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huh...I don't know if you've seen this one before.
I just installed Slackware 10.0 a week ago and I am still battling basic stuff.
I accidentally (by logging in as 'su' and then forgetting about it) changed root's login shell to ksh. Now I can't login as root anymore!!!
Actualy I can, but I get immediatelly kicked out. As soon as I login it gives me:
Try going in with 'su' (not su - so you don't get root's environment) and editing /etc/passwd to provide the full correct path to the shell. If that doesn't work, you'll need to boot into signle user mode to do the same thing.
HUh....The first thing doesn't work - I get the same message. I booted into the SU mode and tried to edit the file but it wouldn't let me - I think because I was logged in as a regular user (that's the onlly way I can log in).
Not using Slackware, I can't offer advice on it. But, with Fedora 2, CD1 includes a rescue mode. If you login to that, you can edit files on your system without booting it. Also, I'm not sure if it would work, but if you can get your hand on a CD based distro like Knoppix you could probably edit from there.
Fedora's rescue CD automatically assigns you root permissions in rescue mode.
If Slackware has this same function on one of it's CDs, then you should be able to type something like 'linux rescue' at the prompt (if it has one) and this will give you root permissions at a bash (or sh) shell.
(I am a newbie to Linux too, just discovered rescue mode when I had to edit my xorg.conf file, then i realised I could go to runlevel 3 from Grub)
You ought to be able to boot with your slack CD or any of the millions of Live CD's available and mount up the / partition (or wherever /etc is located) to a /mnt directory and then edit /etc/passwd to your liking.