Need to change root password on production server.. help!

Posted on 2007-10-17
Last Modified: 2013-12-04
I'm needing to change the root password on a production IBM AIX 5L Unix server and I was hesitant to do that because I'm not sure what could happen. Is there anything I should be concerned of and keep in mind when doing this (things tied to existing root password like processes, startups, etc)? Should I maybe do a search for my password within files? What's the syntax for searching for my password within files (there are about 200GB of files to look thru so this search can probably take days wouldn't it)? Anything else I should look at?
Question by:bemara57
    LVL 45

    Assisted Solution

    Hi bemara57,

    Unless you've got the root password embedded in scripts or applications, simply changing the password shouldn't be an issue.

    And if you do have the root password embedded in scripts or applications, you should draw and quarter whoever did it.

    Good Luck,
    LVL 48

    Expert Comment

    100% agree with Kent.
    LVL 16

    Accepted Solution

    You can search for a certain string in all files with something like

    # grep "string" `find /my/dir -type f -print`

    String could be either the password itself or it's encrypted string (from /etc/shadow)
    LVL 48

    Assisted Solution

    AIX doesn't use /etc/shadow.  From memory, it's a file in /etc/security
    LVL 16

    Expert Comment

    by:Hanno Schröder
    Right: It should be in /etc/security/passwd
    LVL 61

    Assisted Solution

    Run this to locate scripts with root's password embedded:
    find / -type f | xargs file 2>/dev/null | grep script | awk -F: '{print $1}' | xargs grep -c "password" | grep -v :0

    After that migrate dangerous scripts to sudo (from, or from IBM's RPM CD, or aixpdslib)

    After you are done change password and listen who complains.

    Please post "oslevel -r" output to make me suggest correct package for your system.

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