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Ubuntu and Associated Distributions/I am a student from University.My OS is Ubuntu 11.10.


How can i change or know root password?

I'm answering this because I've assumed your interest is honorable.  In case it isn't, note that any forensics amateur will be able to figure out what was done even if you erase the hard drive.  

1. Boot from a live disk or USB and open a terminal.
2. mount the boot drive
3. cd to the mounted drive.
4. Open /etc/shadow.  In the first row, delete characters from
  the first column up to (but excluding) the first colon.
5. Save, shutdown
6. Reboot.  Log in as root, no password.

To retain the old password, copy the /etc/shadow file before editing it and use the copy to replace /etc/shadow.  This assumes you're doing it for someone who needs the old password and that the password file is hashed.  If passwords are stored as plain text in /etc/passwd there won't be a shadow file and the password.  Other methods (aside from MD5 hashing) have been used and are in use.  By deleting the password itself you won't need to deal with any of these concerns.

Note that this will leave a trail.

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John Crout


The command line, configuration files, recompiling the kernel, maintaining a system, hardening a system, package managers, browsers. Questions about Debian, Ubuntu, KUbuntu, MINT, Knoppix, CentOS, Red Hat Enterprise, Linux Wifi, embedded Linux, Live CD, forensics tools, vulnerability and pen testing tools, virtual installations.


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