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Thread: really, really locked out, can't change password

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    really, really locked out, can't change password

    I've searched and searched and cannot find the solution to my locked out problem

    I was using Ubuntu on my home computer three years ago for remote work and have not tried to log in since then. Now I'd really like to login again.

    I boot my computer using the last recovery kernel available (it's ubuntu 10.something but I don't think the version is really the problem)
    I select the boot to root shell then try to reset my password
    I get an error message:
    "Authentication token manipulation error"

    I try all the various fixes in all the searches, i.e.
    I check write permission for / and /etc both are rw for root
    I still try the mount command, >> mount -o rw,remount /
    but that produces an error saying I cannot remount

    OK so I check write permissions for /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow, both are rw for root. Both files have an entry for acorn user and the shadow file has a long encrypted string in the password field (second from username)

    What can I do?
    I've read all sorts of posts about copying the shadow file, using some utility to delete the shadow file, logging in using ssh, etc.
    None of these solutions seems right. I don't have a backup and so I'm hesitant to just go in and muck with these files. Not sure if I can copy all the Ubuntu stuff from Windows side (I have a terabyte standalone drive so space isn't an issue)
    Right now I'm posting this from the Windows side.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Xubuntu Development Release

    Re: really, really locked out, can't change password

    I boot my computer using the last recovery kernel available (it's ubuntu 10.something but I don't think the version is really the problem)
    I select the boot to root shell then try to reset my password
    I get an error message:
    "Authentication token manipulation error"
    Its probably because the filesystem is mounted readonly. Remount it as read/write then try resetting the password again:
    Code:
    mount -rw -o remount /

  3. #3
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    Re: really, really locked out, can't change password

    Have you tried creating another user? The new one wouldn't have sudo privileges, but would be a step forward.
    Linux User #415691 Ubuntu User #8629
    Iowa Team (LoCo): [Wiki] [Launchpad] [Sub-forum]
    IRC channel: #ubuntu-us-ia on irc.freenode.net

  4. #4
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    Re: really, really locked out, can't change password

    Um, I've tried that. Not sure why my post isn't showing. I've checked all the rw permissions, /, /etc, /etc/shadow, /etc/passwd, and tried remounting. All permissions show rw in the root field (i.e. first area) and remount gives error message

    thanks

  5. #5
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    Re: really, really locked out, can't change password

    Hmm, haven't tried creating a new user--is there a way to do this while still in the root recovery shell? Meaning I have no access to the regular commands or apps

  6. #6
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    Re: really, really locked out, can't change password

    adduser would be the command - man adduser for details.
    (I always get confused between adduser and useradd)
    Linux User #415691 Ubuntu User #8629
    Iowa Team (LoCo): [Wiki] [Launchpad] [Sub-forum]
    IRC channel: #ubuntu-us-ia on irc.freenode.net

  7. #7
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    Re: really, really locked out, can't change password

    Quote Originally Posted by linbo View Post
    ..... and remount gives error message
    What is the error message?

    What does the following command show?
    Code:
    mount

  8. #8
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    Re: really, really locked out, can't change password

    mount -o rw,remount /
    gives error message:

    ......EST4-fs error (device loop0): ext4_remount: Abort forced by user.........
    ......mount: cannot remount block device /host/ubuntu/disks/.............
    ......riit,dusj read-write, is write-protected

    the ...... are where the text runs off the screen, i.e. I cannot see the entire error message

    the mount command by itself gives a page of lines, too many to write down--no errors but a warning at the bottom
    warning /etc/mtab is not writable e,g, read-only file system

    I hesitate to change permissions on this without knowing what I'm doing.

    I'll try creating a new user next

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Re: really, really locked out, can't change password

    http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/linux...nutes-or-less/ The second half of that how-to has worked for me in the past...

  10. #10
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    Re: really, really locked out, can't change password

    no success

    adduser yields error message:
    >adding user lingo
    >adding new group linbo
    >groupadd: cannot lock /etc/group; try again later
    >adduser: '/usr/sbin/groupadd -g 1001 linbo' returned error code 10 Exiting

    useradd yields error message:
    >cannot lock /etc/passwd

    second methd from howtogeek yields
    "Authentication token manipulation error" message when I get to the point of changing the password for acorn user

    It's clear that this is a write permission problem. Should I try a different title in hopes of snagging an expert that knows how to force the write permissions?

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