RHEL ES v3 - GNOME/KDE "Create New User" dialog box freeze

Strange problem, that I haven't seen on the other Linux machines that I've set up:

Using either GNOME or KDE, I start the "Red Hat User Manager" util.

I the Add User icon... system works just fine, new user is created (though I do have to click "refresh" to see the new user, which I don't have to do on any other Linux systems).

I click the Add User icon again, to add another user.  The "Create New User" box opens, but freezes.  I can only click the X in the upper right -- no other fields are active, and the mouse cursor remains  a rotating hourglass.

I have done all the Red Hat Network updates, according to the Red Hat Network Alert Notification Tool/up2date utility.

What do I do now?  I don't want this machine to act like this when delivered to the client.  Is it possible that the configuration files that are manipulated by this utility are corrupt?  If so, what files should I be looking at?



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wesly_chenConnect With a Mentor Commented:
1. Something wrong with your installation.
Did you try to re-install the RHEL ES 3.0 again?
Create user again before you update all the latest patches.

2. Have you try to use useradd to create user? As root,
useradd -m -d /home/<username1>  <username1>
useradd -m -d /home/<username2>  <username2>

If this works, then it could be something wrong with
redhat-config-users  -> consolehelper.
It sounds like something may not be exiting properly after the first iteration, so when you try to add a second user, it's still locked on the first.

I would recommend a three-part procedure.  Open a terminal, start the Red Hat User Manager utility, then do the following commands and steps in the terminal

1) ps awwux > add0.txt
2) (add a user)
3) ps awwux > add1.txt
4) (add a user - freeze)
5) ps awwux > add2.txt

At this point, you should be able to do "diff add0.txt add1.txt".. there will probably be an extra process, and doing "add1.txt add2.txt" you should notice another difference, e.g. a second occurrence of the same process (different pid), or a new process that's hanging.  You can also do "diff add0.txt add2.txt".  All of these will yield useful information.  If you're unsure how to interpret the results, you can list it here.

When all done, you can remove the files add0.txt, add1.txt and add2.txt; they are there just for temporary purposes and unneeded by anything else.
funaromaAuthor Commented:
Thank you, I will be trying this soon and will post more questions or assign points by the end of this week.
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funaromaAuthor Commented:
here are the difference files I created:


I'm pretty confident that I'm not qualified to interpret these results... :)

I also put out there the three original "add" files:


If these files help identify why my user manager is freezing after adding the first user, that would be great.

regarding the comment from wesly_chen, "Did you try to re-install the RHEL ES 3.0 again?"

If I had done the initial install, I might consider this, but this is a brand new Dell PowerEdge server, with the OS pre-installed.  The problem is, I've called Dell support before with "little issues" like this, and they seem less than interested or capable... so I came to you gurus first this time! 8).  (Lucky You!).  I honestly don't think I should have to reinstall the entire OS for something like this, especially since the client bought the server with OS preinstalled so that they wouldn't have to pay me to do it.  If we can't figure it out using this venue, I'll have to contact Red Hat I suppose... but   I figured I'd give you guys a go at it first...

macker-Connect With a Mentor Commented:

I don't see any additional processes, so it must be some sort of lock within the redhat-config-users.py applet.  I'm not sure off-hand what would be causing this.  If this is a brand new server and fresh o/s load, you shouldn't be seeing this problem.

Is this system a member of an NIS domain, Windows domain,  or in any other way sharing user data or files with other systems?

It sounds distinctly like a locking issue.
funaromaAuthor Commented:
The machine has not been configured in any way, other than plugging in an ethernet cable to get it on the Internet to do the Red Hat updates.  Which has me thinking, maybe I should disconnect it from the network and try to add users; I wonder if it's fighting with my Windows 2003 servers on my office LAN in some way...
funaromaAuthor Commented:
Nope, even without the network cable connected, it still freezes.  How FRUSTRATING!

Looks like there's no answer to this issue?
> I've called Dell support before with "little issues" like this, and they seem less than interested or capable
Well, Dell Linux support provides less thing.
Ask them to ship another disk with the RedHat loaded for replacement if you don't want to re-install OS.

Before you patch your system, try add user first.

Have you try to use command line to add user?
funaromaAuthor Commented:
Not that i want to walk into the House of Linux and Kick Your Dog, I feel it's appropriate at this time to close this question with this final response.  After having struggled with the inconsistencies of Linux in general, and the gnome interface in particular, we are abandoning the Linux platform entirely, in favor of FreeBSD.  Since this thread was posted, we have discovered the numerous benefits of that platform for our specific needs, and will likely not return to the daunting and ever-growing multitude of "Linux Distros".

 The problem identified on this thread actually had little to do with our decision to switch, but overall I've become a purist like never before, over the past few months anyway... I don't use a GUI at all on our FreeBSD box, and would have been wise to do the same on this Linux machine from the start.  At the time, deadlines simply didn't allow it.  

We did expect more from Red Hat, since we PAID for it, and it was supposed to be the "enterprise" edition.  It took forever just to get the "update" app to work at all.  Overall, it seems a little silly to call any Linux Distro "Enterprise" worthy, when there are platforms much closer to the true Unix way of doing things that are much more stable and secure, and have a little more oversight into the kernel development process as well as the ports submitted to the source tree.  It's just another distro.

Well, I'm sure I've said enough to get royally flamed, so go ahead. :)  All I know is, FreeBSD has been a 200% better experience, right out of the box, than the multiple Linux distros I've tried to date.  Again, all of this has little to do with the thread at hand, but I figured since I was closing the thread, I might as well say why.

I do appreciate everyone that responded.  I will split the points out on this accordingly.
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