Solving “I have no name!@*”

[imported from my old site, not a new post (if that’s important)]

So I’m not sure how, but I broke one of my Ubuntu virtual machines now, right at a about the worst possible time for it to break. The symptoms were that while I could still login to the machine as my user, and if I was root I could still “su” to that user, every time I was that user the user itself seemed to have no understanding of itself, while the system still did. That was a pretty hairy sentence, so let me explain by showing what I tried.

root@gw-pkl-01:~# su - charles
I have no name!@gw-pkl-01:~$

Now when you try SSH’ing anywhere or doing anything useful you are told to get lost.

I have no name!@gw-pkl-01:~$ ssh charles@anywhere.i.can.think.of -Cv
You don't exist, go away!
I have no name!@gw-pkl-01:~$

But I wonder whether the system knows who I am?

I have no name!@gw-pkl-01:~$ id
uid=1000 gid=1000(charles) groups=4(adm),20(dialout),24(cdrom),25(floppy),29(audio),30(dip),44(video),46(plugdev),107(fuse),109(lpadmin),115(admin),1000(charles),1001(wheel)
I have no name!@gw-pkl-01:~$ whoami
whoami: cannot find name for user ID 1000
I have no name!@gw-pkl-01:~$ echo $USER
charles
I have no name!@gw-pkl-01:~$

That almost all seemed correct, so what on earth could be going on? I tried adding new users to see if they were alright, and they also had the problem.

The answer is that your /etc/passwd file is not readable by all users. This was confirmed by comparing the broken machine with another one that I had deployed from the same template.

root@dynamips-pkl-01:~# ls -la /etc/passwd
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 2104 2008-07-17 00:12 /etc/passwd
root@dynamips-pkl-01:~#

root@gw-pkl-01:~# ls -la /etc/passwd
-rw------- 1 root root 2331 2008-08-12 13:49 /etc/passwd
root@gw-pkl-01:~#

Make it readable and everything works again.

root@gw-pkl-01:~# chmod +r /etc/passwd
root@gw-pkl-01:~# su - charles
charles@gw-pkl-01:~$ id
uid=1000(charles) gid=1000(charles) groups=4(adm),20(dialout),24(cdrom),25(floppy),29(audio),30(dip),44(video),46(plugdev),107(fuse),109(lpadmin),115(admin),1000(charles),1001(wheel)
charles@gw-pkl-01:~$ whoami
charles
charles@gw-pkl-01:~$ echo $USER
charles
charles@gw-pkl-01:~$

Thanks to this post which made that all easy to realise.

Debian or Ubuntu on a Sun Netra

[imported from my old site, not a new post (if that’s important)]

I will probably expand on this at some stage, so for now it’s going to be short, but I recently put Debian onto a Sun Netra, which was pretty cool, but I decided to cross-grade from Debian to Ubuntu which I’ve done before without having any issues, and I ran into issues. Tons of them in fact. But only one was bad enough that I almost gave up, and by bad enough I mean that anybody who is good with dpkg would have solved this quickly but no matter how hard I searched (at first), all I could find was whining about how if you have this problem it’s your own fault because you’ve mixed Debian and Ubuntu, but not giving any clues as to how to solve the problem. I had mixed the two, but I also hadn’t. My /etc/apt/sources.list had only Ubuntu sources, but some of the software on the machine was Debian. Anyway to get to the point if you have this problem:

Selecting previously deselected package sysvutils.
(Reading database ... 168107 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking sysvutils (from .../sysvutils_2.86.ds1-14.1ubuntu9_i386.deb) ...
dpkg: error processing /var/cache/apt/archives/sysvutils_2.86.ds1-14.1ubuntu9_i386.deb (--unpack):
trying to overwrite `/usr/share/man/man1/mesg.1.gz', which is also in package sysvinit
Errors were encountered while processing:
/var/cache/apt/archives/sysvutils_2.86.ds1-14.1ubuntu9_i386.deb
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)

Then please fix it by doing the following:

$ sudo dpkg --force-overwrite -i /var/cache/apt/archives/sysvutils_2.86.ds1-14.1ubuntu9_i386.deb(Reading database ... 168508 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking sysvutils (from .../sysvutils_2.86.ds1-14.1ubuntu9_i386.deb) ...
dpkg - warning, overriding problem because --force enabled:
trying to overwrite `/usr/share/man/man1/mesg.1.gz', which is also in package sysvinit
dpkg - warning, overriding problem because --force enabled:
trying to overwrite `/usr/share/man/man1/last.1.gz', which is also in package sysvinit
dpkg - warning, overriding problem because --force enabled:
trying to overwrite `/usr/share/man/man1/lastb.1.gz', which is also in package sysvinit
dpkg - warning, overriding problem because --force enabled:
trying to overwrite `/usr/share/man/man8/pidof.8.gz', which is also in package sysvinit
dpkg - warning, overriding problem because --force enabled:
trying to overwrite `/usr/share/man/man8/killall5.8.gz', which is also in package sysvinit
dpkg - warning, overriding problem because --force enabled:
trying to overwrite `/usr/bin/last', which is also in package sysvinit
dpkg - warning, overriding problem because --force enabled:
trying to overwrite `/usr/bin/mesg', which is also in package sysvinit
dpkg - warning, overriding problem because --force enabled:
trying to overwrite `/sbin/killall5', which is also in package sysvinit
dpkg - warning, overriding problem because --force enabled:
trying to overwrite `/usr/bin/lastb', which is also in package sysvinit
dpkg - warning, overriding problem because --force enabled:
trying to overwrite `/bin/pidof', which is also in package sysvinit
Setting up sysvutils (2.86.ds1-14.1ubuntu9) ...

And when you are done, thank these guys.

Updated: it appears that somebody other than me is actually reading my website, so I wanted to make a point of noting that the problem I had was exactly as above, but obviously not with i386 debs, so please don’t try fixing it exactly as pasted above, but rather apply that to a sparc64 setup. I’m kinda thinking that if you’re having this issue then you already knew that, but I had to mention it :)

Spain Codifies ‘The Right to Broadband’

[This article originally found here: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2356014,00.asp]

MADRID, Nov 17 (Reuters) – Spanish citizens will have a legal right from 2011 to be able to buy broadband internet of at least one megabyte per second at a regulated price wherever they live, the country’s industry minister said on Tuesday.

The telecoms operator holding the so-called “universal service” contract would have to guarantee it could offer “reasonably” priced broadband throughout Spain, said Miguel Sebastian in a statement sent to media.

Former state monopoly Telefonica has always held the universal contract aimed at protecting consumers in poorly populated areas from being cut off in cases where operators would otherwise consider providing the service unprofitable.

The service also subsidises telecoms to disabled users.

Until now, the “universal service” has only guaranteed internet via telephone line, fixed telephone, directory service and telephone booths.

Earlier this month, Spain’s telecoms regulator, the CMT, proposed that Telefonica, Vodafone and Orange foot the cost of providing the universal service for 2006, which it judged had cost 75.34 million euros, with Telefonica paying 71 percent of the costs.

Adding internet to the universal service would increase the future cost of the universal service.

The yearly calculations of the cost of the service take about two years to complete.

Consumer group FACUA said it welcomed that broadband internet would finally be a right but said the speed was insufficient and the measure should be introduced before 2011.

“FACUA calls on the minister to speed up the measure, increase the speed and to set a reasonable price,” the organisation said in a statement.

(Reporting by Sarah Morris)

Finland makes 1Mb broadband access a legal right

[This article originally found here: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-10374831-2.html]

Finland’s Ministry of Transport and Communications has made 1-megabit broadband Web access a legal right, YLE, the country’s national broadcasting company, reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, every person in Finland (a little over 5 million people, according to a 2009 estimate) will have the right of access to a 1Mb broadband connection starting in July. And they may ultimately gain the right to a 100Mb broadband connection.

Just more than a year ago, Finland said it would make a 100Mb broadband connection a legal right by the end of 2015. Wednesday’s announcement is considered an intermediate step.

France, one of a few countries that has made Internet access a human right, did so earlier this year. France’s Constitutional Council ruled that Internet access is a basic human right. That said, it stopped short of making “broadband access” a legal right. Finland says that it’s the first country to make broadband access a legal right.

But Finland’s definition of “access” to broadband is a little fuzzy. According to the Helsinki Times when it reported the 100Mb target last year, the Finnish government said that no household “would be farther than 2 kilometers from a connection capable of delivering broadband Internet with a capacity of at least 100 megabits of data a second.” It did say, though, that “about 2,000 (households) in far-flung corners of the country” wouldn’t be included. Ostensibly, Finland plans to keep that same distribution when its 1Mb broadband access is implemented.

Finland has long been a tech-industry leader that has done a fine job investing in technology, more than many of its European counterparts. It’s also home to Nokia, among other tech firms.