Ubuntu Lucid Lynx 10.04 LTS Upgrade Woes: Microsoft VPN Failure, Rhythmbox Segfault and Serendipity Saves the Day
Tuesday, 31. August 2010
A couple weeks ago I needed a newer version of pidgin-sipe so that I could use Pidgin to connect to Microsoft Office Communications Server. I was running Ubuntu Karmic Koala 9.10 which includes version 1.5.0 of pidgin-sipe and I needed version 1.8.0. When I saw that Ubuntu Lucid Lynx 10.04 LTS includes version 1.8.0 of pidgin-sipe, instead of doing the prudent thing and building pidgin-sipe 1.8.0 from source on Ubuntu 9.10, I decided to upgrade to Ubuntu 10.04.
Except for being greeted by the “Partial Upgrade” dialog in Update Manager the upgrade went as smoothly as can be expected for an in-place upgrade. I had Pidgin talking to Microsoft Office Communications Server within a few minutes of completing the upgrade. Mission accomplished. Then I needed to connect to Microsoft PPTP VPN at a clients’ site and I started to experience Ubuntu upgrade woes. The VPN connection was failing with the following error:
I spent quite a bit of time trying to fix that problem with no success. I couldn’t find any helpful errors in the system logs. The PPTP client was logging the following when I tried to connect:
pppd: Plugin /usr/lib/pppd/2.4.5//nm-pptp-pppd-plugin.so loaded. pppd: pppd 2.4.5 started by root, uid 0 pppd: Using interface ppp0 pppd: Connect: ppp0 < --> /dev/pts/2 pppd: CHAP authentication succeeded pppd: MPPE 40-bit stateless compression enabled pppd: local IP address 172.30.8.180 pppd: remote IP address 172.30.8.61 pppd: primary DNS address 172.30.3.22 pppd: secondary DNS address 172.30.3.23 pppd: Terminating on signal 15 pppd: Connect time 0.7 minutes. pppd: Sent 0 bytes, received 0 bytes. pppd: Child process /usr/sbin/pptp vpn.********.com --nolaunchpppd --logstring nm-pptp-service-18077 (pid 18081) terminated with signal 15 pppd: Connection terminated. pppd: Exit.
Not much info there. The NetworkManager log offered a little bit more info:
NetworkManager: <info> Starting VPN service 'org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.pptp'... NetworkManager: <info> VPN service 'org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.pptp' started (org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.pptp), PID 15184 NetworkManager: <info> VPN service 'org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.pptp' just appeared, activating connections NetworkManager: <info> VPN plugin state changed: 1 NetworkManager: <info> VPN plugin state changed: 3 NetworkManager: <info> VPN connection 'Corporate VPN' (Connect) reply received. NetworkManager: SCPlugin-Ifupdown: devices added (path: /sys/devices/virtual/net/ppp0, iface: ppp0) NetworkManager: SCPlugin-Ifupdown: device added (path: /sys/devices/virtual/net/ppp0, iface: ppp0): no ifupdown configuration found. NetworkManager: <info> VPN connection 'Corporate VPN' (IP Config Get) timeout exceeded. NetworkManager: <info> Policy set 'Auto eth0' (eth0) as default for routing and DNS. NetworkManager: SCPlugin-Ifupdown: devices removed (path: /sys/devices/virtual/net/ppp0, iface: ppp0) NetworkManager: <debug> [1283289056.002038] ensure_killed(): waiting for vpn service pid 15184 to exit NetworkManager: <debug> [1283289056.002152] ensure_killed(): vpn service pid 15184 cleaned up
The VPN connection was timing out. A Google search for that timeout message turned up lots of problems, but few solutions and none that worked for me.
While I searched for a working solution to my problem I launched Rhythmbox to play some “thinking music”. Rhythmbox loaded and then died. I started it again and it died again. More upgrade woes. I looked in the system log and found this message:
rhythmbox: segfault at 0 ip 013e97e2 sp b43fead8 error 6 in libnss_wins.so.2[13a8000+253000]
Rhythmbox was getting a SIGSEGV and dying shortly after launching every time. A Google search for that message turned up lots of other users experiencing the same problem. A few commenters reported that the issue was related to winbind. Several suggested the problem was the order of the hosts in /etc/nsswitch.conf and that moving the wins entry to the end of the hosts line would fix the problem. I edited /etc/nsswitch.conf and changed this line:
hosts: files wins mdns4_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] dns mdns4
hosts: files mdns4_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] dns mdns4 wins
Then I launched Rhythmbox and it did not segfault. Problem solved.1
Now that I had music again I returned to working on the VPN problem. I tried connecting the VPN again and … it worked! Sonofa! The change I made to /etc/nsswitch.conf to fix Rhythmbox also fixed my Microsoft VPN problems too. Another win for serendipity!
1Moving wins after dns on the hosts line in /etc/nsswitch.conf effectively disables winbind and this may cause problems with Samba. It didn’t cause any problems for me, but your mileage may vary.