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Old 07-05-2016, 09:38 PM   #1
ace5785
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Gain root access


I looked for a thread that answered my problem but couldn't find one. If there is one please don't hang me.

I recently bought an old powerpc (iMac g5 17") that runs debian. I was able to get a user password from the seller but the seller cannot remember the root password. I can't do anything to this computer without it. I am a newbie to Linux and don't know what I'm doing. However, everything I see online hasn't worked. I am getting none of the reboot options that they get and can't open the GRUB thing to do so. Please help me. I don't have any important files on the computer and just want to get full access of my computer with any linux distro but can't seem to get past that root password
 
Old 07-06-2016, 10:47 AM   #2
rnturn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ace5785 View Post
I don't have any important files on the computer and just want to get full access of my computer with any linux distro but can't seem to get past that root password
Have you tried "sudo" on the laptop? Enter:
Code:
sudo -l
You might be asked to enter your password. It'll list what privileges you are able to access using "sudo". It's possible you can get enough root privileges to do all the things you might want to do without actually knowing root's password.

Not really knowing much about that type of laptop... quick Q: does it have a CD/DVD drive? If it does, find a suitable CD or DVD that has a "rescue mode" boot option and boot from that drive. If it doesn't, perhaps you can boot it from a USB drive containing a Linux distribution. Search for topics like "Linux rescue mode", "forgot root password", etc. should get you what you need. I saw an article online perhaps a month ago about various ways to reset a forgotten root password. The information's out there. It may not be aimed toward the "newbie" user, though.

Good luck...
 
Old 07-06-2016, 10:52 AM   #3
TB0ne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ace5785 View Post
I looked for a thread that answered my problem but couldn't find one. If there is one please don't hang me.

I recently bought an old powerpc (iMac g5 17") that runs debian. I was able to get a user password from the seller but the seller cannot remember the root password. I can't do anything to this computer without it. I am a newbie to Linux and don't know what I'm doing. However, everything I see online hasn't worked. I am getting none of the reboot options that they get and can't open the GRUB thing to do so. Please help me. I don't have any important files on the computer and just want to get full access of my computer with any linux distro but can't seem to get past that root password
Try this:
http://xmodulo.com/how-to-reset-root...an-ubuntu.html

May be easier to follow. First, though, if you have a user account that DOES work on the box, try getting to a terminal, and typing in "sudo -s". If it prompts you for a password, that's the user-password that you already have. If it WORKS, you'll have a root-equivalent shell. From there, just type in "passwd root", and set it to be whatever you want.
 
Old 07-06-2016, 02:00 PM   #4
michaelk
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The G5 is a desktop all in one system and not a laptop. Since the G5 is a powerpc it probably isn't probably isn't using grub not sudo. I have not played with PPC linux but it might be possible to manually boot.

Hopefully appending init=/bin/bash will get you to a command line where you can change the password to blank. Then when you reboot you can log in and reset the password.

boot: hd:3,/vmlinux root=/dev/hda3 rw init=/bin/bash

https://www.debian.org/ports/powerpc...9.en.html#s9.3
 
Old 07-06-2016, 03:03 PM   #5
notKlaatu
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Can you not just reinstall PPC Debian 8 on the machine? Is there a reason you want to recover the password instead of doing a fresh install?

If not, then download Debian 8 for PPC, boot to it, and then chroot into the drive and update the passwd, as in Method 2 of this page:

https://pve.proxmox.com/wiki/Debian_...sword#Method_2

This definitely works; I run Debian 8 on a G4 iBook.
 
Old 07-06-2016, 03:32 PM   #6
JeremyBoden
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You won't be able to recover the root password - but you can give it a new one.
Try (in a terminal screen)
Code:
sudo passwd root
and enter a decent new password (twice) for root, when prompted.
 
Old 07-06-2016, 03:37 PM   #7
notKlaatu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyBoden View Post
You won't be able to recover the root password - but you can give it a new one.
Try (in a terminal screen)
Code:
sudo passwd root
and enter a decent new password (twice) for root, when prompted.
** Note that this assumes user account is member of sudo.

Alternately, use a LiveCD.
 
Old 07-06-2016, 11:43 PM   #8
ace5785
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Thank you so much for the rapid help. I didn't expect so many replies. The vendor called me today because he had just found the password so now have root access. But if I could make another request for help... does any one know of an internet browser that will run on a Linux (Debian) PowerPC. I've been looking all night and can't find a file that will work. I don't have three original CDs and my computer doesn't have iceweasel any ideas?
 
Old 07-07-2016, 02:52 AM   #9
descendant_command
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Code:
apt-get uodate && apt-get install firefox-esr
 
Old 07-08-2016, 11:52 AM   #10
ace5785
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You are the best!!! My favorite part of Linux right now is this awesome community. I spent hours looking on Google for a browser that would work on this machine but with the help of this site... wow... I've never been interested in forums but I love this place.
 
Old 07-08-2016, 12:47 PM   #11
sundialsvcs
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Now you see why some of us have posted thousands of things here (and not just talking about Religion and Politics) ...

This is a very tightly-focused and well-managed forum specifically about Linux.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 07-08-2016 at 12:48 PM.
 
Old 07-08-2016, 01:02 PM   #12
ace5785
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I'm not sure how many follow up questions is allowed in the same thread but... any ideas on why some pages work well on Firefox esr (Facebook and Google websites) but other ones don't seem to work at all. Also is there a way to run Adobe flash on Firefox esr (Adobe.com is one of the pages that won't load).
 
Old 07-08-2016, 03:42 PM   #13
JeremyBoden
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Well - firefox works well on virtually any site, provided you have a PC.

Flash is a debatable piece of software - its had to be bug fixed for so many hundreds of times
that Adobe have ceased to offer recent versions of Flash.
Since you have minority hardware, you will probably never get Flash which may not be such a bad thing.

Flash is gradually being replaced by HTML5 so sites like Youtube will probably work for you.
 
Old 07-08-2016, 03:55 PM   #14
ace5785
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My hardware is an old imac g5. Would that be why Firefox isn't able to display some pages? What do you mean by PC?
I guess for the few things I use flash for I can always grab my other computer running OS X but I'm intrigued with finding out how far I can push this old computer. YouTube will load and I can see the image videos but can't get videos to play. I suspect the hardware on that one. My computer has somewhere between 1-2 GB of RAM. Which should still play videos fine but I use it as an indication of age and some where else in the machine is probably just too old to load videos. I see the CPU usage jump when I open up YouTube.
 
Old 07-08-2016, 04:34 PM   #15
JeremyBoden
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PC = Personal Computer as developed by IBM (using Intel or AMD CPU's) as opposed to an Apple PC which uses a PowerPC CPU.
Note that Apple were not the only ones to use PowerPC chips, but they are probably the only market nowadays.

The two architectures are completely different, especially at the binary level - and no source to flash is available.
 
  


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