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

Sunil Sunder Raj unixtools at
Thu Aug 28 20:57:03 PDT 2003


As the os(FREEBSD) is starting it will display the following message:

Hit [Enter] to boot immediately, or any other key for command prompt.

Booting [kernel ] in 10 seconds...

You should now ress the space bar, and you will see the following message:

Type '?' for a list of commands, or 'help' for more detailed help.


now type boot -s and press the enter key to start FreeBSD in single user
mode. After the system boots, you should see the statement:

Enter fill pathname of shell or RETURN for /bin/sh:

Press the enter key and you will have a # prompt.

[Mount  the filesystems]

At the command prompt. issue the mount command. This command will mount
all the filesystems listed in your /etc/fstab file.

# mount -t ufs -a

[Change the root password]

Issue the passwd command and you will be prompted to enter a new password
for the root account.


New password:
passwd: updating the database...
passwd: done

[Change the manage password]

#passwd manage

There is no need to reboot the operating system to go to multi-user
mode. The exit command will cause the system to return to multi-user miode
without a reboot.


>From: Dave Banning <sky_tracker at>
>To: questions at
>Subject: can't login as anyone - not even as root!
>Date: Thu, 28 Aug 2003 09:20:47 -0700 (PDT)
>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?
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