First time user problems

Jerry McAllister jerrymc at
Thu Mar 19 14:05:43 PDT 2009

On Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 03:30:33PM -0400, Alhaji Barrie wrote:

> I am a  new user of Free BSD. I just completed the install of Free BSD on a
> Dell  PC but I cannot get past the initial login prompt. I typed the user
> name I supplied during the installation process to no avail. In the last two
> days, I have browsed the web and used some of the suggestion provided. I
> also consulted the documentation in this web site.
> To put it simply, I am missing the syntax for the user name and password.
> Can someone help with the step by step process of getting past the original
> login screen?

Probably you will have to redo those items.
The best way is to boot in to single user, remount root (/) and
use vipw(8) to edit the passwd file.

Do the boot to single user - just select that item from the boot menu.
Then do:

  fsck -p

  mount -u /

  swapon -a


The fsck might take some time so wait for it.

vipw works just like vi, except that it only works on the passwd file 
and it knows how to update the master.passwd file and the password
database automatically.

If the account id that you want to use is already there and looks good,
don't edit it.  Just get out and then set the password again.
   passwd id_name

where id_name is that id you want to change.


> Alhaji I Barrie
> Network Security Analyst
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