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Bug#977358: release-notes: document how to make the rescue mode usable if no root password is set (buster)

Package: release-notes
X-Debbugs-CC: debian-user@lists.debian.org

Dear Release Notes Maintainers,

Some text based on below would make sense for the Release Notes for 
buster. If agreed I'll try to come up with a wording.

On Lu, 07 dec 20, 10:11:48, Greg Wooledge wrote:
> On Sat, Dec 05, 2020 at 12:41:57PM +0200, Andrei POPESCU wrote:
> > On Vi, 04 dec 20, 08:09:44, Greg Wooledge wrote:
> > > I am also going to guess that Deepin, like Ubuntu, defaults to giving
> > > you a user account with sudo access, and no root password.  You can
> > > achieve that in Debian as well, by doing something special during the
> > > installation.  In all cases, it's a stupid idea and you shouldn't do it.
> > 
> > This is a pretty strong (and harsh!) statement. Care to expand on the 
> > reasons?
> It prevents access to single-user mode.  The fact that Debian (and
> these others?) still puts a single-user mode entry into the GRUB menu,
> knowing that it won't work, is just adding insult to injury.

A web search found #802211[1].

Short version:

For systemd >= 240 (buster[2]) run as root

    systemctl edit rescue.service
and add:


(see /usr/share/doc/systemd/ENVIRONMENT.md.gz)

The 'rescue.service' is started by systemd in case it detects 'single' 
on the kernel command line (see systemd(1)).

You might want to do the same for 'emergency.service' as well (or 
instead), since this service is started *automatically* in case of 
certain errors (see systemd.special(7)) or if you add 'emergency' to the 
kernel command line (e.g. if you can't fix your system via the 'rescue' 

An untested patch to the Debian Installer exists to add both snippets if 
the user chooses to leave the root password blank.

[1] https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=802211
[2] see the bug for another snippet that should work for squeeze or 

Kind regards,

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