Q

I can't log in as root -- any suggestions?

I am running on Red Hat 6.2 and I can't log in as root. When I type su - the response is: bash: /bin/su:

Permission denied.

When I look in /bin dir there are 3 areas that look weird, this is an extract from /bin dir:

-r-xr-xr-x    1 root     root        60080 Mar  7  2000 ps
d-ws--x--T  797 19807    3098     172049163 Jan  1  1970 pwd
lrwxrwxrwx    1 root     root            2 Aug 23  2002 red -> ed
-rwxr-xr-x    1 root     root          835 Mar  7  2000 remadmin
-rwxr-xr-x    1 root     root        20240 Mar  8  2000 rm
-rwxr-xr-x    1 root     root         6796 Mar  8  2000 rmdir
-rwxr-xr-x    1 root     root       886424 Mar  1  2000 rpm
lrwxrwxrwx    1 root     root            2 Aug 23  2002 rvi -> vi
lrwxrwxrwx    1 root     root            2 Aug 23  2002 rview -> vi
-rwxr-xr-x    1 root     root        44880 Feb  7  2000 sed
-rwxr-xr-x    1 root     bin         15844 Feb  7  2000 setserial
lrwxrwxrwx    1 root     root            4 Aug 23  2002 sh -> bash
?r-S--x---  3098 14024    2663     4294967295 Jul 14  1970 sleep
-rwxr-xr-x    1 root     root        27632 Feb  7  2000 sort
-rwxr-xr-x    1 root     root        26668 Mar  7  2000 stty
?rw-------  62082 1664     262      2029158913 Oct  5  1998 su
You can see the pwd dir, sleep and su are not what they are meant to be. I can't reboot the box; it will have to be a hard reboot. I am running an Oracle DB on this box which is running fine and want to know if the Linux box will boot up. All things are running okay on the Linux box as well as the Oracle DB -- I just can't log in as root. As Oracle user I can vi, etc.

Any ideas on this would be greatly appreciated.
It is extremely tough to determine your problem from looking at a director map. It appears that some how you have corrupted your root password. I would try to reset the root password or refresh the base and reset the root password that way. Good luck!

This was first published in February 2004

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