X Server won't start (Redhat 9) - Xwindows

This is a discussion on X Server won't start (Redhat 9) - Xwindows ; I'm going crazy here trying to restore the replacement server back into the working order it was previously... (*before* I actually do the replacement!). This is a Redhat 9 system that when I built it from the CDs had a ...

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Thread: X Server won't start (Redhat 9)

  1. X Server won't start (Redhat 9)


    I'm going crazy here trying to restore the replacement server back into
    the working order it was previously... (*before* I actually do the
    replacement!). This is a Redhat 9 system that when I built it from
    the CDs had a working Gnome environment. It also had a temporary
    hostname so that I could have it on the net with the current server.

    Now I've changed the name to be the same as the current server (but
    have it off-net, of course), and I can no longer start the X Server!
    [There is a local net to which it is normally connected by a second
    NIC, but I've taken it off that, too, for now]

    The message I get (from an attempted xinit) is:
    --------------------------------
    $ xinit

    Fatal server error:
    PAM authentication failed, cannot start X server.
    Perhaps you do not have console ownership?


    When reporting a problem related to a server crash, please send
    the full server output, not just the last messages.
    Please report problems to xfree86@xfree86.org.


    giving up.
    xinit: No such file or directory (errno 2): unable to connect to X server
    xinit: No such process (errno 3): Server error.
    $
    ---------------------------------

    Well, I'm doing it from the Console, so I should darn well have ownership!
    The rest of the above output seems singularly unhelpful. I can't really
    find any clue as to what part of PAM might be objecting.

    Any pointers greatly appreciated!

    -- Pete --


  2. Re: X Server won't start (Redhat 9)

    In article ,
    I wrote:
    >I'm going crazy here trying to restore the replacement server back into
    >the working order it was previously...
    >
    > [....] I can no longer start the X Server!
    >
    >The message I get (from an attempted xinit) is:
    >--------------------------------
    >$ xinit
    >
    >Fatal server error:
    >PAM authentication failed, cannot start X server.
    > Perhaps you do not have console ownership?
    > [.....]
    >---------------------------------
    >
    >
    >Any pointers greatly appreciated!


    Well -- seems nobody knows any better than I... {:-/) Got no suggestions.

    I have, however, found the solution, if not the explanation [which I'd
    still really like!]. The system runs by default at runlevel 3, and I
    was doing (in the period when it worked) 'xinit' to start an X environment
    from my account. This is what was failing as above. (For users -- root
    could still start the X server.)

    For grins I finally did a 'telinit 5' (remotely)... and saw the graphic
    login screen immediately pop up on the console! From there I could log
    in as a user and get my normal X environment.

    I then did 'telinit 3' again, and now my 'xinit' works properly just as
    it did before!

    My (wild) guess -- trying to parse the documentation on "PAM and Device
    Ownership" -- is that somehow the "console user" was locked off somewhere
    that it shouldn't have been, so I was never getting the console privileges
    I should have. No real idea, but hopefully if it happens again, the same
    cure will work...

    -- Pete --

    [What a f***g waste of six hours of my time, though.]



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