Struggling with Init, Login, X and LiveCD

Dan McGhee beesnees at
Thu Dec 22 04:04:32 PST 2005

This seems so basic that I'm almost afraid to post it.  Additionally, it 
could go on this, the LFS or the LiveCD list.  I chose this one since it 
deals with configuration and can apply to just more than LiveCD.  Please 
let me know if I should take it elsewhere.

I've started building LFS using LiveCD 6.1.1-2 on my laptop.  Since I 
had to type, type, type when I built LFS on my PC, I was really excited 
to be able to use something in which I could copy and paste. :-)  I 
wrote some scripts to set up the build environment and started on my 
merry way.  Then I discovered that as user lfs I couldn't copy and paste 
from Firefox.  I'm running Firefox from an xterm (using twm) as root and 
building lfs in an xterm as lfs.  I reasoned that the difference in 
users was the problem.  Additionally, after I set up my environment, I 
cannot 'startx' from a console as lfs.  I changed $PATH to include 
/usr/X11R6/bin for lfs and that still didn't work, even though the " x 
executables" are -rwxr-xr-x.  One of the calls startx makes is to 
'xauth' --the message is 'command not found.'

I reasoned that this is permissions and security based and this is the 
point at which "methane on the brain" took over and I realized I had a 
severe hole in my knowlege.

On LiveCD there are entries in /etc/{passwd, groups} for user and group 
lfs.  But unless I use {group,user}add, I can't 'su' to lfs.  LiveCD 
defaults to init 3 and the root user, I would like to change this so 
that I could log on as lfs.  But I don't know how to get 'login' to work 
from boot.  The man pages for the startup stuff--init, getty, login--all 
tell what the calls do and NOT how to implement them.  All of the 
solutions that I can think of won't work until AFTER I have access to 
the terminal and then it's too late.  I have always been terribly weak 
in my knowlege of what and how to pass parameters on the command line at 
boot--if that's possible in this case.

I haven't yet had the opportunity to search the LFS and BLFS books with 
a fine toothed comb to see if I can find places that explain all this.  
Nor have I completed my search of the archives--so far I've come up 
empty.  My intent is to solve this and then modify the LiveCD to allow 
login as lfs at boot.

I apologize for the length of this and also if I should put it on 
another list.  I will appreciate and pointers to the right direction.


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