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Old 06-19-2009, 07:23 AM   #1
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how to recover rootpassword in open suse 11.1

hello every body,

good evening. I am new to linux world. i am now facing a problem which is as follows.

I installed open suse 11.1 and doing my work. and unfortunately i forgot my root password. i am unable to boot into thhe system.I have tried following things but i couldnt recover my password

1)i tried by typing init="/bin/bash" and then mounted my root(/) partition and thhen later whhen i tried to change password with passwd command it is showing error as follows.

"/usr/share/cracklib/pw_dict-pwd.gz:no such file or directory
PWopen:No suchh file or directory"

2)also i have tried to work in resque mode but there i cannot unable to type any thhing

please help me
waiting for ur help

Old 06-19-2009, 07:33 AM   #2
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In single usermode you can edit /etc/shadow file, check the root line there are some encrypted things,
remove that highlighted things from your shadow file and reboot

Last edited by kirukan; 06-19-2009 at 07:35 AM.
Old 06-19-2009, 07:38 AM   #3
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Below two different ways. This one is for Debian but should work on your distro also.

“I forgot the root password!” (1)

It is possible to boot a system and log on to the root account without knowing the root password as long as one has access to the console keyboard. (This assumes there are no password requests from the BIOS or from a boot loader such as lilo that would prevent one from booting the system.)

This is a procedure which requires no external boot disks and no change in BIOS boot settings. Here, “Linux” is the label for booting the Linux kernel in the default Debian install. At the lilo boot screen, as soon as boot: appears (you must press a shift key at this point on some systems to prevent automatic booting and when lilo uses the framebuffer you have to press TAB to see the options you type), enter:

boot: Linux init=/bin/sh

This causes the system to boot the kernel and run /bin/sh instead of its standard init. Now you have gained root privileges and a root shell. Since / is currently mounted read-only and many disk partitions have not been mounted yet, you must do the following to have a reasonably functioning system.

# mount -n -o remount,rw /
# mount -avt nonfs,noproc,nosmbfs
# cd /etc
# vi passwd
# vi shadow

(If the second data field in /etc/passwd is “x” for every username, your system uses shadow passwords, and you must edit /etc/shadow.) To disable the root password, edit the second data field in the password file so that it is empty. Now the system can be rebooted and you can log on as root without a password. When booting into runlevel 1, Debian (at least after Potato) requires a password, which some older distributions did not.

“I forgot the root password!” (2)

Boot from any emergency boot/root disk set. If /dev/hda3 is the original root partition, the following will let one edit the password file just as easily as the above.

# mkdir fixit
# mount /dev/hda3 fixit
# cd fixit/etc
# vi shadow
# vi passwd

The advantage of this approach over the previous method is one does not need to know the lilo password (if any). But to use it one must be able to access the BIOS setup to allow the system to boot from floppy disk or CD, if that is not already set.

Restore deleted critical files such as /etc/passwd

Debian stores backups of critical files such as passwd, shadow, aptitude config files, … on a regular basis in /var/backups. If you accidentally delete one of these files you can copy them back to the original location. After doing so you might need to reset the permissions on the files to 644.

Kind regards,


Last edited by EricTRA; 06-19-2009 at 07:40 AM.
Old 06-19-2009, 08:00 AM   #4
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Do NOT change the shadow file even with sudo. I have question for you. Why are you unable to boot into system? You have just lost root password. You do not need it for you can do your admin work with sudo.

To rescue the password you need to edit the kernel parameters from the Grub and enter single user mode where you can change the password.

While you are at grub screen press "e". Look for line with kernel parameters and then edit the line and at the end of it put 1 (one numeric).
And then at this line press "B" to boot into single user mode. This is like safe mode where you directly enter as root without user name and password. Now change the password with passwd command.


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