This article is from a FAQ concerning SCO operating systems. While some of the information may be applicable to any OS, or any Unix or Linux OS, it may be specific to SCO Xenix, Open There is lots of Linux, Mac OS X and general Unix info elsewhere on this site: Search this site is the best way to find anything.
See Lost Root Password (SCO) for all three articles combined.
For Linux, see Linux/lostlinuxpassword.html
This procedure will work for Xenix, and for Unix as well if you are using a very relaxed security level (one which stores encrypted passwords directly in /etc/passwd). If you're using a higher security level on Unix, look for part 2 below.
For Linux, see https://www.aplawrence.com/Linux/lostlinuxpassword.html
Boot the system from your emergency boot diskettes (if you didn't make these and keep them up to date, shame on you, but you should be able to use N1/N2 instead, and see the entry on crashing out of these diskettes below). Next,
mount /dev/hd0root /mnt
; this will mount your hard drive's root filesystem on /mnt.
On some v5.0.x systems, /dev/hd0root won't exist. Create it with
mknod /dev/hd0root b 1 42
Edit /mnt/etc/passwd. The first line will be your root line, such asroot:encryptedpasswordgoeshere:0:0:God,Everywhere:/:/bin/sh
Edit out the encrypted password (don't touch anything else!) so that the line reads something likeroot::0:0:God,Everywhere:/:/bin/sh
Save the file and shut down. Reboot from the hard drive. Your root password has now been removed, and you can reset it normally.
Also see /Boot/defs.html#bootfloppy.
Got something to add? Send me email.