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Re: SUCCESS! Re: Unable to "su" or log in as root

Scott Edwards <supadupa@gmail.com> wrote:
On 10/23/06, HomeNet NW wrote:
> Greetings. Please forgive me if this topic has been covered previously. I
> have been Googling all day, and so far, have not been able to find a
> resolution to my problem.
> I am using Debian Sarge. I can SSH to my server and log in through the
> console and su to any user but root. When I try to su, I get the message
> "su: Authentication service cannot retrieve authentication info. Sorry."
> I tried rebooting the server to log in at init level 1, and was not able
> do so. Rebooting produces a number of "invalid" user messages concerning
> root, such as "Starting MTA: chown: 'root:Debian-exim' : invalid user".
> Unfortunately, since I cannot su, I do not have access to the server's log
> files, nor most of the config files.
> Please help! Any assistance/suggestions/criticisms will
> greatly appreciated.

sounds like your passwd or related files are hosed. use
init=/bin/bash as a kernel parameter. It'll start bash instead of
init. Your filesystem will be readonly to begin with, and you must
remount it readonly before rebooting (journalized filesystems won't
complain so much).

You might find some backups of your passwd file in /var/backups.

On 10/24/06, HomeNet NW <homenetnw@yahoo.com> wrote:
Hi, Scott.  Thank you so much for the help!  I was able to boot into bash,
and once I recopied the passwd, shadow, group, and gshadow backup files to
/etc, then I rebooted and was able to regain root access.  I'm fairly new to
Debian, so I wasn't even aware of these backup files.  Thanks again!


That's great to hear.  You origionally posted this to debiain-isp,
which isn't so on topic.  I've replied (for the benifit of future
users searching the list or the net) to the debian-user group.



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