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root login fails mac osx 10.7.3

2868 Views 16 Replies Latest reply: Nov 20, 2012 7:44 AM by disguise RSS
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thedatadude Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Jun 29, 2012 10:39 PM

I am trying to use the Apple-approved method of changing a user account short name. This involves enabling the Root User, logging in as root, and then perform a few simple steps. I've done this many times before successfully on many different Macs. However on this particular MacBook Air, while I can enable root and enter the appropriate password via the "Other" choice at the 10.7 login screen, logging in as root fails. Here's what happens:

 

-- I enter username "root" and the appropriate password

-- it appears that the password is accepted

-- the Mac's screen turns blank as it usually does when one is ablout to enter a particular user account

-- Instead of the user desktop screen, the Mac simply returns to the login screen. There is no error message, etc. It simply fails to continue the login process to the root account.

 

I've tried changing the root password, resetting the PRAM, etc., and this behavior persists.

 

Any ideas?

 

thanks,

 

Eric

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • X423424X Level 6 Level 6 (14,190 points)
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    Jun 29, 2012 11:11 PM (in response to thedatadude)

    Just to check you enabled the root user properly did you use the Directory Utility?

  • baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (59,145 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 29, 2012 11:38 PM (in response to thedatadude)

    AFAIK, you don't need to enable the root user account to change an account's short name. System Preferences->Users & Groups->unlock the lock->CONTROL-click on the appropriate user->select Advanced Options->change the shortname. I strongly advise making a backup before doing that. I've not enabled the root user account since OS X came out in 2001, but then I don't use FileVault or an Open Firmware password.

    27" i7 iMac 10.6.8, Mac OS X (10.7.4), G4 450 MP w/Leopard, 9.2.2
  • baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (59,145 points)
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    Jun 30, 2012 11:00 AM (in response to thedatadude)

    But the central issue I am asking about is why my attempts to login as Root repeatedly fail?

    Can't help with that, since I've never enabled it. All I can point you to are these:

     

    http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1528

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3997967?start=0&tstart=0

    and http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1428 which was modified today.

     

    Good luck with your quest.

    27" i7 iMac 10.6.8, Mac OS X (10.7.4), G4 450 MP w/Leopard, 9.2.2
  • etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (23,890 points)
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    Jun 30, 2012 11:01 AM (in response to thedatadude)

    Apple should know better than that. Try this corrected procedure instead:

     

    1. Create a new Administrator account
    2. Log in as the new Administrator account
    3. Run Terminal.app and enter the following commands:
    4. cd /Users
    5. sudo mv oldshortname newshortname
    6. Keep in mind that the shortname must be all lowercase, with no spaces, and only contain letters.
    7. Use the Users & Groups pane (Accounts pane in Mac OS X v10.6.8 or earlier) in System Preferences to create a new user with the Account name or Short Name that you used in the previous step.
    8. Click OK when "A folder in the Users folder already has the name 'account name'. Would you like to use that folder as the Home folder for this user account?" appears. Note: This will correct the ownership of all files in the Home folder, and avoid permissions issues with the contents.
    9. Use the Users & Groups pane (Accounts pane in Mac OS X v10.6.8 or earlier) in System Preferences to delete the old user
    10. Choose Log Out from the Apple menu.
    11. Log in as the newly created user. You should be able to access all of your original files (on the desktop, in Documents, and in the other folders of this Home).
    12. After verifying that your data is as expected, you can delete the original user account via the Users & Groups pane (Accounts pane in Mac OS X v10.6.8 or earlier).
  • baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (59,145 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 30, 2012 11:10 AM (in response to etresoft)

    Thanks. Appears bug report worthy.

    27" i7 iMac 10.6.8, Mac OS X (10.7.4), G4 450 MP w/Leopard, 9.2.2
  • etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (23,890 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 30, 2012 4:24 PM (in response to thedatadude)

    You won't find a bigger Apple fanboi than myself. One of the reasons I'm such a fan is because Apple turns about to be clever and correct so much of the time, including when I thought they were wrong. However, nobody, includig Apple, is perfect.

     

    This is one area where Apple really does need to fix something. The "Enable Root User" procedure is unnecessary, overly complex, and quite buggy in Lion. I think changing the short name may be the only reason Apple keeps publishing those instructions. Whatever the reason, those instructions need to go.

     

    At one time I filed an enhancement report for Apple to fix this procedure. I suggested Apple provide a feature like Windows' "Run as" command to run an application as Administrator or some other user. Apple responded by asking why I didn't just use "sudo". Obviously there is a disconnect at Apple regarding the "root user" issue. Someone at Apple has approved of that procedure, but nobody uses it. You shouldn't either.

  • etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (23,890 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 30, 2012 4:35 PM (in response to thedatadude)

    I just wrote a user tip for this procedure: https://discussions.apple.com/docs/DOC-3872

     

    Maybe that will spare a few people some trouble

  • Thane Peterson Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 18, 2012 11:32 AM (in response to thedatadude)

    Found on another site, I had the same issue with some new build 10.7.4 machines, the solution that worked for me was to delete the com.apple.security.plist file from the user home directory in my case it was root so I deleted the /var/root/Library/Preferences/com.apple.security.plist and I was able to login to the desktop were as previous I could not.

     

    From the Username and Password Login Window

     

    For the username type ">console" without the quotes but with the > greater-than sign.

    For the username leave blank and hit enter twice.

    at the login console type yor root username then enter and then your root password.

    then if the spelling is corect  "rm Library/Preferences/com.apple.security.plist"

    then type "exit" and it will return you to the login screen where if everything was successful you should be able to login as your root user..... at least I was.  I am sure everyone can exrapolate from this, remember the Library folder is hidden in 10.7 so if you are trying to brows to it you will not see it etc.

  • MacGenie.de Calculating status...
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    Jul 27, 2012 3:37 AM (in response to thedatadude)

    I had exactly the same problem, moving from snow-leopard 10.6.8 to lion 10.7.4

    (and it would be the same from snow-leopard to Mountain-Lion)

    I had (as always since 10.2) an activated root user. Whenever I log in as root - blank screen - nothing - back to login.

    What not helps is to deactivate or reactivate root user. But than I had another idea:

     

     

    The login-crashes is caused by an old Library

    activating / deactivation root user does not remove that directory

    you have to delete or rename it manually

     

     

    1. You have to login as root with the terminal.app

     

     

    login root

    Password:

     

     

    2. Delete the root-user Library (if it is still there)

    rm -r /private/var/root/Library

     

     

    2. If You do not want to delete it, You can also rename it (same result)

    mv /private/var/root/Library _old_Library

     

    (you could also try it with your admin user and the sudo command)

     

    Now everything works fine again. Even login in as root user :-)

  • NilesBrad Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 25, 2012 7:59 AM (in response to Thane Peterson)

    Deleting the /Library/Preferences/com.apple.security.plist file in the /var/root directory worked great for me!

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