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

Dave Banning sky_tracker at
Fri Aug 29 10:09:13 PDT 2003

> Hmm.. Pretty long but only the last few screens are important. Problem's
> kinda weird,
> really. This is a *LAST DITCH EFFORT*, but try this. It may work. (Note:
> this assumes
> you've got system sources around).
> OK boot -s
> # mkdir /var/oldpwd
> # mv /etc/master.passwd /etc/passwd /etc/group /etc/pwd.db /etc/spwd.db
> /etc/login.conf /var/oldpwd
> # cp /usr/src/etc/master.passwd /etc/
> # cp /usr/src/etc/group /etc/
> # cp /usr/src/etc/login.conf /etc/
> # pwd_mkdb /etc/master.passwd
> # passwd root
> # exit
> And if it all fails, well, you've got your old passwd files in /var/oldpwd.
> If it works, great! Now you get to merge your accounts.

Nope. I actually had a backup /etc directory from a week ago. I replaced
the entire directory with the backup. No go. I then reinstalled via ftp
the basic user package and now all is well. On review I noticed
some /bin directories ownership had it's permissions changed to
one of my users. Then it came back to me that I had been changing
some permissions on user directories to deal with a mail permission
issue. I must have let an extra . or / slip somewhere in my chown'ing.

I wanted to -find- the problem as a matter of interest, but in the
end, I had to get things up and running as soon as possible, and
reinstalling was the fastest. It reinstalled the basics and left the
rest of my installation intact.

Thanks for your time to review the log, and your interest and comments.

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