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Cant login

Posted on 2000-05-11
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-20
I installed Linux 7.0, and for some reason when I put my login and password in it rejects it. How can I fix this or change my password if I cant boot?
Question by:kwilson
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • +4

Expert Comment

ID: 2801892
Use your boot disk and change the root password!

Expert Comment

ID: 2802008
I hope you have the root with you. You can login as root and do the necessary things. I ahvent installed Linux7.0 yet and hence i dont know much about it. But if the linux still supports single option u have the root access (and u cant do any remote logins till u reboot and doesnt opt for single)and can do the necessary things. Have you created an user acct with pass word and home directory options?

Expert Comment

ID: 2802538
is it possible, you had the "caps lock" key engaged either now, or during instillation.

try entering your user / pass in all caps.


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Expert Comment

ID: 2802766
If you have installed LILO when you did your installation, press the TAB key when you get the LILO prompt.  Then type "single Linux" assuming your insatllation is called "linux".  This will put you in single user mode, not requiring a password, then you should be able to use the passwd command to set your passwords for your root and other user accounts. Type "passwd root" or "passwd username" to change it.

Expert Comment

ID: 2806971
<rant There is no Linux 7.0, Mandrake has reached 7.0 now!! /rant>
Its linux single at the prompt, not single linux.
The format is <imagename> <parameters>.

Accepted Solution

eureeka earned 100 total points
ID: 2807110
When you are booting and you get the lilo prompt like this:


type this:

linux single

you will then see more boot messages and eventually come to a bash prompt where you can change the root password by typing:

passwd root

change your root password and then type this:


then you can login with your new root password.



Expert Comment

ID: 2807296
eureeka, your answer is the same as that of mzehner, except that yours is better formatted. Please read the posting guidelines before you post an answer.

Expert Comment

ID: 2807463
my post is different dvb.

A. you don't have to hit tab at the lilo prompt because there is no kernel image called "single" to boot to. Its mereley a user mode that you are entering into. That in itself is enough to confuse a person who is new to linux.

B. its actually linux single, not single linux.(but you said that above, and not mzehner).

People new to linux like kwilson need solutions to be explained clearly and concisely to them, not ranted at.

I'm sorry you had a problem with my post.


Expert Comment

ID: 2807659
Thanks for the correction.  I was tired when I answered the question and wondered afterwards if I typed it backwards or not.

You're answer is the same as mine and DVB.  You are just trying to steal the points!  Is it really worth it??  Also it is widely recognized that posting an answer is somewhat of a dis-service to the one asking the question since it removes the question from the list of those in need of an answer and tends to keep other's from helping.  The webmasters of this site are working on removing tha ability of posting answers for that very reason.

No you don't have to hit tab, but it is easier to do since you can stop the timeout, then see your choices.  Yes I meant to type "linux single".

What I think eureeka is trying to say (but not very well) is when you type "linux single" on the command line is that LILO will pass the string "single" to your linux kernel telling it that you want to use single user mode.  Obviously if you look in the file /etc/lilo.conf you can see the choices available and which (if you have more than one selection) kernel is invoked and where it is.  So LILO passes the word single on the command line to the selected kernel.

Also you do not need to reboot after changing the password.  All you need to do is type "telinit 3" to enter runlevel 3.  The runlevels are as follows:
0  -  halt
1  -  Single user mode
2  -  Multiuser, without NFS (The same as 3, if you don't have networking)
3  -  Full multiuser mode
4  -  unused
5  -  X11
6  -  Reboot
Normally you will boot to runlevel 3 to use terminal mode or 5 to use X and graphical mode.  I don't recommend telenit(ting) to 0, 4, 6).  When done type:
Shutdown -h now
to turn the system off or
Shutdown -r now
to reboot

If you want to test your changes, telinit to runlevel 3, then press <ALT-F2> to get another login screen, and see if you can login from there.  That way if you can't, you can fix the problem before exiting.  To go back to your original screen (virtual terminal) press <ALT-F1>.

First of all did the solution work?  Or do you need more help?  If it worked, you get to vote.  If you think eureeka is trying to steal the points, all you need to do is reject the answer and select an appropriate comment as an answer.  If you think eureeka is not trying to steal the points and has the best answer, all you need to do is accept the answer.

If it didn't work, let us know and you should reject the answer to get more help.

Expert Comment

ID: 2807748
Hee hee, Am I trying to steal points?? Is it really worth it?? Obviously it is to you if you are getting so upset.

Ok, kwilson...I am withdrawing my answer. I don't care about 50 points. And I don't care if my answer was the best anymore because this is getting stupid. But you were locked out of your machine and I felt that a clear and concise, step by step answer was better than any of the other comments posted.

mzehner, dvb never even posted an answer. He only flamed kwilson about calling it linux 7, and corrected you on the linux single comment. Then turned around and posted a comment about my proposed answer. To me thats not productive for kwilson. And solving kwilson's problem is what this thread SHOULD be about.

As for the your comment about my proposed answer being a dis-service to kwilson...I think you are wrong because if kwilson would follow my steps, his or her problem would be solved. Same as if you would have proposed your comment as an answer it might have been accepted and this thread would be over. Period.  

Then kwilson is happy because the problem is solved, and you are happy because you got the 50 points. To me thats the way it should be. If you can solve a persons problem quick and efficiently by giving detailed instructions, then you deserve the points awarded. Otherwise, threads tend to go on forever because of people giving fuzzy answers that users new to linux might not fully comprehend, or comments like dvb's.


Expert Comment

ID: 2808827
Wrong!  I'm not upset about it or worried about the points.  As far as I'm concerned, DVD can have the points for correcting my error and helping the user.  I posted a comment for the user to help them solve a problem as a service.  When you posted your comment as an answer, you showed that you were interested in the points and performed a dis-service to the person asking the question.  I think the original comments with DVD's correction was understandable.  However if you really felt clarification was necessary and were not interested in the points, you could have more easily posted it as a comment (the default).  Your actions speak louder than your words.
As far as not posting it as an answer, it is more useful to the person asking the question to post as a comment.  Perhaps you didn't understand that?  Perhaps you should read on this website, about the abuses of posting as an answer.  As far as ending the thread, any user can end the thread by accepting a comment as an answer at anytime.  Therefore you are not correct about it being a service.  Perhaps you did not understand that or perhaps you have not asked questions before??  I think not.
As far as who posted "fuzzy" anwers, that is up to kwilson.  If desired, as far as I care you can delete the question, but I hope your problem has been solved and I apologize for the inconvenience of this kind of unfortunate situation.  Whatever you decide is fine with me.

Expert Comment

ID: 2809006
You said it:

If desired, as far as I care you can delete the question, but I hope your problem has been solved and I apologize for the inconvenience of this kind of unfortunate situation.

But we won't ever really know will we? Posting comments instead of answers puts all the burden of wondering if we  are doing anything good...onto us, the people who are trying to help. kwilson never responded once to any of the comments or my posted answer. Posting sincere and clear answers instead of comments(in the right situations like this one)atleast attempts to force a needed conversation between the person who has a problem, and the people who are trying to help. Maybe kwilson solved his or her problem by using bcoleman's suggestion which was the first comment almost 4 days ago.


Especially when its a fairly simple question such as this one. Comments are very useful in debugging situations when the people who are trying to help need more information about whats going on. But there is no reason to drag this question out to oblivion by posting comments on a cut and dry question that can be easily solved by providing a clear and concise step by step answer such as mine.

In conclusion:


Maybe you are the one who needs to read the guidlines for site usage. To save you time, here they are:

In order to maintain our forum as a "Clean, Well Lit Place" for knowledge sharing, members must keep in mind two golden rules. First, when posting a question, remember to follow through with your responsibility to the experts and community by responding to comments aimed at answering your questions and provide grades as soon as possible. Delays in this process crowd the forums with unnecessary information and make it difficult for experts to find those who still need answers.

Propose answers only when you believe the information is a useful response aimed at answering the specific question.

<hmmmm....I believe thats what I did?well what do ya know!>

This practice will reduce "white noise" and keep the site information focused.

<hmmm...reducing white noise(aka, 4 days worth of comments)! Keeping site "focused". Sounds like I'm keeping within the guidlines, what about you?>

Often, it is difficult for experts to find questions in need of answers when the questions are locked by members interested in only obtaining points. For more information please see our guidelines.

<hmmm...kinda sounds like what i was talking about above around paragraph 3 concerning the usefulness of knowing when to post a comment to a question, rather than an answer. If I posted my answer as, "RTFM", or something else stupid then my actions would be against the guidlines in the above paragraph. But I didn't. So I am completely within the site guidlines.>

So, it seems that it is you providing the dis-service. Not I. The fact is, if your comment or any of the initial comments would have been posted as an answer, none of us would have wasted so much time for the past few days on this thread. Which is just what Experts-Exchange's guidlines call "white noise".

Check Please?!


Expert Comment

ID: 2811312
cool it guys. the rules say that u may propose an answer but no at the cost of others'. eureka u gave the same answer as that of mzehner but as dvb said better formatted. that doesnt mean u have to propose an answer. you can add a comment and suggest people to format things better.

Expert Comment

ID: 2834569
Meanwhile kwilson had you logged in before?
Because if for some reason it is the passwd file that is unreachable most systems ask for the root passwd before entering single user mode and that would definitely be a problem.
I don't know whether you're using slakware 7 or mandrake but if it is slakware that make aboot diskette and then a rescue disk this will help you get a prompt then mount your root file system and remove the encrypted bit from the shadow file and make sure that your passwd file is world readable.
that should solveyour problem.

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