Renaming root users causes problems!

Kenneth Burgener kenneth at
Sat Mar 26 08:17:19 MST 2005

I had heard that one security measure you can do for your Linux machine 
is rename the root username.  The system booted fine, but I found that 
several services (including xinetd, and iptables) require the root user 
to be named root.  Is there a way around this, or is it not a good idea 
to rename the root user.

I have a second question.  When I realized that there were problems I 
went back and renamed the root user back to root in the /etc/passwd and 
/etc/group, but I forgot to fix it in /etc/shadow.  So my next question 
is how do you recover from that?  I assumed that it would just list my 
password as blank, but this didn't work.  Any suggestion on fixing this? 
  How can you reset the root password?  I had heard in earlier threads 
about booting to "single" user mode.  I tried that but it prompts me for 
the "root password for maintenance".

I am running the Grub boot loader, with Debian Sarge.


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