SUMMARY: HELP!! Can't login as root Solaris 2.3

From: Carlos E. Caicedo (
Date: Wed Mar 29 1995 - 03:37:44 CST

Hi gurus:

On Mon, 27 Mar 1995, Carlos E. Caicedo wrote:

> Hi gurus:
> I really need your help. I'm in the process of migrating from SunOs to=
> Solaris and I really haven't had the time to read some of the=20
> documentation for Solaris (stupid of me) so I really messed up a=20
> SparcStation 5 with Solaris 2.3
> What I did was to change the login shell for root in /etc/passwd from=
> /sbin/sh to /sbin/csh I really didn't see the /sbin directory so now=20
> when I try to login as root I get the message 'no login shell' and it=20
> puts me back to the login prompt. How can I fix this? How can I again log=
> in as root. Please help.
> Of course I'll sumarize.=20

  I got 21 replies to my problem. This list is great!!

  The solution was quite simple but I don't think I would have
come up with it in such a short time and with so much stress on my back.=20
Thank you all.

  Most of the replies said that I should boot form the cdrom,=20
mount the root partition and then fix the passwd file.

  Although something is mentioned in the Solaris 2 FAQ about=20
changing the shell for root it should be more explicit in saying
that you should really not change root's shell at all in the=20
passwd file, here are some of the reasons why (Thanks to Christian

1) there is no /sbin/csh!
2) don't use shells of /bin/*sh, because the are dynamically linked and
   need some libs of /usr/lib/... The problem is that in single user mode
   they are not available.

3) if it's really neccessary to use any other shell than /sbin/sh you have
   to statically link your shell and put it into /sbin/

Susan M. Menig also mentioned that after I fixed my problem if I
wanted to run csh anyway I should include in root's .profile the following
line exec /bin/csh I think I'll probably do that.

Finally, here's the step by step solution to my problem which is almost
identical to the one mentioned by Srinvvasa Yalavarthy (I used /mnt as
mount point, but you should really use /a as the mount point.. It's safer)

- boot from cdrom
- After you get into OpenWindows open a cmdtool
- execute the following:
=09cd /
=09mount /dev/dsk/c03td0s0 /mnt
=09cd /mnt/etc
=09vi passwd
=09modify root;s shell to /sbin/sh

Thanks to the following and all those whose replies are probably in their

Philip Moose
Susan M. Menig=09Susan.M.Menig@Bell-Atl.Com
John A. Murphy <>
"Srinivasa R. Yalavarthy" <>
Manfred Liebchen <liebchen@rrz.Uni-Koeln.DE>
Gary Blumenstein <>
"Libelo, Lee" <>
Simon Bannister <>
"Brian T. Wightman" <>
Gene Loriot <>
Steve Clemons <>
Victor A. Le' -
Cindy Yoho <>

Carlos Enrique Caicedo Bastidas | Calle 11N #7-59
Universidad del Cauca | Popayan - Cauca - Colombia
Facultad de Ingenieria Electronica | Office Tel:(928) 230112 Ext. 252
y Telecomunicaciones=09=09 | E-mail:
Interest Areas: Networks,Network Management,FDDI, fiber-optics, OOP

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