[clug-talk] Reset root password SuSE 9.2

Jarrod Major jmajor at nucleus.com
Fri Sep 9 22:24:46 PDT 2005

Hey Gang,

I've been beating my head against a wall here for hours. I have a server that 
I haven't yet put into production (it's only been on my local network) and I 
haven't touched it for months. When i went to login, it appears that I have 
forgotten my root and user passwords. Nothing I enter works anyway. I usually 
write these things down, must've slipped my mind this time.

I have the original install media so I did a Google search and the easiest way 
appears to fire in Disc 1 and select Rescue system from the boot menu. They 
talk about editing the /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow files. I have done this 
and when I reboot, I still can't get in as root. Effectively, they suggest 
you clear out the root password so that when you reboot, there is no 
password, you are supposed to just hit enter. When I hit enter at the root 
login prompt I get "Login incorrect".

I tried Tom's Root Boot disc but unfortunately it doesn't support the Reiser 
FS and my / partition (where /etc lives, no d'uh!) is Reiser.

I have a Knoppix disc but I didn't make it and for whatever reason this 
particular system doesn't want to boot from this CD (the SuSE 9.2 disc one is 
also burned and boots fine). I didn't want to do a big ISO download for the 
latest Knoppix, this one isn't that old... 3.4

So I am running out of options here. There was other advice to physically 
remove the drive and install it in a working system and once mounted edit the 
same files. I don't want to resort to this and it almost seems like they are 
getting reset somehow. Is Reiser doing this? Is this a funky SuSE thing? I 
read docs right off the SuSE site regarding the rescue procedure so I am 
confident they are supposed to be right.

This is a basic install, no GUI, just the OS and Apache and a few other 

I'm not having much luck with root passwords these days. First my laptop and 
now this (I haven't tried my user password for root in Kubuntu Neil, I will).

Going to bed, gonna try this again tomorrow. TIA!
Jarrod Major
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