gnome-screensaver bad password timeout

Bug #314545 reported by Neal Barney on 2009-01-06
This bug affects 3 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
gnome-screensaver (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: gnome-screensaver

I run Ubuntu 8.04 on my work computer. At work, when we step away from our machines we are required to lock the screen, even if it is a simple visit to the printer to get a print out. So I am locking and unlocking my machine constantly throughout the day. Occasionally, I will mistype my password and get the "Incorrect password" dialog after a few seconds.

However, I seem to have an issue where the timeout from a bad password can be upward of 5 minutes. This is NOT after a given number of consecutively bad passwords in a row. As an example:

8:00AM - I unlock my computer for the first time.
9:00AM - I lock my computer and go to a meeting.
9:15AM - I accidentally enter a bad password. Dialog times out after a few seconds. I successfully enter the correct password.
11:00AM - I lock my screen and retrieve a print job from the printer.
11:01AM - I correctly enter my password and the screen unlocks.
12:00PM - I leave for lunch.
1:00PM - I accidentally enter a bad password and I have to wait a long, long time (3-5+ minutes) before it gives me the dialog again.

The error message after it comes back up is not "Invalid Password", but "Timeout expired". It seems to be random when it makes me wait a long time on a bad password entry. It is not a huge deal but it is *highly* annoying. The most common time for me to mis-type a password is when I'm either in a big hurry or under stress due to a tight deadline. Both of which are terrible situations to have to wait an unreasonable amount of time for a bad password dialog to clear.

ProblemType: Bug
Architecture: i386
Date: Tue Jan 6 15:35:26 2009
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 8.04
ExecutablePath: /usr/bin/gnome-screensaver
Package: gnome-screensaver 2.22.2-0ubuntu1
PackageArchitecture: i386
SourcePackage: gnome-screensaver
Uname: Linux 2.6.24-19-generic i686

Neal Barney (neal-barney) wrote :

I *may* be experiencing the same problem. However, I never waited 5 mins. - I just assumed that it crashed, and rebooted.

ATI Radeon Mobility 9100IGP

Neal Barney (neal-barney) wrote :

One some occasions, I will switch to a console (Alt-F1) to attempt to get something done while waiting for the screensaver to give me the login dialog again. However, when I attempt to switch back (Alt-F7) It only gives me a blank screen. So, it's possible that it is crashing some of the time. In those cases I do 'init 3', force kill gdm & X, and then 'init 5'. If I don't switch to the console it eventually comes back up though.

Really, this is the only issue I have with Ubuntu 8.04. It was minor enough I waited 8 months to report it, mostly hoping that someone else would and it would get fixed. But It's annoying enough that I finally got motivated.

I have low expectations of it getting fixed though. It's too hard to reproduce, which means it's going to be very difficult to narrow down what is the root cause. I'm hoping to be pleasantly surprised.

Pedro Villavicencio (pedro) wrote :

Thanks for the report, May you please get us a screensaver debug log? please do the following:

killall -9 gnome-screensaver
gnome-screensaver --no-daemon --debug > /tmp/gs.log 2>&1

Reproduce the issue and attach that resulting file to the report, thanks in advance.

Changed in gnome-screensaver (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
status: New → Incomplete
Neal Barney (neal-barney) wrote :

Here's is a snippet of the debug log. The full log was 18,000+ lines before I encountered this problem. I grabbed the data about 4 to 5 minutes before attempting to unlock and all of the data afterwards. It appears as if the screen lock happened at line 143. The (failed) unlock request appears to start on line 196. Somewhere after that there is also a successful unlock.

Pedro Villavicencio (pedro) wrote :

Thanks for the info.

Changed in gnome-screensaver (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Confirmed
k c davis (kcdavis) wrote :

I've been seeing this since upgrading to 9.04 -- Never saw it before. I reported it under Launchpad bug #181065, but what I'm seeing is better described by the earlier notes on this one.

k c davis (kcdavis) wrote :

I confirmed the problem is NOT CONSISTENT. Today I mistyped password and immediately got "Password Incorrect", then about as fast as I could read the message, the (re) Enter Password window redrew. That WAS when unlocking after a "Lock Screen" request.

(I also frequently "Suspend" this system and haven't yet had a problem unlocking from that, so wasn't immediately sure I'd ever seen a timely recovery after bad password on locked screen.)

Pedro Villavicencio (pedro) wrote :

Could somebody having this issue send it upstream at , for forwarding instructions please read, Thanks in advance.

k c davis (kcdavis) wrote :

Problem is still present. The time before this last time I had it I let the system try to recover for about 2 HOURS, but it never did. The only way I've found to recover is to reboot.

 I'll try to pass it up to Gnome's bugzilla when I'm a little less brain dead.

k c davis (kcdavis) wrote :

And I have this maybe wild idea I might claim it's a security issue: "Denial of Service by malicious entry of false password."

vic (wheresvic-sd) wrote :

I confirm this bug, it's happened to me a couple of times now, but usually times out in around 2-3 mins. In the meantime I usually login via another terminal and use links to browse around :)

It's an incredibly annoying issue!

This just happend to me; the last time was a few month ago. I waited about 5-10 minutes, then I could type in my password again.

Rich Wales (richw) wrote :

I've been seeing this bug in Karmic for some time now.

Rich Wales (richw) wrote :

This bug (or a very similar bug) is alleged to have been fixed for Lucid (bug #524860).

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