RHEL 5 : Can only log in as root
Posted on 2016-09-14
I rebooted my RHEL5 server today. After discovering I couldn't remote in using ssh, I checked the console and it appeared the system was in runlevel 1 for some reason. I rebooted again, watched the boot process and couldn't see anything significant. I checked the runlevel, set the default runlevel to 3 and rebooted again with no effect. I can log in to the console as root. But, I cannot log in as any other existing user. The login fails with no feedback. If I try to "su - " to the user, I get a "permission" denied to the user's home directory and a "permission denied" to "/bin/bash". I have tried to troubleshoot by adding a new user and logging in. Same effect.
The "runlevel" command yields "N 3" which I am pretty sure means it thinks it is running in level 3 now.
All mounts seem to be OK. I have rebooted with "-F" to force fsck, no problems. I can navigate to all mounted volumes and access files on all of them.
I'm stumped. The system was running and accessible when I rebooted earlier. It is possible I mucked something up earlier when I was working on something else. But, I am not sure what that might be.
I have crept around the web and there is rarely any mention of this problem. When I find something, the suggestion of using "strace" is prevalent (did it, didn't reveal any permission issues that I can tell) or some version of reinstall OS is deployed.
Anybody have any suggestions?