[clug] ext3 hackery "permission denied"

Tony and Robyn Lewis beakysnugger at yahoo.co.uk
Wed Aug 24 05:17:19 GMT 2005

I was trying to reset the root password on a RHEL AS box.  I booted 
using a convenient Ubuntu Colony 2 install disk and went to a shell, 
loaded the right drivers, mounted the partition and chrooted to it.

However, I was unable to write to /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow.  Vi said 
readonly, and couldn't be forced with :w!; I was unable to append lines 
to the file using cat, nor copy a file over the top.

Permissions and ownership on the files were normal - 644 (passwd) and 

Using getfacl showed nothing out of the ordinary, but to make sure, I 
explicitly mounted it "-o noacl".  No diff, still unable to write.

Ubuntu's installer kernel was 2.6.12-something and the native RHEL AS 
one was 2.4.21-something I think.

Why would this be?

I eventually solved it by bulk copying /etc and editing the files in 
there, then renaming.


More information about the linux mailing list