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access the cleartext root password during installation


one of the goals for debian-edu/skolelinux is to provide an
easy installation with as little user interaction as possible.

To achieve this, we use the root password hash (from the shadow file)
for authentication in several places, for example as ldap
administrator. There is no need to ask the user for any password a
second time. (We keep the burden of memorizing passwords for the
teachers as low as possible ;-) ).        

As we consider moving to kerberos as authentication method with the
squeeze release, I run into a problem when creating some kerberos
principals and the master key for the KDC: As the kerberos principals' 
keys are used for encryption over the network too, the hashed password
is of no use (correct me if I am wrong), and the clear text root
password (if you want to have a single password for everything) is

So my question is: Can I, by any means, access the root password
entered at the beginning of the installation at a later stage of the
installation process in clear text?

Alternative ideas or solutions are of course welcome.

Thanks and best regards,


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