Here are some problems you might encounter while working with passwords and user accounts.

The passwd utility seems to hang after I change my password.
The passwd utility uses the /etc/.pwlock file as a lock while updating the password database. If the file already exists, passwd won't run.

If the system crashes during the update, and /etc/.pwlock still exists, passwd refuses to work until the system administrator removes the file.

If the password files are left in an inconsistent state as a result of the crash, the system administrator should also copy the backup files, /etc/oshadow and /etc/opasswd, to /etc/shadow and /etc/passwd to prevent additional problems.

Why can't I log in in graphical mode?
If you enter your user name and password to the graphical login utility (phlogin2 or phlogin), and it silently returns you to the blank login form, then:
  • Your user name and password don't match an account in the system (user names and passwords are both case-sensitive).


  • Your account has a login shell that isn't a standard POSIX shell.

In either case, see your system administrator for help.

Why can't I log in in text mode?
If you enter your user name and password to the text mode login prompt, login, and it responds Login incorrect, it's likely because your user name doesn't exist, or you've typed the wrong password. Both user names and passwords are case-sensitive; make sure you don't have Caps Lock on.

To avoid giving clues to unauthorized users, login doesn't tell you whether it's the user name or the password that's wrong. If you can't resolve the problem yourself, your system administrator (root user) can set a new password on your account.

This symptom can also occur if one or more password-related files are missing. If the system administrator is in the middle of updating the files, it's possible that its absence will be temporary. Try again in a minute or two if this might be the case. Otherwise, see your system administrator for help.

If you are the system administrator and can't access the system, try accessing it from another Neutrino machine using Qnet, from a development machine using the qconn interface, or boot and run from the installation CD-ROM to gain shell access to examine and repair the necessary files.

My text-mode login fails with a message: command: No such file or directory.
The system couldn't find the command specified as your login shell. This might happen because:
  • The command wasn't found in login's PATH (usually /bin:/usr/bin). Specify the full pathname to the program (e.g. /usr/local/bin/myprogram) in the user's /etc/passwd account entry.
  • The account entry specifies options or arguments for your login shell. You can't pass arguments to the initial command, because the entire string is interpreted as the filename to be executed.