[clug-talk] Reset root password SuSE 9.2

Eric Mei ericm at clusterfs.com
Sat Sep 10 00:17:58 PDT 2005

Jarrod Major wrote:

>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!

Does your boot loader (grub/lilo) has passwd protection too? if no, the 
easiest way is booting into single mode and reset root password. That is 
adding a option "single" on the boot prompt of grub/lilo, then boot will 
bring you in a single mode shell with root permission. simply run 
"passwd" to change it.

hope I didn't misunderstand you.


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