Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Dodging Perils from the Computer Demons

So it's late, I'm working on implementing semaphores and correcting my midterm answers, and my computer decides to freak out, though top showed nothing obviously weird going on. I had quit Gaim but it crashed as it was closing, or some such. In the course of events, I restarted X and tried logging in again, but KDE gave me issues — default wallpaper and kicker settings, like before.

Switched to a console login, mucked around, then tried starting up X again. I did this sudoly, KDE slapped me for having root-like privileges, and I dutifully logged out. Reran startx as myself, and now KDE gripes that it has "no write access" to some of my KDE dot-files, "KDE is unable to start," and it "could not start ksmserver. Check your installation." At least for the write access issue, it tells me which file it wants, so I can actually track down the problem without Google or a guru. Would that more error messages were as helpful to the end user.

So was it sudo startx that changed ownership of my .Xauthority and .ICEauthority to root? Why the hell is that a reasonable thing to do? Maybe there is a reasonable explanation, but I don't find it amusing at 4 AM when I'm doing homework due tomorrow.

Of course, this could have just been a trial sent by demons to test me. Why won't they take the hint and leave me alone when I tell them I'm atheist? IMHO, you shouldn't go pestering people if you don't exist.

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staticfoo said...

I've found that when it comes to dealing with X, sudo and the like act differently than real root. I'm not sure why, but there you are.

Joseph said...

trial sent by daemons you mean.