Avahi and GDM problem

I didn’t blog about system issues for a little while. Not that I didn’t have any, it’s just the thesis combined with work that were keeping me busy. Since I solved one problem today, here’s information on what was it and how I solved it.

After upgrading to GNOME 2.16 on my Gentoo, the gdm logging-in stopped worked correctly. It would display the initial screen where I could enter my user name and password, but instead of starting GNOME, it would flick for a little while and return to the login screen.

It turned out that it’s because the Avahi daemon wasn’t started. Each time I tried to start the Avahi daemon, it would print this message:

avahi-daemon[3015]: cap_set_proc() failed: Operation not permitted

It turned out that I needed the “capability” kernel module.

# modprobe capability

After inserting this module, Avahi daemon started and GDM started working again. To ensure that this module is loaded every time the system starts up, I added a line:


to file:


Note: this file is Gentoo-specific. Other distributions will probably have different ways of configuring the auto-load modules.

2 Responses to “Avahi and GDM problem”

  1. Mathieu Jobin Says:

    this totally fixed my problem. thanks

  2. Eugéne Suter Says:

    Thanks for that info!
    One buglist dealing with this problem had mentioned that disabling CONFIG_SECURITY_CAPABILITIES in the kernel would solve it……I’m not quite comfortable completely disabling a feature that has “security” in its name😉


    This is by fas a better sollution.

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