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Password problem confirmed as repeatable - was [Re: Newbie password problem(s)]

Richard Owlett wrote:
I've been doing a series of Debian installs over the last
several months.
YES. There are easier ways to do things. *BUT* my purpose is
_educational_ rather than "efficiency" ;)

I have a history of problems with the root password not
being recognized.

If the problem *DOES* occur on a  individual install
iteration , it *WILL* occur on *EVERY* cold boot and *EVERY*
time a root password is required.
If the problem *DOESN'T* occur on a  individual install
iteration , it *WILL NEVER* occur on *ANY* cold boot and
*ANY* time a root password is required.

Whether or not the problem appears is independent of:
    install media - LiveCD or purchased 8 DVD set
   target machine - Lenovo ThinkPad or Lenovo desktop

On  reinstall the problem may or may not occur independent
of previous condition.

The current problem iteration:
A minimum CLI install on the desktop machine.
A successful boot which accepted my user name and password.
Attempted to use su command, would not accept either password.
Successful "apt-get install gdm3" using user password.
Reboot resulted in expected GUI.
Could not access either "Root Terminal" nor "Synaptic" from
menu - password not accepted.

When rebooting into "Rescue Mode", the last two lines
displayed are:
sulogin: root account is locked, starting shell

At this point I'm allowed to do "apt-get install xyz" - no
password required.

Comments, questions, suggestions?????

Notes on reinstall after having root password not recognized *AGAIN*

Power off the machine
Power up and chose DVD as boot device
With Debian 6.0.5 DVD 1 of 8 in drive, select "Graphical Expert Install"

------------from here on only entries when default entry NOT chosen----

1. after network configuration failed due *NO* network existing
   chose "Do not configure network at this time"
2. Did not enable shadow passwords
3. Did not chose "set clock using NTP"
4. Set time zone to Central
5. Partitioning choices made
   Delete *ALL* existing partitions
Create a 20 GB primary partition at beginning of drive, format as Ext3,
      mount point /
   Create a 5 GB logical partition at end of drive for swap
6. Driver selection - Generic [I usually choose targeted]
7. Software selection - Chose ONLY "Standard system utilities"
8. Finish the installation - said clock not set to UTC

1st boot after install
1. User name and password accepted
2. Attempted "sudo apt-get install gdm3"
   Received error message "-bash: sudo: command not found"
3. Attempted "su", neither root nor user password accepted
4. Rebooted with CNTRL-ALT-DEL
5. Chose rescue mode
6. System appeared to start as expected

   The last three lines displayed on monitor are:

Setting up console font and keymap...done.<CRLF>
sulogin: root account is locked, starting shell<CRLF>
root@debian:~# [ 9.683173] IBM TrackPoint firmware: 0x0e, buttons: 3/3 [ 9.892571] input: TPPS/2 IBM TrackPoint as /devices/platform/i8042serio1/serio2/input/input10

I then hit <ENTER> receiving a new prompt of "root@debian~#"

7. Entered "apt-get install gdm3", received a prompt of "Do you want to continue [Y/n]?" to which I responded with <ENTER>

*NOTE BENE* NO PASSWORD(s) were requested or given after I started Rescue mode.

8. That process appeared to run to a normal finish.
9. Then entered "apt-get install gedit gparted" which also seemed to conclude normally.
10. Rebooted by typing "exit"
11. Received an apparently normal Gnome request for password which was accepted. 12. Attempted to run both "root terminal" and "gparted", neither would recognize the root password.

Re-did the above installation except chose "Install" when DVD booted. Every thing was the same through Step 2 under "1st boot after install".

When entering "su" in step 3, the root password *WAS* accepted.
Doing "apt-get install gdm3" and "apt-get install gedit gparted" both proceeded to apparently normal finish. Typing "exit" returned me to the user prompt. I then rebooted using CNTRL-ALT-DEL.

Attempting to run Root Terminal proceeded normally thru prompting and apparently accepting the root password. The terminal did not appear - I've had that happen before, apparently although the icon for Root Terminal appears in the Applications sub-menu, the underlying program is not installed.

Gparted started without asking for a password while displaying the screen titled "Granted permissions without asking for password". Confirmed my suspicion by powering down and rebooting. This time I started Gparted first [it did ask for root password] and then attempting to star Root Terminal. I received the screen titled "Granted permissions without asking for password". The Root Terminal again DID NOT appear. Installing gnome-terminal with Synaptic caused Terminal to appear in Applications menu. Now both Root Terminal and Terminal are functional.

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