Paul Schmehl pschmehl_lists at
Tue Feb 9 04:31:39 UTC 2010

--On February 8, 2010 12:53:22 PM -0600 Eric Petersen 
<ericp at> wrote:

> Hey guys,
> I have a web/ftp server loaded with FreeBSD. This was done a couple of
> years back. Since then the person or persons that did the original
> install have gone out of business and cannot be found.
> Currently I have an issue logging into the ftp. I hooked a monitor up to
> the server and I'm getting "filesystem full" errors and since I don't
> have a password to get in I cannot have it fixed by someone that knows
> UNIX. I have made numerous attempts to contact the person that installed
> on a personal level. But I'm getting the impression he has moved with no
> forwarding.

Without a password, you need physical access to the server in order to fix 
the problem.  It sounds like you have that, since you said you hooked up a 
monitor to it.

Here's the steps you can take to "retrieve" the password.

Shut the server down by hitting the power button.  Then turn it back on 
and watch the prompts when it's booting up.  Chose single user mode.  Then 
follow these steps:

# The system will print out "Enter full pathname of shell or RETURN for 
# Hit enter to get a prompt
# Type fsck -p
# Type mount -a
# Type passwd
You'll be prompted for the password twice.  This is the root password, so 
it will give you full access to the system.
# Type exit to return to normal operation.  Write the password down and 
lock it up in the company safe.

Surely you have professional Unix support available in Sioux City?

Paul Schmehl, If it isn't already
obvious, my opinions are my own
and not those of my employer.
WARNING: Check the headers before replying

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