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Re: CMOS settings getting lost when user who is group "nvram" logs into KDE

On Thursday 10 February 2005 06:56, Martin Steigerwald wrote:
> Hello,
> For a customer I installed a Linux Scan Workstation with
> Debian Sarge. It is some Wortmann Terra Server with SiS 661
> chipset with a motherboard that seems to be from ASUS (lspci
> output at the end of the mail).
> It all worked pretty well despite one problem:
> When the user logs into KDE 3.3.2 using KDM, and then logs
> out again with rebooting the machine, on the next start the
> BIOS of the machine (an American Megatrends one) complains
> that it cannot read the CMOS settings anymore.
> This doesn't happen when the user just boots into KDM and
> then uses KDM's menu to reboot the machine, i.e. when he
> doesn't log into KDE.
> This also doesn't happen when the user use the "safe"
> session (dunno the exact english name in KDM) which only
> gives an xterm.
> And it also doesn't happen when the user is not a member of
> the group "nvram" although even when he is, a "lsmod | grep
> nvram" after KDE was started gives no result.
> But it does also happen, when the user does not log out
> normally but just switches off the machine and switches it
> on again then.
> Currently I removed the user from the group "nvram" as a
> work-around, without knowing the exact cause of the problem.
> I am almost ready to file this under esoteric problems with
> non properly supported hardware, but I still would like to
> know what the heck is happening here. Who at all is
> accessing nvram during start of KDE? I de-installed
> "klaptopdaemon" which didn't make a difference.
> Any hints where to search? I am about to file this as a bug
> report, but before I would like to get some feedback on it.
> Maybe someone has an idea.
> I am using a standard Debian kernel 2.6.10-1-686 on that
> machine.


I noticed a new (I believe it was experimental) kernel option 
that enabled the use of the "supposedly" unused portion of the 
CMOS ram.  I "think" that came out with the 2.6.10 kernel, but 
I am unsure as to exactly which releases have it.

It sounds like that option is enabled in the kernel you are 
using, and somehow KDE is corrupting the CMOS ram data. I 
don't understand why that option would be enabled in any 
standard kernel.  

Removing the user (all users, perhaps) from nvram (non-volatile 
ram) seems like the proper solution. I wouldn't call it a 
work-around at all. Unless I completely misunderstand what's 
going on, I don't think that kernel option should be enabled 
in the first place, and if it is, most, if not all users, 
should not be members of the nvram group.


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