changing root password.

Richard P. Williamson richard.williamson at
Tue Apr 6 02:38:20 PDT 2004

Thanks, that's got it.  vipw(8) was what I needed, in that it
allows one to keep the databases in sync with the password 
files, which was more the problem.


At 11:48 05/04/2004, Julien Gabel wrote:
>> I've got a 4.8R system that I use for development of a 'freebsd-small'
>> type network device.  The network device environment runs out of
>> memory, the kernel and an mfsroot.gz image coming from a 32Mb pccard
>> Compact Flash drive.
>> The mfsroot.gz development image is stored as a vnconfig vn0
>> virtual node, called 'mfsroot', on the development machine.
>> Everything boots and I can do what I want with the system.
>> The problem is that I need to be able to set the root password
>> of the device, from the development machine prior to moving to
>> the actual device.
>> So I (or rather, 'root') mount(s) the virtual fs node:
>> % vnconfig vn0 mfsroot
>> % mount /dev/vn0 /mnt
>> (under /mnt now is a partially functional FreeBSD 4.8R based
>> installation, including /etc/master.passwd, etc)
>> And then change the root directory to the mount point:
>> % chroot /mnt
>> And then try to change the password:
>> % passwd
>> Type new password:
>> Retype new password:
>> ...
>> %
>> The behavior I'm seeing is that the /original/ /etc/ password
>> files and databases are updated, and not the [/mnt]/etc/ password
>> files.
>> Am I expecting incorrectly?  Am I going to be able to change the
>> network device's root password before moving to the actual device
>> from the development machine, or will it be necessary to put
>> /usr/bin/passwd onto the network device?
>The problem is that passwd(1) works only on /etc/master.passwd and
>/etc/passwd. In order to set the password, I think the simplest way
>is to set the wanted password on another system and copy & paste it
>using vipw(8) using 'vipw -d /mnt/etc'.
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