can't login as anyone - not even as root!

Joshua Oreman oremanj at
Thu Aug 28 09:27:22 PDT 2003

On Thu, Aug 28, 2003 at 09:20:47AM -0700 or thereabouts, Dave Banning wrote:
> All of a sudden, I can't login, even as root. I tried to set the 
> password of root to nil (because I happened to be logged in as root at
> the time) and that didn't work either.
> Then, thinking that the machine was acting up, I rebooted. Now I am in 
> deeper. I can't even access the machine.
> Any idea why this would happen, or more important, how I can get out?

[if you get the fancy menu, choose "boot in single-user mode"; otherwise...]
Booting [kernel] in 9 seconds... <press space>
OK boot -s
[ ... ]

use /bin/sh
fsck -p
mount -a
ktrace -o /root/login.out login root
Password: <type your root password>
Login failed
<press Ctrl+C>
kdump /root/login.out | mail freebsd-questions at -s "Re: can't login as anyone - not even as root!"

Note: my syntax for kdump/ktrace may be a bit off, see their man pages.

-- Josh

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