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Solaris Root Password Recovery October 29, 2008

Filed under: Unix — aderahman @ 4:58 am

You need to have physical access to the machine’s console.

Note the root partition;

Solaris uses

  • /dev/dsk/c0t0d0s0 on the Ultra5/10 and Blade 100
  • /dev/dsk/c0t1d0s0 for Blade 1000.

Press the STOP and A keys simultaneously, or, on an ASCII terminal or emulator, send a <BREAK>) to halt the operating system, if it’s running.

Boot single-user from CD-ROM (boot cdrom -s) or network install/jumpstart server (boot net -s). For CD media use the CD-ROM labeled “Installation”. I prom pssword is set you need to know it

Mount the root partition on “/a”. “/a” is an empty mount point that exists at this stage of the installation procedure. For example:

#mount /dev/dsk/c0t0d0s0 /a

If the mount command fails and since “/a” always exists, then you either typed in the wrong device, OR the system is seeing the root partition as something else.

Do a “ls /tmp/dev/dsk” and see what is there. “c0t6″ things are the CD-ROM, what is left is what one needs to try. On a Blade 1000/2000, choose /dev/dsk/c1t1d0s0, and execute: #mount /dev/dsk/c1t1d0s0 /a

Set your terminal type so you can use a full-screen editor, such as vi. You can skip this step if you know how to use “ex” or “vi” from open mode.

  • If you’re on a sun console, type “TERM=sun; export TERM”;
  • If you are using an ascii terminal or terminal emulator on a PC for your console, set TERM to the terminal type for example: TERM=vt100; export TERM.

Edit the passwd file, /a/etc/shadow (or perhaps in older versions, /etc/passwd) and remove the encrypted password entry for root.

Type: “cd /; then “umount /a”

Reboot as normal in single-user mode (”boot -s”). The root account will not have a password. Give it a new one using the passwd command. PROM passwords: Naturally, you may not want anyone with physical access to the machine to be able to do the above to erase the root password. Suns have a security password mechanism in the PROM which can be set (this is turned off by default). The man page for the eeprom command describes this feature.

If security-mode is set to “command”, the machine only be booted without the prom password from the default device (i.e. booting from CD-ROM or install server will require the prom password). Changing the root password in this case requires moving the default device (e.g. the boot disk) to a different SCSI target (or equivalent), and replacing it with a similarly bootable device for which the root password is known. If security-mode is set to full, the machine cannot be booted without the prom password, even from the default device; defeating this requires replacing the NVRAM on the motherboard. “Full” security has its drawbacks — if, during normal operations, the machine is power-cycled (e.g. by a power outage) or halted (e.g. by STOP-A), it cannot reboot without the intervention of someone who knows the prom password.


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