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Old 12-28-2004, 09:58 PM   #1
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Registered: Dec 2004
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Distribution: FC3
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Root password: do certain characters "break" Linux?

Hello. Please laugh, but do read.

In the first 3 weeks following my update to FC3, I have TWO TIMES had my root password be refused, and have, after some hair pulling (my own), had to do a full reinstall. It was a different password each time.

I have been using networked computers for about 12 years, and have not ever, not once forgotten a password.

Of course, at the time the root password is selected, it has to be re-entered for confirmation.

After the first full reinstall, I was suspicious, so I immediately rebooted the machine and was able to log back in using the root password. What I did not do was shut down, then start up, then log in.

Today, after the machine has been cold and dark for 3 days, I started it up, and . . . it refused my root password. It would be quite a coincidence for me to make the same mistake TWICE, especially when being cautious the second time.

In particular, I am suspicious that one or more characters I chose is "forbidden." I learned about this by "breaking" Mac OS X's utility called Open Firmware Password. I chose a password that started with ~, and kerboom!

I think that Linux will use the root password I chose after a reboot, but not after a power cycle. If this is true, someone probably knows why it would be so.

Here's the password `1@Am*9) That first character is the character to the left of the 1 on the top row of a standard qwerty keyboard, ASCII value 096 in decimal.

Is there documentation, virtual or actual, about permitted ASCII characters in the root password of FC3, or bark I up the wrong tree?
Old 12-28-2004, 10:23 PM   #2
Registered: Dec 2004
Location: Singapore
Distribution: Fedora Core 5 Linux
Posts: 202

Rep: Reputation: 30
Well, I can't answer your question, but I can give you a tip: You can change the root password without knowing it without a reinstall! When lilo gives you the
prompt, type
linux single
and hit enter. After the next prompt comes, type
passwd root
and enter the new root password.

Note: This might not work on certain distros, but it works with redhat 9, which is almost identical to FC3. It is also very dangerous, make sure that no one can get physical acess to the computer. (except you )
Old 12-28-2004, 11:00 PM   #3
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Registered: Jun 2002
Location: Eastern PA, USA
Distribution: K/Ubuntu 18.04-14.04, Scientific Linux 6.3-6.4, Android-x86, Pretty much all distros at one point...
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Please don't forget that Linux, like all Unix-like OSes, is case dependant. That is, if you entered a password like ABC, then abc won't work.

Also, some Linuxes use different rules for passwords. Some use the old 8 character limitation. Others do not. Also, some characters are "illegal" in passwords, especially in one or another of the password "schemes".
Old 12-29-2004, 12:41 AM   #4
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Registered: Dec 2004
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Distribution: FC3
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Original Poster
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How do I then discover the "rules" for passwords in Fedora Core 3?

If I should look somewhere other than here, tell me so I can look there.



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