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Changing password without /bin/passwd

Posted on 1998-06-03
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Last Modified: 2013-12-15
I have a Linux slakware system, with two accounts: one with login name ventnor, and the other root. The root account was set up unpassworded, which is obviously a bad thing. My problem is that my system doesn't have a /bin/passwd program (or a passwd program in any other directory, apart from /usr/bin/passwd, which has nothing in it); so I'm wondering 1)how my system manages to authenticate me when I log in as ventnor (/etc/passwd has an encrypted field corresponding to "ventnor") and 2) how I can password my root account. I *do* have a /bin/logic binary. I'm probably missing something very obvious here, but I'd be grateful for any help.
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Question by:sevrin
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jhance earned 100 total points
ID: 1627459
I'm assuming that someone deleted /usr/bin/passwd either intentionally or accidentally.  In either case, /usr/bin/passwd is NOT used to authenticate users.  That is the function of /bin/login.  It knows how to ask you for a password and compare it with the data in the password database, /etc/passwd.  The /usr/bin/passwd is used as a user interface to the /etc/passwd database allowing you to set/change password information.  Since you have a slakware system, you can get the /usr/bin/passwd program from a SlackWare distribution CDROM or the web site:

http://www.cdrom.com/pub/linux/
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Author Comment

by:sevrin
ID: 1627460
Actually, you deserve more than a 100 points for giving me that Web reference, jhance - but unfortunately I'll need to save them for another question! But I really appreciate your help.
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Author Comment

by:sevrin
ID: 1627461
Oops, I forgot to ask: where exactly on the site is /usr/bin/passwd to be found? The listing for the a disks isn't very informative as to content (I *think* it was the a disks I used originally.)
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LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:jhance
ID: 1627462
I believe that it's in the a series of disks.  That's the core stuff and /usr/bin/passwd is pretty basic.
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Author Comment

by:sevrin
ID: 1627463
There are nine disks, though, and each contains well over 1M, and the descriptions of what's inside them are completely obscure. Can anyone else help? For 50 points?
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Expert Comment

by:jhance
ID: 1627464
Post your email address and I can email you /usr/bin/passwd from my SlackWare distribution.
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Author Comment

by:sevrin
ID: 1627465
Thanks, jhance! It's ventnor@town.nd.edu.au
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