could not update ice authority file

Asked by Allen on 2012-05-13

I turned on "hidden files" in a folder yesterday.
Today when trying to boot the machine I get the message "could not update ICE authority file", and when I click through it go's back to the password screen.
How do I fix this??

Running Ubuntu 11.10
On an Acer Aspire 3600 laptop
Ubuntu is a stand loan OS on this machine.

Thanks

Question information

Language:
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Status:
Solved
For:
Ubuntu gdm Edit question
Assignee:
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Solved by:
Allen
Solved:
2012-05-27
Last query:
2012-05-27
Last reply:
2012-05-24
Allen (allenwg2005) said : #2

I'm going to need some clearer details on how to do this.
I get a message "event failed" and the problem remains.

Allen (allenwg2005) said : #4

Sam's help got me the mesage "cannot access file no such file exsists" on every word I typed in.
I would hope this isn't that big a deal, any other ideas?

Thank you

Sam_ (and-sam) said : #5

You did replace the user name with yours when attempting to set permissions correctly?
Please describe what you did exactly and which cmds you've issued. Thanks.

.ICEauthority is a hidden file in your /home/<user>, it must be write- and readable by the user.

Work in recovery mode or virtual console (text mode only): ctrl+alt+f1
Update database and try to locate the file:
sudo updatedb
locate .ICEauthority

Allen (allenwg2005) said : #6

Hey Sam,

Thanks for sticking with me.

Yes I changed the user name when I made my last attempt.

I have tried so many things I couldn't possibly remember all the stuff I wrote or received. Sorry.

I know it's a pain but, I think going back to the begining and getting precice input comands ie: spelling, spaces, and the like. Either I'm thrashing around making mistakes or the problem runs deeper than we think.

I went to recovery mode and typed "sudo updatedb locate .ICE authority" and got a masty gram that didn't make any sense about the updatedb being a problem.

What should I type when in the root shell to get what we want?

Thanks, Allen

Allen (allenwg2005) said : #7

OK, I've taken some time and done this all over again.

I ran Action Parsnip's sugestion and here's what followed.
I typed "chown -R allen:allen /home/allen; reboot"
It flew through pages of files and said "Will Reboot" it did and went back to the recovery screen, I went ahead and booted with my password and the problem was still there.

I did Sam's sugestion:
chown allen:allen /home/allen/ .ICEauthority
chmod 600 /home/allen/.ICEauthority
It came back with:
chown: changing ownership of /home/allen': Read only File System
chown: cannot access'.ICEauthority chmod': no such file or directory
chown: cannot access '600': no such file or directory
chown: changing ownership '/home/allen': read only file system
chown: cannot access :.ICEauthority': no such file or directory

All I wanted to do was view hidden files and look at the mess I've got on my hands here!

I hope this helps

Thanks

Sam_ (and-sam) said : #8

> chown allen:allen /home/allen/ .ICEauthority

There shouldn't be an empty space, it's:
chown allen:allen /home/allen/.ICEauthority

Anyway it doesn't sound healthy when the filesystem is read only. Perhaps run fsck.
touch /forcefsck
reboot

## It'll check fs on reboot.
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/TestingStorageMedia

> I went to recovery mode and typed "sudo updatedb locate .ICE authority" and got a masty gram

Where does #5 indicate it's a one-liner?

To use 'locate' the database should be up-to-date.
This updates database, there is no feedback expected.
sudo updatedb

## Of course in recovery mode (root shell) no 'sudo' necessary.

Allen (allenwg2005) said : #9

I ran chownallen:allen/home/allen/.ICEauthority (no spaces) and got,
bash: chownallen:allen/home/allen/.ICEauthority: no such file or directory

I ran the same thing with a space between chown and allen with the result,
chown: missing operand after “allen:allen/home/allen/.ICEauthority

As to #5, when I type "updatedb" and enter I get,
updatedb: cannot open a temporary file for '/var/lib/mlocate/mlocate.db
I can't imagine the point in writing a second line “locate .ICEauthority”
when it can't open the file in the first place.

This is my situation, I have a business to run and customers becoming ugly as I attempt to
correct this train wreck.
Can I just install 12.4 and overwrite all this or am I stuck wasting hours, days, weeks going round and round on this??

I know it's all second nature to you folks but I never had the time to learn the nomenclature and all
the in and outs of this stuff!!
Please advise.

Thanks, Allen

Allen (allenwg2005) said : #10

Decided to forgo eating!

While thrashing around hoping to not make matters worse I retried (while in the root shell)
                                updatedb
Nothing happened unlike before, I then typed “locate .ICEauthority” it came back with,
                               /home/allen/.ICEauthority
                               /var/lib/gdm/.ICEauthority

Of course it still doesn’t log in but it's something new.
What dose it mean???

Thanks

Sam_ (and-sam) said : #11

> What dose it mean?

That the file exists and you've located it. Well done.

Regarding /var/lib/gdm/.ICEauthority, please enter:
chown -R gdm:gdm /var/lib/gdm
chmod 600 /var/lib/gdm/.ICEauthority

Afterwards verify permissions:
ls -al /var/lib/gdm

Regarding /home/allen/.ICEauthority please apply:
chown allen:allen /home/allen/.ICEauthority
chmod 600 /home/allen/.ICEauthority

Afterwards verify permissions:
ls -al /home/allen/.ICEauthority

When all is as expected please reboot.

Allen (allenwg2005) said : #12

Sam,

Looks like I screwed up right out of the box!

Typed the following, chown -R gdm:gdm/var/lib/gdm and hit enter, the result was
chown: missing operand after 'gdm:gdm/var/lib/gdm

What am I doing wrong ??

Allen

Sam_ (and-sam) said : #13

> What am I doing wrong ??

You're missing empty spaces again. I'll paste it there, hope it makes it easier for you to visualize the difference.
http://paste.ubuntu.com/993073/

Allen (allenwg2005) said : #14

Sam,

That did help greatly thanks! Here's what happened.

Typed: chown -R gdm:gdm /var/lib/gdm
Response was: changing ownershipp of (and it went through many files)

Typed: chmod 600 /var/lib/gdm/.ICEauthority
Response was: changing permissions of '/var/lib/gdm/.ICEauthority: read only file system

Typed: ls -al /var/lib/gdm
Response was: total 60
                                      drwxr-x--- 11 gdm gdm 4096 2011 10 14 14:01
                                      (14 more lines of this nature.)

Typed: chown allen:allen /home/allen/.ICEauthority
response was: chown: changing ownership of 'allen:allen/.ICEauthority: read only file system

Typed: chmod 600 /home/allen/.ICEauthority
Response was: chmod: changing permissions of '/home/allen/.ICEauthority: read only file system

Typed: ls -al /home/allen/.ICEauthority
Response was: -rwx--x--x 1 allen allen 108116 20 05 12 10:51 /home/allen/.ICEauthority
                                                                                                                          ( this was in bright green font)

I then typed exit and resumed normal boot.

It still won't let me login.

What now??

Allen

Sam_ (and-sam) said : #15

Allen, you're working from recovery mode 'root shell'? Otherwise you need to prefix with 'sudo'.
Also verify that /home/allen doesn't belong to root:
ls -al /home/allen

There shouldn't be one single entry saying 'root'.

There is a reason when filesystem is mounted read only, it usually does that to prevent damage.
Did you fsck the filesystem as suggested in #8?

Verify there is enough disk space:
df -h

Other workarounds in case of autologin, encrypted fs.
http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?s=2282e7ca488ba167da4119b1f3b919d0&p=8500389&postcount=9
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=8628721

Allen (allenwg2005) said : #16

I am using “recovery mode” and the “root shell prompt”.

I verified /home/allen.
I typed: ls -al /home/allen
No mention of the word “root” anywhere.

I retried fsck as instructed in #8 from the “root shell prompt”.
I typed: touch /forcefsck
Response was: touch: cannot touch ' /forcefsck' read-only file system

I also tried the first suggestion under “Other workarounds in case of auto login.
While in recovery and root shell.
I typed: login
then: allen
and: (my password)
Response was: failed to add entry for user allen

Are we getting anywhere??

Allen

Allen (allenwg2005) said : #17

I am using “recovery mode” and the “root shell prompt”.

I verified /home/allen.
I typed: ls -al /home/allen
No mention of the word “root” anywhere.

I retried fsck as instructed in #8 from the “root shell prompt”.
I typed: touch /forcefsck
Response was: touch: cannot touch ' /forcefsck' read-only file system

I also tried the first suggestion under “Other workarounds in case of auto login.
While in recovery and root shell.
I typed: login
then: allen
and: (my password)
Response was: failed to add entry for user allen

Are we getting anywhere??

Allen

Sam_ (and-sam) said : #18

Could you reboot and right after boot login to virtual console: ctrl+alt+f1
Enter your username and pw, then repeat cmds of #14, there you'll need 'sudo'.

Allen (allenwg2005) said : #19

It took a while to figure out how to get out of the virtual console, reboot did the trick.

The results where the same: verify ls -al /var/lib/gdm where
drwxr-x---11 gdm 4096 2011-10-14 14:01.
drwxr-xr-x 65 root root 4096 2012-5-9 07:59..
drwxr-xr-x 3 gdm gdm 4096 2011-05-07 00:03. cache
ect. ect.

verify ls -al /home/allen/.ICEauthority came back,
-rw------- 1 allen allen 108116 2012-05-12 10:51 /home/allen/.ICEauthority

hope this helps,

Allen

Sam_ (and-sam) said : #20

Thanks Allen and yes 'sudo reboot' exits the virtual console and reboots.
The output looks good from here.
The /var/lib/gdm/.ICEauthority belongs to gdm too, right?

Now when you're in virtual console can you stop gdm, reconfigure gdm and start gdm please:
sudo service gdm stop
## or if there is a complain about 'service' try:
sudo gdm stop

sudo dpkg-reconfigure gdm
sudo service gdm restart
## alternative:
sudo gdm start

In case of errors please post exact error output, thank you.

Allen (allenwg2005) said : #21

This round was different!

I am typing the commands as you have showed me and going to next command so /var/lib/gdm/.ICEauthority should belong to gdm.

As mentioned this test was a trip.

From virtual console I typed :
                       sudo service gdm stop (as you suspected it didn't seem to like it)
Response: [sudo] password for allen I put in my password.
        “ stop: unknown instance:

I typed: sudo gdm stop
Response: gdm -binary[1752]: warning: GdmDisplaylasts 0.111395 seconds
                       gdm -binary[1752]: warning: GdmDisplaylasts 2.119333 seconds
                                                       “ 2.094583 seconds
                                                       “ 2.086637 seconds
                                                       “ 2.091012 seconds
                                                       “ 2.087748 seconds
                       gdm -binary[1752]: warning: GdmDisplayFactory: maximum number of x display
                       failures reached: check x service log for errors

I then lost my prompt and was unable to do anything, I could type whatever I wanted but nothing would happen.
I had to force the machine down at that point. No other way out.

Allen

Allen (allenwg2005) said : #22

This round was different!

I am typing the commands as you have showed me and going to next command so /var/lib/gdm/.ICEauthority should belong to gdm.

As mentioned this test was a trip.

From virtual console I typed :
                       sudo service gdm stop (as you suspected it didn't seem to like it)
Response: [sudo] password for allen I put in my password.
        “ stop: unknown instance:

I typed: sudo gdm stop
Response: gdm -binary[1752]: warning: GdmDisplaylasts 0.111395 seconds
                       gdm -binary[1752]: warning: GdmDisplaylasts 2.119333 seconds
                                                       “ 2.094583 seconds
                                                       “ 2.086637 seconds
                                                       “ 2.091012 seconds
                                                       “ 2.087748 seconds
                       gdm -binary[1752]: warning: GdmDisplayFactory: maximum number of x display
                       failures reached: check x service log for errors

I then lost my prompt and was unable to do anything, I could type whatever I wanted but nothing would happen.
I had to force the machine down at that point. No other way out.

Allen

Sam_ (and-sam) said : #23

Allen, try MagicSysRq 'REISUB' instead of hard reset.
http://www.ubuntugeek.com/how-to-use-magic-system-request-keys-in-ubuntu-linux.html

Anyway, do you still get the initial issue "could not update ICE authority file"?

Allen, did you try the other cmds?
sudo dpkg-reconfigure gdm
sudo service gdm restart

## alternative:
sudo gdm start

What happens when you try to start Xserver:
startx

Allen (allenwg2005) said : #24

Sam,

Regarding SysRq: Now that's a cool little trick, got it documented for future use, thanks.

I still have the .ICEauthority issue.

The responses were as follows:
service gdm stop
unknown instance
gdm stop
unknown instance
dpk-reconfigure gdm
dpk-reconfigure: command not found
gdm start
gives me the warnings listed above #21 & #22
gdm restart
same warnings

All this is in virtual console using sudo.

Allen

Sam_ (and-sam) said : #25

Allen, it's
sudo dpkg-reconfigure gdm

Allen (allenwg2005) said : #26

Sam,

Sorry!

As you can imagine that changes things a little.

I got a purple screen with a white box full of text.
It had a heading of "Configuring gdm"
First line reads: a display manager is a program that provides graphical login capabilities for the X Window system
 a bunch of stuff about displays and servers.
It had two choices "gdm" and "lightdm", lightdm was high lighted so I hit enter, the display flashed sevral times and I had the warnings back.

Sam_ (and-sam) said : #27

If lightdm is the display manager now rename all ICEauthority and reboot. Seems the upgrade messed up, unfortunately you're not the only one, assume a fresh installation would've saved lots of time.

Allen (allenwg2005) said : #28

So, I should get a copy of 12.4 and run it?

Allen

Sam_ (and-sam) said : #29

Allen, that's the easy path to get a clean system, but it doesn't clarify the ICEauthority complain though.
When lightdm is active you could actually try to purge gdm and also apply autoremove.

Allen (allenwg2005) said : #30

Sam, I would be happy to just get this thing going again.
I suppose it would be nice to know what caused all this, but my situation may not be the best venue to learn what triggered the problem.

I'm not sure I can do anything while lightdm is active.
Assuming I can, what is the command for purge gdm or autoremove when there?

Allen

Sam_ (and-sam) said : #31

sudo apt-get purge gdm
sudo apt-get autoremove
sudo reboot

Usually ICEauthority gets corrupted when playing with 'sudo' and not knowing the consequences.
But in this case one could blame the conflict gdm vs lightdm too.

Allen (allenwg2005) said : #32

Installed 12.4