[K12OSN] Loosing access to master password

Calvin Park csitech at davisny.edu
Thu May 20 17:44:38 UTC 2004

As a note on what Josiah said there are several smaller distros that do
the same job as Knoppix. Tom's Root Boot for instance (www.toms.net)
fits on a 3.25inch floppy. Or the Trinity Rescue Disk
(http://trinityhome.org/trk/), though I haven't actually used the TRK to
change root passwords before. Tom's works quite well for it and a quick
search on google will give you plenty of how to's, though Josiah already
provided a pretty comprehensive one.


On Thu, 2004-05-20 at 09:23, Josiah Ritchie wrote:
> You can use any linux boot CD. Knoppix is popular. This sets up an
> entirely separate filesystem. Then you mount your drives under that file
> system where you do have root permission and edit the file that would be
> /etc/shadow with your new root password.  The line you want to change is
> going to look a little like this: 
> root:$1$wPzR0h/8$ZnBFKP-dX0cG1r4.Ky/nc1:12125:0::::: 
> It's a colon delimited file. The fields are defined in documentation
> across the web. The hash (i.e. $1$wPzR0h/8$ZnBFKP-dX0cG1r4.Ky/nc1) is
> what you want to change. (I changed mine a bit here so this isn't an
> exact copy of my hash).
> The easiest thing to do might be to change your root password (passwd)
> on the CD booted system and copy the hash from your local /etc/shadow to
> your LTSP /etc/shadow and you should be good to go. Reboot into the LTSP
> system and try to login as root.
> You might be able to put the root password in cleartext, but I think
> that requires messing with another file to indicate that you have
> cleartext passwords and I think it would be more difficult, plus you'd
> have to change back.
> This should only require a 1/2 hour of downtime. If you need more
> detailed instructions I'd be glad to provide, but figured you wanted it
> quick rather then detailed.
> JSR/
> On Thu, 2004-05-20 at 09:03, Alan A Hodson wrote:
> > Hi gang
> > 
> > The unthinkable happened. Somehow I lost the root password to a new 
> > system, and I am facing the daunting task of having to reinstall 
> > everything... No files need to be saved, BUT, the question arises, 
> > what if the system is hacked and your root password changed? What 
> > security options are there? - I am thinking a boot disk with root 
> > login with no pwd or some such emergency app, something like the 
> > Install OSX CD in Macs, where one of the choices is change passwords 
> > (being linux based, one of our gurus ought to be able to reverse 
> > engineer the process...)
> > Cheers
> > Alan Hodson
> > El Paso ISD, TX
> > -=o=-
> > 
> > 
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Calvin Park
Assistant for Linux Systems
Computer Services Department
Davis College: A Practical college of Bible and Ministry

web: www.davisny.edu
email: csitech at davisny.edu
phone: 607.729.1581 ext 404

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