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Old 10-18-2007, 09:28 AM   #1
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Lost root and don't know user password Suse 8.2

Okay, been fighting this one for 2 days so i figured I would go to the experts. I have a Suse 8.2 machine that we were using for a listserver for a few years now. We need to pull some data off of the machine, but no one knows the root password and we don't know any user passwords either.

I have tried going in and editing the shadow and passwd file, but it is almost like the revert back when I reboot. I have also tried rescue mode as root and then doing passwd root. It acts like it is letting me change the password, but when I try to use the one I set it doesn't work.

Any help on this one would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you thank you thank you!!
Old 10-18-2007, 10:03 AM   #2
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A possibility is to get a livecd and log into root mode. Use mkdir to make a root dir called /listserver . Then edit the fstab to have /listerver /mnt/your_actual_listerver_root_partition.

Then effectively chroot into the root partition from the root cd and change password, this is what I did when I locked myself out of arch
[root@localhost flebber]# chroot /archroot su
[root@localhost flebber]# passwd
Changing password for user root.
New UNIX password:
Retype new UNIX password:
passwd: all authentication tokens updated successfully.
[root@localhost flebber]#
Gentoo docs are a good reference to this as well and I would recommend you read it before going ahead, my info is basically right but as its early morning and I am tired you should do some backup reading.

Hope it helps.
Old 10-18-2007, 10:15 AM   #3
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Sorry, haven't played with linux in a long time so I am a little lost. When you say boot off a live CD are you talking about going into rescue mode?

Also, I have tried logging into single user mode, but it shows a run level S but still prompts me for a password.

"Give root password to login:"
Old 10-18-2007, 01:16 PM   #4
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A liveCD is a Linux distro on cd which is bootable, and you run the distro from the cd, and not from a hard disk installation (you also have the option of installing to hard drive, but that's not required in this case). Running from cd is slower because all files are compressed and have to uncompress before your choice of application loads.

With the liveCD there are no passwords. To do something as root, your either type su and press enter to become root without password, or, in some liveCDs, you type 'sudo <command you want to run>' to run the command with root priviledge.

Last edited by bigrigdriver; 10-18-2007 at 01:18 PM.


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