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Old 01-28-2008, 02:14 AM   #1
andypandy
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Locked out of Gnome Desktop


Hello everyone. I have taken over running a linux server at my business. The old techie was a college guy who does not return my emails and hence I do not have access or passwords. I basically need to take over the server. It is an Ubuntu Feisty system with Debian kernal (I think) and when you switch on the server it boots up to a debian gnome desktop screen. I have tried loads of username and password combinations but without success.

So I logged on with an Ubuntu live CD, mounted the SDA2 partition (the only bootable partition) and edited the /etc/passwd and etc/shadow files to reset the passwords. But I didn't realize that Gnome has its own password store and so when I booted up again I still could not get in.

What is the easiest way for me, as a newbie, to reset the Gnome desktop so that I can have access etc. I obviously don't want to lose any info as the server still runs fine and is a working server -- just one that nobody can now get in to!

Thanks, Andrew
 
Old 01-28-2008, 04:09 AM   #2
budword
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There is a version of linux I've used to reset windows machines, but I can't remember the name of it, it had a neat little text wizard that walked you through the process, and it worked with linux machines too, I'm not at home and can't remember the name of it right now.....but I did find these....

http://linux.suramya.com/tutorials/ResetPassword/
http://achmadz.blogspot.com/2007/11/...x-live-cd.html

After resetting your root password, I'd reset any and all user passwords too.....just in case he left himself a way back in...

Oh, I have no idea what you mean about gnome having it's own password store. I don't think it does. I think it's more likely that you didn't have the partition mounted rw or you forgot to chroot to the correct filesystem, or edited the wrong file. I'm not sure, but I've never heard of gnome containing the passwords on it's own, independent of /. I'd be shocked if that was the case.......

Good luck...

David

Oh, if that is a server at a business, you should not be running gnome. You shouldn't be running any gui unless there is a good reason to. Besides wasting electricity, it's another way for your system to be attacked. If you don't need it, turn it off, is a very good rule. Think about attending the next local Linux Users Group meeting, and hiring someone to set up that server for you so it's not a danger. Someone might even do it for free, but it shouldn't cost much in any event, and the local linux guru might think it's a kick to get paid, even if it's just a little bit.

Last edited by budword; 01-28-2008 at 04:14 AM.
 
Old 01-28-2008, 08:10 AM   #3
farslayer
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A letter from your companies legal department to the ex-admin might be in order.. after all he is 'holding their data hastage' by not providing them access to their own server. that's somewhat illegal.
 
Old 01-28-2008, 12:36 PM   #4
andypandy
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Thanks guys. Good idea David about the Gnome advice and linux users meetings and yes, farslayer, he should give me all the passwords. I now don't trust the system and am concerned there are backdoors etc. so will get someone expert to look at it, unlock it and then lock it down.
Cheers, Andrew
 
Old 01-28-2008, 01:04 PM   #5
budword
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If you are in Costa Rica, I'm available, and I work cheap. Good luck with that...

David
 
Old 01-29-2008, 01:28 AM   #6
andypandy
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Thanks Budword. Unfortunately I am in London!
 
  


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