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Re: [vox-tech] I'm the guy with the infinite login problem
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Re: [vox-tech] I'm the guy with the infinite login problem

Quoting Dr. Denny Scronek (paszeski@yahoo.com):

> "Can I ssh to it?" Doesn't compute. Try again please.

To translate, Bill was asking if you're set up so he can remotely login
to the command line of your machine rather than needing to visit your
house physically just in order to help you solve your problem.

It would certainly be nice for you if someone's got the time and
opportunity to visit you physically to help you.  (I'm actually far too
distant, down close to Stanford University.)

Because that might not happen, and in order to assist while you weigh
options, here's something you can do that will gather potentially very
useful debugging information:

1.  Press Ctrl-Alt-F1 .  You should see a black-background text console
screen with a system login prompt.  Provide your username, then when
prompted, your password.  I expect you will successfully login, and will
then be at a standard Linux system (bash shell) command-line prompt.

  cd /var/log
  less X.org.log

The 'less' program is a page-at-a-time display program (the name being a
sort-of pun on the name of the 'more' program) that allows you to go
up and down through the contents of an ASCII plaintext or similar file,
including most logfiles.  In looking at X.org.log, you will be seeing
logged messages created when the X server process (the display engine) 
and related process start up, e.g., when you attempt login.  The
messages are (sorry!) a bit verbose, chattily talking about various
aspects of the video-related hardware as it is probed and set to
operating modes.  What you are looking for is lines that indicate a
serious problem of some sort.  For example, you might see lines showing
a series of initialisation failures starting with inability to enable
video hardware acceleration, with the result that the AIGLX driver
module cannot be loaded, with the result that the X server process died.

One of the reasons to become familiar with the Linux command line is so
you can deal effectively with such situations.  For example, if you
think you spot something meaningful in /var/log/X.org.log, you might
desire to copy it onto, say, a USB flash drive or onto a remote shell
account you have on a separate machine somewhere on the Internet.  So,
it would be handy to know how to manually mount a USB flash drive onto
/mnt (or wherever), and it would be handy to know how to 'scp' (secure
network copy) a file accross the Internet, e.g.:

   cd /var/log
   scp X.org.log  paszeski@someinternethost.com:

Unless you happen to be familiar with how to do such things, it might be
more feasible to just jot down some notes on paper about what you find
in X.org.log.

While you are in /var/log/, it's a good idea to also look around to see
if there are any other logs whose entries at the time you attempt
graphical login might give clues.

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