Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 115065
startx and switchdesk hang if PS1 prompt is set strangely
Last modified: 2007-11-30 17:07:00 EST
Description of problem:
I had two machines where students had
PS1='[\h \W] :'
in their .bashrc files. When they ran startx (I think both users were
logged in as root at the time), the X server would start, but then
just sit there without ever appearing to run gnome-session. The server
would have to be killed with ctrl-alt-backspace. 'switchdesk gnome'
would also hang. I have no idea how the two could be related but once
the PS1 line was commented out of .bashrc and the student logged back
in startx worked properly again.
Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):
Rhel3 AS. I up2dated XFree86 and dependancies, but the problem persisted.
Seems readily reproducable.
Steps to Reproduce:
1. add "PS1='[\h \W] :'" to .bashrc
2. logout and log back in
3. run "startx"
X server starts, but no X clients appear. An strace stops in the
middle of reporting a call to waitpid()
Normal gnome session startup, which happens once the PS1 variable is
unset and startx is run again
Yes, I know it sounds ridiculous.
Does the same thing occur if you create a new "dummy" user account
without any customization or other files present, and just add
the PS1 change to the new user's .bashrc?
With a dummy user on a fully up2dated system this does not seem to be
reproducable. Either there was some other cause or the bug has been
fixed since I filed this report.
Ok, I'm going to close the report as "WORKSFORME" then, since
you've indicated it no longer occurs. If the problem happens
again however, please contact Red Hat Global Support Services
via telephone at 1-888-RED-HAT1 and mention this bug ID, and
a support representative will assist you in troubleshooting the