Locked out of machine - please help

Avi Greenbury lists at avi.co
Thu Sep 29 22:18:43 UTC 2011

richardkimber at btinternet.com wrote:
> I booted up a rescue session and set up passwords for both user and
> root, but neither was accepted by the system.  I just can't get access
> to the machine at all.

In the rescue session, can you add a new user? If you do this, does
that user's username and password then work?

Can you see what's in the password field for that (first) user and root
in /etc/shadow? Do they contain only valid characters?

Is there anything in /var/log/auth.log to suggest precisely what the
problem is, or indeed does the error on the console give any

> Is there anything I can do, short of re-installing?

Generally, yeah - pretty much anything configuration based just
invovles editing a test file, so presuming you can work out what needs
changing, and to what, it's fixable without a reboot.


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