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Old 09-04-2011, 09:32 AM   #1
zalmox
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Root password not accepted, even though valid


After many years away from Linux, I returned to it. I just installed Debian squeeze with Gnome on my netbook and I have a very weird problem.

The problem is that I can't log in as su from a terminal. It gives me the "Authentication failure" message, even though the password is correct. It drives me crazy!

I reinstalled squeeze 3 times, thinking that I forgot the root password. Well, I didn't forget it. Every single time it says the same thing, but I know that the password is correct.

I can't configure my WiFi without that. I would appreciate any help.
 
Old 09-04-2011, 09:47 AM   #2
jdkaye
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If you ctl-alt-F1 into a virtual terminal can you login as root from there? At the login prompt type
Code:
root
and then when prompted, type in the root password.
does that work?
ciao,
jdk
 
Old 09-04-2011, 09:59 AM   #3
sundialsvcs
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The su command can be restricted, and it usually is. If you are logging-in directly, it ought to work, and if it doesn't, the "get to a command-line with Ctrl+Alt+Fn and try it from there" trick, as jdkaye described, is indeed the next to try. (Ctrl+Alt+F6 or some-such should get you back to GUI mode... just keep trying FKeys.)

Then, look in /var/log and look through the logfiles to see where, and how, the "illegal access" attempts were recorded. Those messages should tell you why.

Worst-case is to reboot the system either in single-user mode or, if need be, boot from a free-standing DVD-ROM so that you can finally get to look at that log.
 
Old 09-04-2011, 10:41 AM   #4
zalmox
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I did the Ctrl Alt F1 thing and still couldn't log in. "Login incorrect". It drives me crazy... I can't imagine how such a simple thing doesn't work. I set the root password at installation, and now it doesn't work.

I also couldn't open any of the files iv /var/log. Will I be able to look at those files if I restart in a live Ubuntu?
 
Old 09-04-2011, 10:44 AM   #5
repo
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Is the keyboard layout correct?
Type the password in the login field to see.

Kind regards
 
Old 09-04-2011, 10:50 AM   #6
zalmox
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Keyboard layout is OK. I tried both upper and lower case, just in case...
 
Old 09-04-2011, 11:25 AM   #7
jdkaye
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When you say you know the password is correct, how do you know?
jdk
 
Old 09-04-2011, 11:53 AM   #8
zalmox
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdkaye View Post
When you say you know the password is correct, how do you know?
jdk
Because I reinstalled Debian 2 times yesterday and once today, exactly because each time I had the same problem and I thought I forgot the root password. After 3 new installations the issue is obviously not me forgetting the password, but something else.
 
Old 09-04-2011, 11:55 AM   #9
repo
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Did you typed the password in the login field to verify?
You know the login is "root" right?

Kind regards
 
Old 09-04-2011, 11:58 AM   #10
zalmox
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Yes, I typed it in a text field and it looks OK. When I did Ctrl Alt F1 I used "root" as user name (without the double quotes) and the password. I obviously can log in as the user I created, but not as root.
 
Old 09-04-2011, 12:18 PM   #11
jdkaye
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I'm out of ideas.
good luck,
jdk
 
Old 09-04-2011, 12:21 PM   #12
repo
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You could boot in single user mode and reset the password.
Use a simple password to begin.

Kind regards
 
Old 09-04-2011, 12:43 PM   #13
zalmox
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Quote:
Originally Posted by repo View Post
You could boot in single user mode and reset the password.
Use a simple password to begin.

Kind regards
I would like to try that, but how would I do it?

I just reinstalled a 4th time, this time leaving out the graphical interface. It installed quickly, but I didn't get anywhere. The root password is simply not accepted. It's absolutely insane... I wouldn't be surprised if it had something to do with who knows what hardware component (the netbook is a Toshiba NB505).

I think I'll end up installing Ubuntu. I put it on a live USB and it looks good, and most importantly, it allows me to set up WiFi.
 
Old 09-04-2011, 12:47 PM   #14
repo
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Quote:
I would like to try that, but how would I do it?
http://linuxgazette.net/107/tomar.html
http://www.debuntu.org/recover-root-...-mode-and-grub

Kind regards
 
Old 09-04-2011, 01:15 PM   #15
LBM
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Sounds like the installation have numlock enabled (if this is a laptop), or the keyboard layout is different, than after the installation.
 
  


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