Re: Can't login as root on gnome

Postby Bro.Tiag » 2011-03-10 18:46

inky wrote:I can also put in the root password when it asks for it and that works. I am a lousy typist and have a lousy memory making using a terminal a pain. Security isn't an issue for me because no one has access to the machine but me. Sometimes there are things I need to do that I can't do through the package manager etc. Right now I need change the update files from squeeze to testing so it will update the way I want it to. I have to have root access to update that file and I can't find any other way to do it. Plus it's my machine and I want to be able to access any way I want whenever I want.
Thanks for responses.
Inky

I'm not telling you to not run as root (I do run as root, but not to perform day to day activities as root), but that you should try su. Su will make you "root", and you can destroy your install just as quick as su as you could as root. The thing is, that once you close the shell running su, is it's closed, no more root accesses. Besides, it's the Debian Way, you are running debian correct, you do want to become a real Debian user correct { :mrgreen: for the knee-jerk crowd}.

Since you are a bad typist (and probably a bad speller & maybe even want to learn english some day, as do I) install gpm, it is a mouse that works w/o X running.

Cheers
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Re: Can't login as root on gnome

Postby inky » 2011-03-10 18:49

How do you change it in synaptic. My synaptic no longer has the page where you can list the repositories yourself. I know not to log on as root except when I am doing something where it is necessary. I will be installing SQL-ledger a bookkeeping program soon and it requires me to be logged on as root for several steps. It requires terminal usage as well but I think I can cut and paste my way through that. From time to time I have had things that had to be done as root. Fubarring the machine is a risk that I have to take sometimes.
Thanks
Inky
Last edited by inky on 2011-03-10 19:06, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Can't login as root on gnome

Postby inky » 2011-03-10 19:05

I see the benefits of using su. The problem for me is that I don't use it often enough to remember the syntax, filenames, operators etc. I have to open a tutorial hunt through it for what I need then type it in the terminal. I do this sometimes but it is a real pain and actually ends up with root open longer than if I could click my way to it after logging in as root.
Thanks
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Re: Can't login as root on gnome

Postby TobiSGD » 2011-03-10 19:37

inky wrote:How do you change it in synaptic.
Open Synaptic, click on Settings, then on Repositories. In the dialog that opens now just click on the entry you want to change and edit the files in the bottom of the dialog as you like.
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Re: Can't login as root on gnome

Postby inky » 2011-03-10 19:51

Doesn't work. My synaptic doesn't have that dialog anywhere. I know what you are referring to because an older version had it, but this one does not that I can find. That's why I need to edit the file itself (I found it) but have to be logged as root to do it.
Thanks
Inky
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Re: Can't login as root on gnome

Postby TobiSGD » 2011-03-10 20:07

I am wondering about that. I use Sid, so that I should have a newer version of Synaptic.
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