15
Jan

Clearing a Linux Password

If you have direct access to the Linux filesystem (like a mounted SD card for example), it’s really easy to clear the password from the system. Simply take a look at the /etc/passwd file. You’ll see a line for every user on the system in a syntax like this:

<username>:<password>:<UID>:<GID>:<user_id_info>:<home_dir>:<command/shell>

To clear the password, simply delete anything in the field. By the way, if you see an ‘x’ character in this field, you will also need to clear the field in the /etc/shadow file.

For example:

#change this:
root:$1$TeCMjrna$1lmHjj.1E9NAAW2am.c7./:0:0:root:/root:/bin/bash
#to this:
root::0:0:root:/root:/bin/bash

There are also ways to clear/change the password from GRUB or LILO if you don’t have direct access to the filesystem, but I’ll let ya’ll search for that one!

…and that’s what I learned today!

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