Rooting a local box

Nicholas Leippe nick at
Thu Apr 26 12:31:23 MDT 2007

On Thursday 26 April 2007, Stuart Jansen wrote:
> On Thu, 2007-04-26 at 12:03 -0600, Nicholas Leippe wrote:
> > On some distros, even single user asks for the root password. You can get
> > past that by passing init=/bin/sh to the kernel. If you have /bin/bb,
> > even better. Where to go from there is left as an exercise for the
> > reader.
> Using init=/bin/sh on modern systems with udev, etc. is not for the
> faint of heart.

Which is why I left it as an exercise for the reader. ;)

> If your distro requires the root password to enter 
> single user mode, it'd probably be easier to just boot from a rescue
> disk. SUSE is an example of an annoying[1] distro that requires the root
> password for single user mode, but in compensation the SUSE rescue disk
> is kinda snazzy.

Likewise for Gentoo, on both accounts.

> [1] If you have enough access to reboot into single user mode, you've
> got enough access to boot from alternative media or pull the drives.
> Requiring the root password doesn't do much to improve security.

Yep. When there's physical access to the box, all bets on security are off.

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