I belong to too many groups

Nathan Vidican nvidican at wmptl.com
Thu Jan 19 05:34:01 PST 2006

Bob @ Brisbane wrote:
> It took me so long to get onto this list that in the end I just gave and 
> reinstalled over the top of the old one. It all works now, but I would 
> still be interested in a way around the problem if one exists. The 
> original problem is described below
> I recently installed FreeBSD 6 RELEASE onto a hard drive and added two 
> other
> users, bob and bill.
> Whilst I was doing this I decided to make root and bob members of ALL the
> groups in the system.
> I now find that I am unable to log in as either root or bob nor can I su 
> from bob.
> I have tried booting to safe mode but it will still not allow me to do 
> anything
> The messages that I get from the system are:
> login: ROOT LOGIN (root) ON ttyv0
> login: initgroups(root,0) : Invalid argument
> login: setusercontext() failed - exiting
> I can still log in as bill and this will allow me to see the system files
> but bill doesn't have the authority to change anything.
> I tried to su to root but bill is not in the wheel group.
> If I want to run a graphical environment (and I do) then I need to start
> this up as root.
> Is there any way to get past this problem or will I need to reinstall?
> Bob Willson
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You could always bootup the 'fixit' image from the install cd, then mount your 
root partition, and vi /etc/group. That's what I'd do given your case; if you 
are unsure of how to mount the partition, bootup your machine, login as 'bill', 
type 'mount' and look at which partition is mounted to '/'. Then bootup the 
fixit image, and 'mount /dev/_your_root_slice /mnt', then simply 'vi 
/mnt/etc/group'. Should be fairly straight forward, email back to the list if 
you still have problems with it.

Nathan Vidican
nvidican at wmptl.com
Windsor Match Plate & Tool Ltd.

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