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Not sure if it'd work, but:
Could you boot from a rescue floppy/CD, chroot to your local filesystem, add a new user called 'root' with all of root's privelidges (sp?), and then possibly change to rl1 to see if it worked.
I can boot to Linux, but when I come up, I cannot log in as root. As far as I know, there is no boot up disk. I'm rather new at Linux admin, so I'm not sure what you mean by chroot... Can you be a little more detailed? Thanks I appreciate it...
chroot is a command that will allow you to change the root filesystem being used, thus if you boot with a rescue floppy, the root-fs will either be the floppy itself (unlikely) or a temporary filesystem made on your RAM, and using chroot will allow you to change this to your local, harddisk filesystem.
Such rescue floppies are quite numerous, but Toms seems to be very popular indeed. Some of the more recent distros will have a rescue option on their install CDs, but you need to press F1 and type 'rescue' to get to it.
Root, by the way, has a user ID of 0 and a group ID 0 (UID and GID respectfully).
you could always boot with tom's root disk (http://www.toms.net/rb) and from there use the chroot or manually adding a user called root with uid of 0 and guid 0. man useradd for more information on adding users.
then you'd have to chroot to your local FS and then use passwd root to enable the account. For more info on those commands (chroot, passwd, useradd) search the web or the man pages.
I think sharper's right -- it sounds to me like you've been the target of a cruel prank. If you're new to administering linux systems, you may want to start over, as piling through access logs can be a real headache.
I used to have this problem to, it was because I made my own bootable cd and I forgot to copy the /etc/passwd file.
Can you log in as another user ? I would look if that file has not gone corrupt or somthing.
Everything is read only. I don't know of another user that has those permissions. Like I said, we barely even touch this box and I muddle through admin. I found a file called passwd.bak that has a user called root, but I cannot rename it to passwd because it says "permission denied".... That would be my solution if I could restore that backup file of the /etc/passwd, but I cannot.
When I type "TAB" it says "image not found", but I can type in "linux single" and boot up. I get a "bash#" prompt. I type "login" and login as myself. But I still cannot edit any files. Any other ideas. I try to edit passwd and it tells me it's read only. I try to rename passwd.bak and it tells me permission denied....