Daddy Clanger (imc) wrote,

Random Fedora 9 Geekery

This post is for anyone who, like me, has googled for phrases such as "consolekit.getseats request failed" or "daemon exit: live and let die" in an attempt to find out what's wrong with their system and not ended up finding anything useful (except, hopefully, for this post).

A colleague had upgraded a laptop from Fedora 7 to Fedora 9. Or at least he had tried, but he ended up with a non-bootable system — even when he put the disc back in and tried to upgrade it again. Unfortunately this laptop seems to have a flakey DVD drive and the Fedora installer had failed to mention that half the packages had failed to be installed owing either to I/O errors or to missing prerequisites caused by earlier failures in the installation process.

I managed to hack it into shape by booting from the DVD into rescue mode, reading a list of packages from the log of the original installation (I'd have collected the list of failed packages from the upgrade, but sadly this log had been overwritten by the second upgrade attempt) and installing packages of the same name from the yum repositories. (It wasn't quite that simple as I had to fix yum first by installing sufficiently many packages from the DVD.) As I then needed to book out a laptop for the exam marks processing season, I simply kept this one and signed the book — so I know that it is running more or less OK.

That is all incidental to the actual error messages quoted above, but it may explain why the laptop ended up with a few things not working properly. In particular, the sound didn't work because the system forgot to grant access to the device files when I logged in, and — I discovered, when it was time to put the first phase of exam results on a data stick to be taken to the Exam Schools — it did not automatically mount USB data sticks when inserted.

The latter was simple, I thought: gnome-volume-manager is not running for some reason, so just start it and everything should be OK. Unfortunately not — it just exited. Running it with "-n" produced a string of meaningless messages:
manager.c/3806: ConsoleKit.GetSeats request failed to reply
manager.c/670: setting[0]: string: filemanager = nautilus -n --no-desktop %m
manager.c/675: setting[1]: bool: autobrowse = 0
manager.c/675: setting[2]: bool: autoburn = 0
...
manager.c/684: settings[37]: float: percent_threshold = 0.050000
manager.c/684: settings[38]: float: percent_used = 0.010000
manager.c/626: daemon exit: live and let die
If anything is an uninformative error message, that last line is. I ended up having to mount the data stick as root (as I don't think gnome-mount was working either).

It turns out there are two things wrong here. One of them is that Fedora no longer uses gnome-volume-manager to auto-mount removable media — it's now built into Nautilus. I am guessing that "live and let die" means "hey, someone else is already managing this" but that is pure speculation on my part. So if you get that error message it just means that you shouldn't have been running it in the first place.

The other is that console-kit-daemon isn't getting started at boot time, which prompts the first complaint in the spew above. This is meant to get started by the dbus daemon (as part of the service "messagebus") because there's a service description file in /usr/share/dbus-1/system-services and I'm guessing that it is dbus-daemon-launch-helper that is mean to launch the daemon. And in turn, the location of that helper is listed in /etc/dbus-1/system.conf.

Except it wasn't. Because when the dbus package was upgraded to the Fedora 9 version, it left the old conf file in place and saved the new one as system.conf.rpmnew. Renaming that file to system.conf has now fixed ConsoleKit, and with it I get the sound and the removable media mounting. Even the NetworkManager works better now. gnome-volume-manager still produces a spew of messages when you try to start it, but I don't mind so much now I know it's not actually needed.

Digression: Anyone agree that
/sbin/multipath.static: error while loading shared libraries
is a contradiction in terms?
Tags: computers, work
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