Articles June 6, 2007 at 4:24 am

Changing the root password from S.U.M.

I just finished up a small article on my companies new blog about gaining access to a server or client system via single user mode and resetting the root password without any deamons running using nicl. I provide a general outline of how the basics work for local account passwords as well. Hopefully an interesting read for those lab admins who are still on the fence about using Firmware Passwords, or those not familiar about some of the local DirectoryService basics.You can find it here

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  • Thanks! Why would you want to avoid the daemons though? IIRC, you could easily do this with:

    mount -uw /; sh /etc/rc; passwd

    … while in S.U.M. I think that even gave you the “Other” option in Login Window. Or am I missing something?

    Here’s also one way I found to change any user’s hash password with the possibility of changing it back later:

    “The future is here. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.” –William Gibson

  • Hi filipp,

    Yes that is way to do it in an “active” way,but sh /etc/rc works in 10.4+ IIRC

    Actually I think I came up with this method pre 10.2 (for our service department at the time).
    Since then I have had to use this trick on a variety of different older systems,including 10.1-10.3 which ranged
    from using commands like register_mach_bootstrap_servers and SystemStarter to start up the appropriate daemons .

    So mainly I wanted a more passive way that would work on all systems the same ( Pretty sure I even did this in Target Disk mode once come to think of it ).By the way I find it really funny you posted “Temporarily changing passwords” As I had just drafted an article with the exact same shell code, though my guid variable was $GUID I guess the old saying is true, nice code! šŸ™‚

    Thanks for your comments


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