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John the Ripper can decrypt a week password and be used to test for week dictionary passwords. Brute forcing a strong password hash for Linux would probably take way too long to be worthwhile. It would be easier to change the password as root, if you forgot your password.
John the ripper gets better with use too, so it might be worth running it from a penstick. Its a simple download that you then run from the command line. I usually copy out the /etc/shadow file to where I'm running John the ripper from.
"To modify the contents of the shadow file, users generally invoke the passwd program, which in turn is largely depending on PAM. For example, the type of hash used is dictated by the configuration of the pam_unix.so module. By default the MD5 hash is used, while the newer pam_unix2.so module is also capable of stronger hashes such as blowfish."