Renaming root users causes problems!

tuxgirl at tuxgirl at
Sat Mar 26 10:54:34 MST 2005

On Sat, Mar 26, 2005 at 08:17:19AM -0700, Kenneth Burgener wrote:
> 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? 

Booting into knoppix seems like a possibility to me.  But, that's just a
guess on my part...  I've found that generally, booting into knoppix
allows me to fix just about anything that I, for one reason or another,
can't fix from the local machine...

>  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.
> Thanks,
> Kenneth
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Erin Sharmahd           TuxGirl at
CS Student              Unix Users Group
PGP Fingerprint:
F352 FF41 EA0A 67E4 566B 3B5B E65A D3DC 083E 9336

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