Cannot login as root, exited on signal 11

Tim Judd tajudd at
Tue Jun 16 18:51:52 UTC 2009

On 6/16/09, Unga <unga888 at> wrote:
> --- On Tue, 6/16/09, Tim Judd <tajudd at> wrote:
>> From: Tim Judd <tajudd at>
>> Subject: Re: Cannot login as root, exited on signal 11
>> To: "Unga" <unga888 at>
>> Cc: freebsd-questions at, mail25 at
>> Date: Tuesday, June 16, 2009, 10:10 PM
>> su -l discards the previous
>> environment and loads a new environment.
>> It's as if you're "logging in" as root (-l)
>> running su without -l will elevate your priveledges without
>> this same
>> problem, you keep the same shell.  Fix your shell
>> problems via this
>> way (or single user as originally described), and be
>> careful next
>> time.
> Hi Tim, thanks for the reply. I have not identified yet the problem to be
> solved.
> If you refer that I use bash for root is the problem, there is no difference
> by switching root's shell to sh.
> With sh as the shell for root:
> 1. Still cannot login as root from the console. Child process died error.
> 2. "su -l" doesn't work, child process died error.
> 3. su works. But the prompt is [\u at host name]#
> Why it doesn't print root at host? whoami shows root.
> What is the problem you think that I should fix? any ideas? any thread
> related error as the child process die when in root?
> Best regards
> Unga


This is the first time I've read from you that you were using the
recommended shell.  Given you're running the recommended shell and
you're still having problems sporadically (users = ok, root = not),
I'd start the invasive discovery why it's not working.  First is
  is your kernel version and userland in sync?

  Such as RELENG_7 userland with RELENG_7 kernel?  Running
non-synchronized kernel and userland (aka world) is not supported* and
will cause problems.

Back to the individualized problem -- if you backup your root's
dotfiles, and then remove or rename them, does the problem remain?
What if you set root's home directory to one of your user's home
directory as a test to see if it's the dotfiles?

These would be my next steps to diagnose what might be the problem.  Good luck.

* - Only supported is when you're upgrading and have a newer kernel
just long enough to install world.

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