Comment 3 for bug 864609

Looks like libvte9 package is internally using an incorrect path for gnome-pty-helper. libvte-2.90-9 package of the same library is using the correct path. gnome-terminal updates utmp successfully because it is using the latter library.

libvte9 tries to run /usr/lib/vte/gnome-pty-helper but installs /usr/lib/libvte9/gnome-pty-helper.

The following shows the incorrect path in libvte.so.9 and the correct path in libvte2_90.so.9:

$ strings /usr/lib/libvte.so.9 | fgrep /gnome-pty-helper
/usr/lib/vte/gnome-pty-helper
$ strings /usr/lib/libvte2_90.so.9 | fgrep /gnome-pty-helper
/usr/lib/libvte2-90/gnome-pty-helper

This shows where these packages have installed their gnome-pty-helper:

$ dpkg -S gnome-pty-helper
libvte9: /usr/lib/libvte9/gnome-pty-helper
libvte-2.90-9: /usr/lib/libvte2-90/gnome-pty-helper

As a workaround I made a symbolic link such as follows:

$ ln -s libvte9 /usr/lib/vte
$ ls -la /usr/lib/vte
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 7 2011-10-12 20:14 /usr/lib/vte -> libvte9

...and that solves the problem for me. xfce4-terminal now correctly adds utmp entries.

These are the installed libvte package versions:

$ apt-cache policy libvte9 libvte-2.90-9
libvte-2.90-9:
  Installed: 1:0.28.2-0ubuntu2
  Candidate: 1:0.28.2-0ubuntu2
  Version table:
 *** 1:0.28.2-0ubuntu2 0
        500 http://kh.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ oneiric/main amd64 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
libvte9:
  Installed: 1:0.28.2-0ubuntu2
  Candidate: 1:0.28.2-0ubuntu2
  Version table:
 *** 1:0.28.2-0ubuntu2 0
        500 http://kh.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ oneiric/main amd64 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status