The other day, apparently a script or other essential file got scrambled/deleted/whatever, now preventing the standard user to gain 'admin' group rights and successfully complete the boot process into Gnome. Right now the boot process gets stuck right after switching from the text mode boot status messages to the graphic mode on console 7 or 8 with the spinning circle thingy. Switching to a console and logging in as the standard user results in this:

-bash: getent: command not found
-bash: cut: command not found
-bash: expr: command not found
-bash: /usr/bin/mint-fortune: Permission denied

Below are records from some files, while googling around for quite some time, have been pointed out to be relevant for the permission management:

$ grep -i wolfi /etc/group
$ cat /etc/sudoers
Defaults        env_reset
# User privilege specification
root    ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL
# Members of the admin group may gain root privileges
%admin ALL=(ALL) ALL

# less /etc/shadow ==> root and wolfi entries of same pattern do exist

$ grep -i wolfi /etc/passwd
  • So, how exactly does the process work, assigning wolfi the admin group privileges to actually be able to access things like f.e. /usr/bin/?

  • Am I wrong to assume, that what happens on the console at log-in is independent from what the GUI is doing (or not doing) after switching from the text-mode boot message output screen on console one, to the graphics screen on console 7 or 8 (not quite sure which one it actually is on this version)?

closed as off-topic by Fabby, Pilot6, Charles Green, David Foerster, Eric Carvalho Dec 13 '15 at 23:55

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  • I don't see anything wrong with your groups, but your PATH might be incorrect. Look for the PATH in the standard files (grep PATH /etc/environment /etc/profile /etc/bash.bashrc /etc/profile.d/*.sh ~/.bashrc ~/.profile). – muru Feb 17 '15 at 22:23
  • Thanks muru, sorry, I forgot to mention, that 'echo $PATH' shows that path is set correctly and works for the user's own files and executables. My guess is, that whatever it is that actually applies those elevated 'admin' group privileges, now isn't working anymore. – user379820 Feb 18 '15 at 16:22
  • Then why are you getting "command not founds"? Accessing /usr/bin doesn't require any privileges, that directory is readable and accessible by all. – muru Feb 18 '15 at 18:39
  • Please update your system to a current one. Support on Ask Ubuntu for 9.10 ended a long time ago. This could be from an outside source... – Rinzwind Feb 18 '15 at 18:42
  • 1
    Even Lucid is extremely old now, tons and tons of security patches have been sent out since Karmic/Lucid went EOL, you are extremely vulnerable. Whatever time it takes to work out any bugs in 12.04 or 14.04 it is well worth it in the security department. You're not even protected from shell shock. – Seth Feb 18 '15 at 20:33

For starters: 9.10 is pretty old and has so many security issues you really really need to update that system to at least 12.04. 9.10 is not even an LTS so why you have not is beyond me.

Besides that I have some questions ...

Care to explain this message?

-bash: /usr/bin/mint-fortune: Permission denied

As far as I know the package "mintsystem" is part of Ubuntu Mint and not part of any official Ubuntu release. Source of it is on Github.

So if you are not running Mint and you are not sure why these problems started I would start to believe your system got compromised and someone messed with your system. If it is Mint (cat /etc/lsb-release will tell you the release you are running) I wonder why you did not include that.

Now that the questions are out of the way....

  • Your "~.xsessions" file will have an error notice.
  • The most obvious reason for getting these 3 errors (source #1)...

    -bash: getent: command not found
    -bash: cut: command not found
    -bash: expr: command not found

    is a typo in


    It should have ...


    If it was a permissions error I would have expected messages to say "permission denied" and not "command not found". That last one states the system not being able to find the commands (= problem with your $PATH, and specifically with finding files in /usr/bin). Well ending with another question: what happens if you type chattr or bc on command line? (those 2 also reside in /usr/bin ;) )

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