Solaris 9 User/Group Account Misbehavior

Posted on 2006-04-17
Last Modified: 2013-12-27
There seems to be a special way of entering user and group accounts that makes the account and group assignments not work properly.  

The symptoms are:

-  acctmgr can not “cd / export/home/anyone” even though the permissions are 770.
-  anyone can not login to the Gnome desktop from the console login screen

I just ran into this problem again and the only unusual thing that I remember is that I had made a mistake with the group number and used a number that was already assigned to another group.  So I ran “pwconv” with two groups with the same number.  I “vi” the passwd file and corrected the group number.  Then the problem appeared (I think).

I have tried deleting and reallocating the “/export/home/anyone” file.  Reperformed a “chown anyone:anyone /export/home/anyone” and used userdel, grouped, useradd, groupadd, usermod to remake the accounts.  This only worked sometimes!

I checked through the account definitions in passwd and group and they are correct.  The error is persistent but I don’t know where the bad information is being kept…

Has anyone run into any thing like this?

Thanks, Allan
Question by:huffmana

    Author Comment

    I did a "truss cd /export/home/anyone" and the first error listed is:
    open ("var/ld/ld.conf", O_RDONLY) Err #2 ENOENT

    Author Comment

    Sorry, truss does not seem to work for "cd" - even as root all "cd" operations fail.
    $ su
    # truss cd /export/home/anyone

    Fails with the same "Err #2 ENOENT" error.
    LVL 14

    Accepted Solution

    I think that you have your group and password files mixed up

    I assume that the first 2 lines that you posted are from the group file and the last 2 are from the passwd file.  If my assumption is wrong then that is the cause of your problem.

    Here is the way it should be setup from how I understand what you want to do;
    First setup your groups in the /etc/group file

    This give you a mgr group, an any group, and a users group.  (I changed the names since having names real close causes humans to make mistakes. and Yes, you can have a group and a user with the same name, but that confuses even some experienced users.)

    Here is an excerpt from the passwd file;

    If this is how you have yours setup allready, then a simple test is to "su - user1" and then do a groups command, this will show what groups the system thinks the user is a member of.


    Author Comment

    It turned out that the problem was with the .cshrc file.  We use "umask 117" in .cshrc and I was doing a
    cp -pR anyone1 anyone2
    chown anyone2:anyone2 anyone2
    and it did not change to ownership of .cshrc !!!

    Thanks for your help, Allan who feels a bit foolish :-/
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    You need to have your executable bit set on the directory for all users, i.e. permissions should be 775, not 770 for the /export/home/anyone directory.

    BTW, Sun recommends using /usr/ucb/vipw to edit your password file - this keeps your password and shadow files consistent.


    Write Comment

    Please enter a first name

    Please enter a last name

    We will never share this with anyone.

    Featured Post

    What Is Threat Intelligence?

    Threat intelligence is often discussed, but rarely understood. Starting with a precise definition, along with clear business goals, is essential.

    Hello fellow BSD lovers, I've created a patch process for patching openjdk6 for BSD (FreeBSD specifically), although I tried to keep all BSD versions in mind when creating my patch. Welcome to OpenJDK6 on BSD First let me start with a little …
    My previous tech tip, Installing the Solaris OS From the Flash Archive On a Tape (, discussed installing the Solaris Operating S…
    Learn how to navigate the file tree with the shell. Use pwd to print the current working directory: Use ls to list a directory's contents: Use cd to change to a new directory: Use wildcards instead of typing out long directory names: Use ../ to move…
    In a previous video, we went over how to export a DynamoDB table into Amazon S3.  In this video, we show how to load the export from S3 into a DynamoDB table.

    761 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    12 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now