First things first, I don’t like Ubuntu. Yes, it has an active community and you get an answer really fast bu when I started exploring what’s going on with Linux I started with Slackware. Ok, this was a bad choice but Slackware never let me down. Anyway, I consider OSs tools and I use them as such. If I need Slackware I’ll go with Slackware, if I need Debian I’ll go with Debian, so I am not hater of OSs.
The other day a friend wanted to use NetCat and he has an ubuntu box in his laptop, Ubuntu 11.10 32bit, installed and using Gnome (I kinda hate Unity too but never used it). He asked for help because he had a problem, he couldn’t authenticate as root, thus he couldn’t install anything. Long story short, I started recovery mode from GRUB and got the “Authentication Token Manipulation Error”. Errmm… What’s going on?! I fired vi to see /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow , the 2 files containing the users and passwords pretty much and there came a warning. This files are read-only. Wait a sec. I am logged in as root, I can do whatever I feel like in this systtem, what do you mean READONLY? I went googling but nothing worked and still couldn’t change the root password. I tried something quite awkard but it worked a couple of times in Slackware, remounting the root point (/). And it worked.
$mount -rw -o remount / $passwd