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Old 06-29-2007, 03:08 PM   #1
Instantly
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Root Privilage


Im tring to modify menu.lst but it wont let me coz I dont have privilage...
what can I do to get privilage?
I tried signing in as "su" or "root" but I dont know the passwords?????????
what r the passwords??
 
Old 06-29-2007, 03:17 PM   #2
Unr3a164
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Usually when you first setup Linux on your machine, you assign a root password. "su" is not a user. It is a command in Konsole to switch users on the fly while at the command line. If you want to switch to the root user you have to do a

su -

But you need to know the root password.
 
Old 06-29-2007, 03:18 PM   #3
acid_kewpie
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you will have provided a password when you installed the system... think hard. su isn't a user account you can't log in with it, it's the name of a command which changes you to become the root user.

but do you really think that there would actually be a single root password for all versions of linux ever??

if you really can't remember the password you originally chose, at the grub boot screen (assuming you use grub) hit e to edit the line andjust add "1" to the end of the options. then b to boot. that'll pout you in runlevel one, as root, where you can run "passwd" to change the root password without confirming the old one first.

if you actually use ubuntu (why didn't you even say what distro you have???) then you don't use the root account at all but the sudo framework instead, so "sudo vi /boot/grub/grub.conf" and then entering *your* password will let you edit it.
 
Old 06-29-2007, 03:24 PM   #4
JSR_tuxbox
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acid_kewpie

if you really can't remember the password you originally chose, at the grub boot screen (assuming you use grub) hit e to edit the line andjust add "1" to the end of the options. then b to boot. that'll pout you in runlevel one, as root, where you can run "passwd" to change the root password without confirming the old one first.
Wait, seriously? I'm new to linux, but I thought this whole "root" thing was supposed to provide a measure of security. And you can just do that?? WTF! Are you telling me that I could hack any system with a GRUB bootloader now?
 
Old 06-29-2007, 03:31 PM   #5
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why sudo vi /boot/grub/grub.conf
not
sudo vi /boot/grub/menu.lst
 
Old 06-29-2007, 03:36 PM   #6
Unr3a164
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSR_tuxbox
Wait, seriously? I'm new to linux, but I thought this whole "root" thing was supposed to provide a measure of security. And you can just do that?? WTF! Are you telling me that I could hack any system with a GRUB bootloader now?
Yes you can change the password like that. It is still secure because you have to be physically in front of the computer to change the password. It cannot be done over the internet. Cisco routers are the same way. There is a standard way to change the logon information on a Cisco router that does not require for you to authenticate. Again, it's secure because you have to be physically connected to the router to perform the operation. As long as you don't leave your computer alone in a public area, you're ok.

My question would be is there a way to do that when you use LILO as your boot manager? And if not, how do you change the password for the root account without using a Live CD and chrooting into the partition?

Last edited by Unr3a164; 06-29-2007 at 03:40 PM.
 
Old 06-29-2007, 03:38 PM   #7
rshaw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSR_tuxbox
Wait, seriously? I'm new to linux, but I thought this whole "root" thing was supposed to provide a measure of security. And you can just do that?? WTF! Are you telling me that I could hack any system with a GRUB bootloader now?

there's no subsitute for physical security. if you let the untrusted near the machine, they could just as well steal the whole rig as change the password.
 
Old 06-29-2007, 03:40 PM   #8
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why sudo vi /boot/grub/grub.conf
not
sudo vi /boot/grub/menu.lst

what does vi command mean?
 
Old 06-29-2007, 03:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Instantly
why sudo vi /boot/grub/grub.conf
not
sudo vi /boot/grub/menu.lst

what does vi command mean?
vi is a editor for the command line. It allows you to edit configuration files, txt files, and the like. More advanced users prefer it over nano which is a much easier-to-use editor, but it is not as versatile.
 
Old 06-29-2007, 03:44 PM   #10
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Instantly
why sudo vi /boot/grub/grub.conf
not
sudo vi /boot/grub/menu.lst

what does vi command mean?
vi is an editor---you can also use nano, gedit, kedit, and many others

grub.conf and menu.lst are both used--sometimes one is just a link to the other. Go to /boot/grub and see what is there.
 
Old 06-29-2007, 03:46 PM   #11
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSR_tuxbox
Wait, seriously? I'm new to linux, but I thought this whole "root" thing was supposed to provide a measure of security. And you can just do that?? WTF! Are you telling me that I could hack any system with a GRUB bootloader now?
In principle, anyone with physical access to the hardware can get into the system.

What you are encountering is not unique to Linux.
 
Old 06-29-2007, 03:48 PM   #12
Linville79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSR_tuxbox
Wait, seriously? I'm new to linux, but I thought this whole "root" thing was supposed to provide a measure of security. And you can just do that?? WTF! Are you telling me that I could hack any system with a GRUB bootloader now?
Just set a GRUB password. Then this can't be done, physical access or not. Of course, with physical access, I can just take the drive and drop it into a machine of mine and mount it without a need for changing/cracking passwords.

Last edited by Linville79; 06-29-2007 at 03:52 PM.
 
Old 06-29-2007, 03:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linville79
Just set a GRUB password. Then this can't be done, physical access or not.
Unless you have a live CD, and then you can just chroot into the partition and change the grub configuration file. Or am I way off base with this one?
 
Old 06-29-2007, 03:53 PM   #14
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if someone can walk up to a box, hit the power button, unscrew it and walk away, changing the root password is nothign. this is absolutely not a security hole by any means. even with a normal filesystem you can pull the drive out and mount it elsewhere etc...
 
  


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