[techtalk] X11 and xauth

Emily Cartier ecartier at crosswinds.net
Sat Jan 1 12:32:49 EST 2000

Well, as usual, I've got problems. Machine B (the no modem, not working
ethernet, Mandrake 6.1 running, S3 ViRGE and Cyrix based system) is
pulling more stupid X tricks. Remember how it stopped letting my
personal account access the CDROM drive? Well, it also gradually cut off
my access to WindowMaker <ow> GNOME <ow ow> KDE <ow ow ow> and all the
other WMs except AnotherLevel. I've done some poking around in the files
that control X and I think I've found the problem. Unfortunately, it's a
biggie. xauth has been partially overwritten with bad data (it looks
just like the end result of an excersise in my first programming class...
straight binary data). .Xauthority for my personal account is listed
when I do ls, but I can't get a text editor to read it. My
.xsession-errors file is huge, something over 100,000 lines, and was
full of ^@ characters for several thousand lines. Most of the other X
related files seem ok (seem is the key word here... I wouldn't know how
to tell if something subtle was munged). The man pages for xauth make it
sound pretty important, and if the behavior of my X login is any
example, it probably is.

So the big question is: can I rebuild my xauth file on my own?
Obliviously, it would be faster just to reinstall, but I'm starting to
get things working right, and it seems silly to reinstall just to fix
one text file.


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