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I can't log in to the console locally. After logging in, it flashes back to the login prompt. If given a wrong password, it will pause for a couple seconds then give the standard "Login incorrect" response. It affects all accounts: root, my user account, and a new account I made to debug the issue. I can log in via SSH perfectly fine.



Apr  6 03:09:01 [hostname] /usr/sbin/crond[1122]: pam_unix(crond:session): session opened for user root by (uid=0)
Apr  6 03:09:01 [hostname] /USR/SBIN/CROND[1122]: pam_unix(crond:session): session closed for user root
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Are there any messages in /var/log/secure? Are your consoles listed in /etc/securetty? What distribution is this? – Bram Apr 19 '12 at 6:46
Look at pam. Not sure what, but maybe that is a messed up? – Zoredache Apr 20 '12 at 0:32

First, gather information by inspecting /var/log/messages for any information that may be there.

Next, narrow the scope of your problem down. Log in to SSH and change the interactive shell for a user and see if that changes anything. Try csh or zsh - anything, really. I've heard of SSH not honoring .bashrc files, so perhaps somehow there is a TMOUT=0 variable in there or some other logic that kicks you out immediately (but SSH connections aren't honoring it, which is possible).

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SSHd might be overriding the shell too, "fixing" a broken shell entry in /etc/passwd – Chris S Apr 19 '12 at 1:32
Thanks for the response. Unfortunately, those are the only 2 lines logged. I changed the shell in /etc/passwd to sh first then nano for the hell of it. It worked in SSH, but not on the console. There is no .bashrc. Single user mode works. – Free Bullets Apr 19 '12 at 3:46
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I ended up reinstalling. It was too tricky to figure out because no errors were logged. Thanks to everyone who offered suggestions.

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You poor soul! Actually the problem was most likely related to the getty crashing or similar, especially given the lack of errors. – Falcon Momot May 3 '12 at 16:33

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