su not working correctly (screwed up bigtime) - help !?

su not working correctly (screwed up bigtime) - help !?

Post by Victoria Wel » Fri, 22 Jul 1994 04:21:22


  We are running the 1.09 kernel and the:

GNU shellutils 1.9.2 version of su.

It seems that after we added some new users that "su root" (or just
su) will get you one of the last user added (using adduser).

I *think* that I originally added users manually and only since I
discovered "adduser" that the problem started.  I am not totally sure
about this.  I don't know if its a problem with the 1.09 kernel, but I
don't remember having had this problem before that, but we didn't add
many users before we did that either....  We jumped from the 1.00
kernel directly to the 1.09 version.  Perhaps "su" and / or the
shellutils need to be upgraded to work with the new kernel, or perhaps
"adduser" ?

Not being able to su when necessary is a real pain :-).

Any ideas or suggestions MUCH appreciated.  Both for getting it
working, if thats all it takes, or if this problem has created others
that I am not aware of, how to "get back to normal".

And, yes, I have looked through the docs and man pages, but nothing
that seems to help, it seems like this problem never showed up before.

Thanks in advance !

Take care, Vikki.
Vikki Welch, Net/SysAdmin, Welch Research Labs, WV9K, DoD#-13, TEAM TSE

"I pity Sara Bradey and her minions, in the end they will be
responsible for more death, pain and suffering than they think they


1. "su" not working correctly

I'm seeing strange behaviour when I use the command "su". Previously I'd
enter the
root password, the prompt would change from "$" to "#", the default
would change to the home directory for root, and I could use any

Now, after I enter "su" and the root password, the prompt still changes
from "$" to
"#". However, the default directory doesn't change to the home directory
of root.
When I try to enter administrative commands like "fdisk" I get:

bash: fdisk: command not found

Also, after using "su" the output of "who" only shows three instances of
personal login, not root. If I do "whoami" I get root, not my personal
login id.

I can't think of anything that changed between the time that "su" worked
and the
time it didn't.

One thing that happened at the same time was the audio file that gets
played when KDE starts wouldn't sound any more. After logging in as root
day, I found that root had hundreds of administrative messages that
didn't have
anything to do with sound. Once I removed all these messages, the sound
started to play again. I don't know if there is any connection between
the "su" and
sound problems but they seemed to start at about the same time.

Any ideas?

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