Re: What is the passwd- file?

From: Kasper Dupont (
Date: 06/01/02

From: Kasper Dupont <>
Date: Sat, 01 Jun 2002 21:01:19 +0200

Wall Street wrote:
> I've been given a Debian 2.x system to regain control of. I've booted
> into single user mode by using:
> linux ini=/bin/bash

Guess you really mean init. BTW, if you haven't already
done so I suggest you install sash. It is a good shell
to have if you ever mess up your libraries. (I did that

> at the LILO prompt, and it gets me to the prompt. I've then edited
> the passwd file, removing root's passwd (leaving just ::) and then
> shutting down the system.
> When it boots back up, though, nothing has changed! I boot back into
> single and the passwd file is back to what it was! I know the file
> system has been mounted rw, because I cat the passwd file when I've
> made my changes, and it shows root with no passwd.
> There are 2 things I am suspecting:
> 1. I cannot shut the system down correctly after making this change.
> ctl-alt-del simply reboots the system. I guess in this mode, that key
> sequence isn't being captured. And, running /sbin/shutdown r now
> simply seems to hang the computer instead of actually rebooting it.
> Is it possible that my changes are only in memory and are not being
> flushed to disk?

I guess that is your problem, you should type "umount /"
before rebooting. (And a "sync" before and after does
not hurt.)

> 2. There is a passwd- file and I have no idea what that is? Is it
> somehow a protected copy that gets copied back over the original in
> case of changes?

The passwd- file will contain the old version when it has
been changed by the standard tools.

Kasper Dupont -- der bruger for meget tid på usenet.
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