SUMMARY: root password gone!

From: Murphy, Morgan (
Date: Fri Jul 28 2000 - 18:07:15 CDT

The solution to my problem (listed below) was pretty simple, but the reason
it took me so long to figure it out was the following:
In the /etc/shadow file, after deleting the password I also deleted the rest
of the line.
I was left with the following:


Without the colons as field seperators the system was unable to log me in.

I was unaware of this...!!!

Thanks to the kind people listed below, who were all very generous with
their advice.

John D Groenfeld
David Evans
Kent Perrier
Buddy Lumpkin
Jeff Cole
Joel Fisher
David Brierley
Nasser Manesh
Chris Cariffe

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Murphy, Morgan []
> Sent: Friday, July 28, 2000 5:22 PM
> To:
> Subject: root password gone!
> Hi everybody,
> D'ont ask why, but... I deleted the root password from the
> /etc/shadow file.
> I had expected to reboot the machine, and log in as root without being
> prompted for a password.
> Sure enough, I wasn' t prompted for a password, however I
> couldn't log into
> the system :(
> I tried: boot cdrom -s, and mounting the root partition.
> However I couldn't do anything to the /etc/passwd, and
> /etc/shadow files
> which would enable me to login.
> Any thoughts, would be much appreciated.

U BEFORE POSTING please READ the FAQ located at
. and the list POLICY statement located at
A To submit questions/summaries to this list send your email message to:
A To unsubscribe from this list please send an email message to:
E and in the BODY type:
R unsubscribe sun-managers
S Or
. unsubscribe sun-managers original@subscription.address
L To view an archive of this list please visit:

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Fri Sep 28 2001 - 23:14:13 CDT