Some time ago (can't tell exactly when, but it's been one week at least), users logging into KDE on this system stopped being assigned membership to their supplementary groups.

For example, user "larry" is configured as member of his own primary group "larry", and also of "users". The latter is required to access some of the files used by more than user.

When larry logs into the TTY console and issues command id, the output is

uid=1000(larry) gid=1000(larry) Groups=1000(larry),100(users)

But - when larry logs into KDE, opens a terminal and issues id, the output is

uid=1000(larry) gid=1000(larry) Groups=1000(larry)

Next, larry does su larry in the same terminal, enters his password, issues id again, and voilà:

uid=1000(larry) gid=1000(larry) Groups=1000(larry),100(users)

To me it appears that the KDE login has stopped doing some of the work a login shell is supposed to do, but I do not currently have any idea on how track this.

up vote 0 down vote accepted

Meanwhile, I've found a couple of workarounds for this problem which appears to be caused by libpam_kwallet in conjunction with lightdm. Don't know why they didn't show up when I searched for a solution before posting my question - I guess I must have been using the wrong search terms.

From https://bugs.launchpad.net/lightdm/+bug/1781418:

It seems to be caused by an update to libpam-kwallet5. Commenting the following lines in /etc/pam.d/lightdm resolved the issue:

auth optional pam_kwallet.so 
auth optional pam_kwallet5.so

This is what I did and what solved my problem. The other solution would obviously be to switch to another display manager light gdm, sddm or whatever.

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