Problem when moving .Xauthority

I'm running a Linux cluster, and I'm having some X problems.  

Background: Dell X86 machines running Fedora Core 1; networked together on a private LAN. The worker nodes are all automounting their /home directory off of the master/storage node. Display, mouse, keyboard connected to the master/storage node.  When a user logs on, DISPLAY = :0.0

When I tried to ssh between the master and the workers, I'd get "Warning: No xauth data; using fake authentication data for X11 forwarding.", I assume because everybody was trying the use the same .Xauthority file.

So I created a directory for each user under /usr/local on each node (including the master/storage node).  I added a line to the end of my .bashrc:

export XAUTHORITY=/usr/local/myusername/.Xauthority

I copied .Xauthority from /home/mysername to /usr/local/myusername and checked that permissions on the file and directory were the same as the originals.

Now I'm no longer getting the "No xauth data" when ssh'ing between the nodes, but when I try to log in to the master/storage node at the console, the login fails, and the session log says:

Xlib: connection to :0.0 refused by server
Xlib: No protocol specified

I can get back in by commenting out the line in the .bashrc to revert to my original .Xauthority file.

Anyone got any idea what's going on?

Who is Participating?

Improve company productivity with a Business Account.Sign Up

GnsConnect With a Mentor Commented:
The -X is just if you like being explicit about it. I'd wager a lunch that you've got "ForwardX11 yes" set in /etc/ssh/ssh_config (and "X11Forwarding yes" in /etc/ssh/sshd_config on the remote(s)).
Eliminate the problem by setting either to "no".

-- Glenn
From the way you describe the cluster environment each user has an account & home dir on the head node and you are exporting /home to the member nodes. Since you don't say otherwise I assume that you aren't using NIS and created user accounts on each of the memember nodes. When you did that did you make sure that each memember node accout had the same UID/GID as that user has on the head node and that their home dir points to the NFS mount?
jwolterAuthor Commented:

Your assumptions are correct. /home is exported; each worker has user accounts, and yes, on each node the UID/GID are the same and their home directories point to the mount.

Since I posted this, I have found a workaround.  I'll keep the question open because I'm curious as to what is going on, but if no one comes up with something, I'll close the question.  The workaround is remove the reassignment of XAUTHORITY, so that xauth looks for $HOME/.Xauthority, and then create $HOME/.Xauthority as a symbolic link to /usr/local/myusername/.Xauthority . Not sure why this works, but it does.

Free Tool: Path Explorer

An intuitive utility to help find the CSS path to UI elements on a webpage. These paths are used frequently in a variety of front-end development and QA automation tasks.

One of a set of tools we're offering as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

I'm not sure the "No XAUTH" thing is due to what you describe... Are you running an X server (that you have an auth entry for) when you do the ssh -X from master to slave? You have probably started X as a regular user and ssh -X as someone else... root perhaps... And root have never gotten an .Xauthority file ... Or your regular users X don't have xauth defined at all (as is the case with Cygwins default X startup for example). The "error" is just information that since there is no valid information about this for ssh to use, some fake info will be inserted for slave:10 (or whatever) _on slave_. Not really something to work up a sweat over. Nor to try fix.
I presume you are still able to make the "faked local tunneled connections" through ssh -X?

-- Glenn
Oh, and the fix works since then you do have valid xauth info...:-).
Still not really something needing a fix:-)

-- Glenn
Just a quick "demo" from a cygwin X session:

$ ssh -X glenn@vampire
glenn@vampire's password:
Warning: No xauth data; using fake authentication data for X11 forwarding.
Last login: Thu Sep  2 14:08:38 2004 from
[glenn@vampire glenn]$ echo $DISPLAY
[glenn@vampire glenn]$ xauth list | grep  MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1  533f8b8e4835905844f047d831394854
[glenn@vampire glenn]$ xterm&
[1] 29653
[glenn@vampire glenn]$

... And of course the xterm start as it should.

-- Glenn
jwolterAuthor Commented:

Thanks for the comments.  

The "No xauth" message appears for "straight" ssh connections (i.e. no -X option).  The ssh session proceeds normally afterward, and I was inclined to ignore it, but I started noticing a delay during the process *sometimes*.  In a cluster, delays are the enemy of performance, so I wanted to see if I could elimnate the delay be eliminating the error.  

... And if you have latency problems, these aren't that likely to have anything to do with an unused tunneling feature... More to do with the usual stuff  (perhformance/"load" on the machines involved, the rather ... less than stellar... latency of tcp/ip over ethernet:-)...

-- Glenn
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.