[olug] For I Have Faced Sid, And Defeated Him... This Time...

Jason Ferguson jferguson3 at home.com
Tue Jun 26 20:34:35 UTC 2001

Okay, I am majorly happy with myself at the moment, and had to tell 
everyone the story.

My main system is running the Debian Unstable branch, aka Sid. Its hard 
to get much more bleeding edge than Sid unless you grab daily CVS 
snapshots. However, Sid tends to get broken alot (thats why its called 

Now, starting last night, I was having login problems. I couldnt log in 
at the login prompt, and couldnt su to root. Apparently, the 
libpam-modules was messed up in the most recent release. Of course, I 
didnt know this at the time, all I knew was I was getting "incorrect 
login" before I even typed my password, and attempts to su were greeted 
with "module unknown".

This is is how I defeated Sid:

- Reboot. At the lilo prompt, enter single mode (type "linux single")
- Login at the maintenance prompt with the root password
- Remount the filesystem as read-write ("mount -o remount,rw /dev/hda1 /")
- An apt-get update didnt fix the problem...
- I logged into my usual debian mirror with lynx and downloaded the 
slightly older version of debian, the Testing branch (aka Woody)
- I installed the slightly older package (dpkg --force-downgrade 
--install libpam.blah.blah.i386.deb)

And I could log in again. However, gotta be careful, that package will 
likely be overwritten on the new apt-get.

Just letting you guys hear the story.


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