How to Reset a Forgotten Root Password

taxman taxman at
Thu Apr 17 12:24:20 PDT 2003

On Thursday 17 April 2003 01:36 pm, dick hoogendijk wrote:
> >   then you should be able to boot up into single user mode
> >   with "boot -s" and change the password.
> >
> >   You'll need to type "boot -s" at the secondary boot prompt
> >   (asks to press "any key" for another command ;)
> In linux lilo.conf you could prevent this by putting a password on this
> bot option to "root" It sure is nice to have the option, but I feel a
> little insecure letting this door wide opten for everyone w/ access to
> the machine. Q: can this be protected?

well you can make it harder by marking console insecure in /etc/ttys, but if 
someone has physical access they can change the root password with a boot 
floppy etc.  You could remove your floppy/cdrom, but someone can reinstall 
them, you can password protect your bios, but someone can remove the battery 
and reset it, you could get more severe, but assume that if someone can get 
physical access they can get root.

Of course, make sure to align the effort with the importance of what you're 


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