Strange Happenings, Unable To Use Computer

linuxnow

New Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2019
Messages
19
Reaction score
4
Credits
180
I’m having some strange events with my Linux PC and I fear that maybe it somehow became the target of some kind of malicious attack. I have Linux mint cinnamon.

Even though I only have a couple of document files on this computer that take up almost no space I started getting pop-ups that said something like file system root is full, with the prompts to empty the trash. On multiple occasions when it came up I just clicked empty the trash. It seemed however to keep coming up. Then today I was looking at network settings to figure out how to make a VPN I have yet to get work and I think I might have fumbled with some setting, though it was a setting for a network connection that I had previously been connected to but wasn’t connected to at that time. A little while after this the computer began acting strangely and I tried to reset it.

Now, when it boots up and goes to the login screen, when I login it begins to start up and then locks immediately, prompting the need to enter the password again. I tried to shut it down and see if I could enter safe mode but I was prompted to type the boot password, which I don’t even remember if I installed. When I press delete during the boot sequence I get a whole screen full of strange lines, some of which are below:

Stopped target user group name look ups
stop target remote file systems
stopping network manager
stopping raise network interface is
stopping network name resolution
stopping WP a supplement
stopped network name resolution
stop to create final run time DL are for shut down pivot route
stopped raise network interfaces
stopped WPA supplement
stop network manager
stopped network (can’t read)
stopped the bus system
stopped short Plymouth reboot screen
stops show thermal service
stopped basic system
stopped port password request to Plymouth directory watch
stopped event checked
stopped unknown,

Further down:
stopped forward password request to wall direct rewatch
stop target local encrypted volumes, stopping load/save screen back light brightness back light until back light stopped applied kernel variables
stopped low kernel modules
stopping network time synchronization

Another screen it said:
stop target user group name uploads stop target remove file systems
stopping target Network



The events of the day combined with all these lines that show on the boot up screen cause me to be afraid that perhaps the thing has been hacked and is being remotely used. I’ve just shut it off.
 


brickwizard

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2021
Messages
1,254
Reaction score
958
Credits
9,464
Welcome to the Linux Org forums

We are an un-associated, Independent advice a site for those in need of help with installation problems, those wanting a deeper understanding of Linux and Tech's needing more advanced advice,
We are a voluntary organisation our members are scattered across the four corners of the world and every time zone, so please accept that you may not get a quick answer.

Just a few things to remember
We are an international board so we ask that all post be in English [if you think your English is not very good , fine give it a try or use one of the translator programs [ DeepL Translate: The world's most accurate translator is recommended]

When asking for help
Please state the make and model number of your machine or its specification [some problems may be equipment specific]
Please tell us which distribution and build number you are having problems with [example Ubuntu 18.1]
Explain what your problem is and what [if anything] you have tried to remedy it yourself

Finally Linux is not Windows, It will require the newcomer to invest a little time and effort going through a learning curve so please don’t give up, kick off your shoes, grab a drink and enjoy the ride.

Bwiz

may sound a silly question , but have you run any updates prior to the problem starting?
 
OP
L

linuxnow

New Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2019
Messages
19
Reaction score
4
Credits
180
Welcome to the Linux Org forums

We are an un-associated, Independent advice a site for those in need of help with installation problems, those wanting a deeper understanding of Linux and Tech's needing more advanced advice,
We are a voluntary organisation our members are scattered across the four corners of the world and every time zone, so please accept that you may not get a quick answer.

Just a few things to remember
We are an international board so we ask that all post be in English [if you think your English is not very good , fine give it a try or use one of the translator programs [ DeepL Translate: The world's most accurate translator is recommended]

When asking for help
Please state the make and model number of your machine or its specification [some problems may be equipment specific]
Please tell us which distribution and build number you are having problems with [example Ubuntu 18.1]
Explain what your problem is and what [if anything] you have tried to remedy it yourself

Finally Linux is not Windows, It will require the newcomer to invest a little time and effort going through a learning curve so please don’t give up, kick off your shoes, grab a drink and enjoy the ride.

Bwiz

may sound a silly question , but have you run any updates prior to the problem starting?
This is an acer aspire one. It’s a cheap computer. I didn’t do any updates. I was hoping there was a way to get into safe mode via the boot menu but I don’t see that as an option at least not the way it is in a Windows computer.
 

Condobloke

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2017
Messages
3,753
Reaction score
3,361
Credits
18,490
G'day linuxnow, Welcome to Linux.org

That appears to be quite the mess!!

Which particular Linux are you running there ?.....Linux mint 19 ??

Is there a reasonable possibility that you could reinstall ?

Would this cause any significant data loss?...pics, music etc ?

If you decide to reinstall, it is a good approach to turn the Firewall on immediately and then to take a "snapshot" of the system with Timeshift and then allow the PC to download an install the updates that are available.

You could do the updates first and then the Timeshift snapshot ....either way is not crucial.
 
OP
L

linuxnow

New Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2019
Messages
19
Reaction score
4
Credits
180
G'day linuxnow, Welcome to Linux.org

That appears to be quite the mess!!

Which particular Linux are you running there ?.....Linux mint 19 ??

Is there a reasonable possibility that you could reinstall ?

Would this cause any significant data loss?...pics, music etc ?

If you decide to reinstall, it is a good approach to turn the Firewall on immediately and then to take a "snapshot" of the system with Timeshift and then allow the PC to download an install the updates that are available.

You could do the updates first and then the Timeshift snapshot ....either way is not crucial.

I’m running Linux mint cinnamon which as far as I know describes enough to know whether it’s 19 or some newer version though I don’t know everything about Linux. I never installed any antivirus programs because I thought I didn’t need them for this os. I just don’t like windows 10. I have that at work and I hate it.

It might not be that hard to just reload Linux but I’d like to know what happened so I won’t have to be reloading it every several months. I’d have to borrow a computer again to write the usb files to ISO to be able to load it.

I got through the bios password but there’s no Linux safe mode option. I wondered if there was someway to start it up without the network router if maybe it would work. When it starts up, I enter the password at the Linux Home Screen and it starts to login, then it shows the Acer screen that shows when it is booting up, then it locks the screen again. I can do this as many times as I want and it just goes in a circle.
 

Condobloke

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2017
Messages
3,753
Reaction score
3,361
Credits
18,490
I think you will come to appreciate Linux all the more if you simply wipe the experience from your life.

Linux Mint (Cinnamon) 20.1, 64bit.

Be sure to Verify the Download

(An unverified download could have been your initial problem?...who knows?)

If you have an external hard drive to save a Timeshift snapshot to, it may save you some drama
Timeshift works in similar manner to windows system restore.

Turn the Firewall on

Open Terminal (ctrl alt T) will open it......the copy and paste what i have typed in below in **bold**

**sudo ufw enable**

....then hit enter.
you will be prompted for your password....type it in (you may not see ANY response when you type......just put the password in, this is normal)....and hit enter again

Thats it. Nothing else is necessary.
The firewall will now be turned ON each and every time you startup or reboot

If you feel the need to check if it is on.....
sudo ufw status .....will let you know that it is active. Thats it.

Welcome to the wonderfully simple world of Linux.

Timeshift will be in the Software Manager
Click on menu...bottom LH corner...type in Timeshift

Settings...select RSYNC

Location...select where you will store the snapshot/s (external hard drive is preferable)

Schedule...if you have a drive with plenty of space you can elect to save several snapshots.....or just keep one or two...

Users...Include All

Filters...under the + icon select both lines

Thats enough....go back to main screen of Timeshift, and select Create


grab a coffee.....5 minutes approx


Now......if something goes south while you are trying changes etc etc, all you need to do is access Timehsift, click on restore, and go grab another coffee.


Update.
E
ither click on menu and type in update manager....or you may find the update icon in the system tray....right hand side near the clock.
Open it and click on Refresh.
The initial list of updates may be quite long
Simply install ALL of them.
This is not windows there is no need to pick and choose between them.
If there is a kernel update in amongst them the pc will ask you to reboot after the updates have finished. Do that.

NOW......
""Then today I was looking at network settings to figure out how to make a VPN I have yet to get work and I think I might have fumbled with some setting, though it was a setting for a network connection that I had previously been connected to but wasn’t connected to at that time. A little while after this the computer began acting strangely and I tried to reset it.""
Please try to avoid this....it may have been the true source of your problems before......we may never know, but it is likely.

VPN.....which one are you trying to install?

Get LM20.1 installed and Timeshift done and updates installed. Then worry about a vpn.

When you download the .iso, use Balena Etcher to add it to the usb stick. It is quite reliable and works on windows as well as Linux.

After you have LM installed keep that usb stick. It can be very useful down the track.

Just a thought.....^^

Go for it.
 

brickwizard

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2021
Messages
1,254
Reaction score
958
Credits
9,464
This is an acer aspire one.
there are several models in the aspire one , I own and use [when traveling] the aspire one ZG5 netbook, these are low resource machines, with drives as small as an 8gb ZIFF card up to about 30 gb depending on the age and actual model mint+ cinamon may be too heavy.
 
OP
L

linuxnow

New Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2019
Messages
19
Reaction score
4
Credits
180
The one I have says 64gb. I thought that if you could handle windows that should be able to handle Linux.
 

Condobloke

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2017
Messages
3,753
Reaction score
3,361
Credits
18,490
Agreed....that is sufficient space for Linux.

If you start saving pics and music and data you may need either an external hard drive connected via usb port or a bigger hard drive or SSD in the laptop itself.
SSD's are much cheaper than they used to be. A 500gb ssd or even a 1tb ssd would be cool, and they will more than likely fit in your laptop.
Otherwise an external hard drive ...maybe 500gb or 1TB will hold a great deal of data, music, pics etc etc etc
 

brickwizard

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2021
Messages
1,254
Reaction score
958
Credits
9,464
The one I have says 64gb.
must be a fairly new one then...thats plenty unless you intend to fill it with music/vidio/picture files
 

Vrai

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2019
Messages
1,042
Reaction score
976
Credits
3,915
You can use a "Live" .iso ( DVD or USB ) of Linux, such as the Linux Mint installation media you used to install Linux Mint with, to boot into. This would be roughly equivalent to Windows "Safe Mode" - only more powerful.

I would be most interested to see "exactly" what your partition scheme is.

I have seen Linux installers default to a partition setup which is not large enough for daily use.
 
OP
L

linuxnow

New Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2019
Messages
19
Reaction score
4
Credits
180
You can use a "Live" .iso ( DVD or USB ) of Linux, such as the Linux Mint installation media you used to install Linux Mint with, to boot into. This would be roughly equivalent to Windows "Safe Mode" - only more powerful.

I would be most interested to see "exactly" what your partition scheme is.

I have seen Linux installers default to a partition setup which is not large enough for daily use.
When I loaded it I selected what I thought was the option of using the entire memory for the new installation. Had to bypass warnings saying that it was going to delete the other operating system and such. In any case now I have gone in and used the original usb drive to boot up to Linux. I can go in the screen and see my old files. If I transfer those to the desktop on this new screen can I then just select load Linux and wipe the old installation while keeping the old files on the new install?
 

Lord Boltar

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2020
Messages
1,005
Reaction score
647
Credits
7,441
Some of those emmc computers use a 32bit boot-loader which the 32-bit BIOS can’t see these 64-bit files, hence it does not boot right. Does it have Intel Bay Trail hardware? Some of the Acer One have it - so it seems to me to be a grub issue - some Bay Trail hardware has 64bit CPU, 32bit Bios

Also if your system root is getting full you will need to purge some old config files - first remove any extra kernels you do not use pretty much all the old ones once done now we need to remove the "rc" packages that are left behind
Code:
dpkg --list |grep "^rc"
then
Code:
dpkg --list |grep "^rc" |cut -d " " -f3
and finally
Code:
dpkg --list |grep "^rc" |cut -d " " -f3 |xargs sudo dpkg --purge
now reboot

If this does not work the you may have to extend the root partition. In order to extend the root partition, you must not be using the root partition. The only way to do that is to boot to a USB pen drive, and from there use Gparted on it.
You can open a terminal on startup Ctrl+Alt+F2 if needed
 
Last edited:

Vrai

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2019
Messages
1,042
Reaction score
976
Credits
3,915
If I transfer those to the desktop on this new screen can I then just select load Linux and wipe the old installation while keeping the old files on the new install?
No. You will lose the files that way. Transfer any data (files) you wish to save to an external storage device first. Then proceed as usual with the installation.
 
$100 Digital Ocean Credit
Get a free VM to test out Linux!

Staff online

Members online


Top