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su: user root does not exist

> Hi there,
> Sorry for bothering this "last resort" but other sources couldn't give me 
> a clue about how to deal with my troubles.
> I'm trying to package minimal file system to be used for diskless
> terminal. This is trimmed down copy of working RedHat 5.2 setup. 
> That is I take standard RH5.2 CD, install it, make sure everything
> is working (including passwords). Than determine what files subset 
> would be needed for diskless setup. Copy them. Do necessary 
> changes in /etc tree and some others. Using Etherboot-4.0 this fs is 
> combined with 2.0.36 kernel into bootable tagged image. I package 
> 5.2 the same way like 4.2 based I'm using for 2+ yrs, but with 5.2 I 
> have login problem: nor matter which username/password it says 
> "password incorrect". I repeat, /etc/passwd,group and other relevant
> files are copied from working disk based setup. From my experience 
> with RedHat 4.2 remote package it is transition from "local" boot to 
> "remote" that breaks something. For example if you put minimal file 
> system on floppy and boot from there - everything's fine. But the same 
> file system won't let you to boot remotely until you change permissions
> and owneships (to nobody:nobody) for some files. On 5.2 same procedure
> that gave me working result for 4.2 gives me "su: user root does not
> exist".
> If I run "su -c some_command root" from rc.local for login-less boot it
> says "user root does not exist" (again, passwd do has root entry).
> Hardware I'm working with has no keyboard, HD, floppy, mouse but
> touchscreen. 
> So I believe booting straight to the prompt won't compromise security too
> much. 
> Is there /etc/pam.conf or something else that would let me do that? 
> Adding "login auth sufficient /usr/lib/security/pam_rootok.so"
> gives me "User account has expired" on login root.
> Any suggestions?
> Thanks.
> Pavel Tkatchouk ptkatchouk@squirrelsystems.com

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