[conspire] Where is my Pwd?

Tony Godshall tony at of.net
Sat Mar 27 10:36:29 PDT 2010

Wrick wrote...
> Unfortunately, it is likely that "passwd" will prompt you to provide
> your current password, before it will be willing to let you set a new
> value.  If it does that, then you'll need to "break in" to the system
> with root authority at startup time.
> Here is a page that details how to do so in Ubuntu:
> http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/resetpassword
> Frankly, it'll be about the same on any other distribution, too.

On pretty much any distro, if you can break into the boot process
and add a kernel arg, adding "init=/bin/bash" to the kernel parameters
will bypass the usual initialization process (/sbin/init) and get
you a root prompt.  At that point you can set the password for
joeuser like so:

# /usr/bin/passwd joeuser

If you don't even remember what your username was, you can
cat /etc/passwd

The above instructions may be too technical for you, and if
so you'll probably want to hire some help or do a bit of
googling around for how to break into the GRUB or SYSLINUX
boot process (and even how to tell which one your system uses)


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