Troubleshooting Red Hat Linux   «Prev  Next»

Lesson 5User login problems
ObjectiveList common user login problems and their solutions.

User login problems (Red hat)

Common user login problems include home-directory problems, login script problems, and X Window system problems.

Home Directory Problems and Solutions

If the user logs in and gets a message about a missing home directory, you need first to verify that the directory is mounted and then to verify its ownership. The following Slide Show illustrates the requisite steps:
Question: What are common user login problems and their solutions in Red Hat Linux?
As with any operating system, Red Hat Linux users may encounter issues with the login process. Fortunately, most of these problems have straightforward solutions. Here are some common user login problems and their solutions in Red Hat Linux:
  1. Incorrect username or password: The most common login problem is the user entering an incorrect username or password. Users should double-check their login credentials and ensure that the Caps Lock key is not on. If the password has been forgotten, the user can reset it using the passwd command.
  2. Expired password: If a user's password has expired, they will be unable to login. The user can reset their password using the passwd command.
  3. Locked account: If a user has attempted to login with incorrect credentials multiple times, their account may become locked. The system administrator can unlock the account using the passwd -u command.
  4. Home directory full: If a user's home directory is full, they may be unable to login. The user can free up space by deleting unnecessary files or by moving files to an external storage device.
  5. Network connectivity issues: If the system is unable to connect to the network, users may be unable to login. The user should check their network connection and ensure that the network is functioning properly.
  6. SSH connection issues: If the user is attempting to login remotely using SSH, there may be issues with the SSH connection. The user should ensure that they have the correct SSH credentials and that the SSH server is running.
  7. SELinux issues: If SELinux is enabled, it may be preventing the user from logging in. The system administrator should check the SELinux logs and adjust the configuration if necessary.
  8. System maintenance: If the system is undergoing maintenance, users may be unable to login. Users should check with the system administrator to determine if the system is undergoing maintenance and when it will be available again.

In conclusion, while encountering login problems in Red Hat Linux can be frustrating, most issues have simple solutions. By following the steps outlined above, users can quickly troubleshoot and resolve most login issues.

Home Dir 1
1) Use the command ls /home to check that /home exists. As you can see here, /home ls empty.
Home Dir 2
2) If /home is empty, then a mount may have failed. Use the command mount /home to retry the mount.
Home Dir 3
3) If /home ls present and not empty, make sure that the user's directory exists.
Home Dir 4
4) If the directory exists, make sure the user owns it.
Home Dir 5
5) If the user does not own the directory, change the directory's ownership.
Home Dir 6
6) Now joe owns /home/joe and should have no further problems accessing his home directory

Login problems and solutions

Login problems are usually related to either an invalid shell or problems with the specific shell's login script.
  1. Use the finger -l command to show the user's shell. For example, finger -l bishop will show information about the user bishop, including the shell.
  2. Next, make sure the shell exists by using ls to list it. For example, if the user bishop used the /bin/ksh shell, then ls -l /bin/ksh will show whether the shell exists or not.

If the shell exists, then the user's shell-specific login script has problems. To fix the problems, you will need to look at the login script and fix the errors. Because each shell has a different syntax for the login script, you will need to consult the man page for the user's shell.

X Window System problems and solutions

In case of X Window System problems for a particular user, try booting to multi-user non-X11 mode if you normally boot to an X Window System login:
  1. First, boot to single-user mode by entering linux single at the LILO prompt.
  2. Then, switch to multi-user mode by typing init 3 at the command prompt.
  3. Next, log in directly and attempt to start X from the command line by entering the command startx.
  4. View the errors and attempt to fix any problems that you can identify. Use Shift-Page Up and Shift-Page Down to scroll up through error messages at the console.

The next lesson describes root login problems and their solutions.

User Login Problems - Exericse

Before moving on to the next lesson, click the Exercise link below to practice troubleshooting common user login problems.
User Login Problems - Exercise