Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 86136
Cannot start new programs
Last modified: 2007-04-18 12:52:00 EDT
Description of problem:
Occasionally, I am not able to start any NEW program using GNOME MENU. I tried
starting terminal, nothing happened. I tried TEXT EDITOR, nothing happened. No
error reported either. Meanwhile, existing running TERMINAL window will
continue to function properly, but I can't start new ones.
To get out of this condition, I LOGGED OUT, and LOG back in. And then it is
back to normal, until the next time.
Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable): Red Hat 8.0
Not reproducible. Problems happen intermittently several times a day
Steps to Reproduce:
Probably your hostname changes (try typing "hostname") which breaks
~/.Xauthority and ~/.ICEauthority so if you try to start apps you can't
authenticate to the X server. Try running say xterm in an already-open terminal,
if it says can't authenticate this is the problem.
The solution is a better auth mechanism for the X server (one that isn't
hostname sensitive). Perhaps an interesting feature for future releases.
You can workaround it in a totally insecure way by running "xhost +"
(allows anyone to connect to your X server), this may be safe on single user
systems with a strong firewall. Or you could configure your networking so the
hostname doesn't change.
We discussed this before I believe, and I investigated the sources.
Whatever changes the hostname is responsible for informing the X server
the hostname has changed and telling the X server to allow connections
from the new hostname. No changes to XFree86 are required.
GNOME isn't changing the hostname, and it is a design flaw in the .Xauthority
stuff that changing the hostname breaks things. It should not be rocket science
to do a better auth scheme if we want to get it on the feature list.
I think we should use this bug as a placeholder for the X authentication
enhancement. If you want to move it to whatever-changes-the-hostname (dhcp?)
instead, that's fine with me. It's in no way gnome-specific or gnome-related
though. The root problem is X's auth setup, and the hackaround would be
in the hostname-changing program, neither of those are GNOME.
Thank you for the input. In my case, I did change the hostname, though the
problem did not seem to happen immediately after that, but randomly later. I
have reconfigured my Network with the new hostname permanently, and so I shall
see if the problem goes away. THnks.
*** This bug has been marked as a duplicate of 80358 ***