I just got my system to boot up (Scientific Linux), but at the login screen I can't login as root. It doesn't even ask for a password, just says Login incorrect.

So what I see is:

localhost login: root
login incorrect


login: root
Login incorrect

What did I break this time? I was messing around with essential filesystem files a lot, namely /bin and /sbin.

  • This could have several causes which are all due to abnormal changes, possibly related to what you did. You should boot from a USB drive (or key) and check the system logs which I assume will probably give more information on the issue. – Julie Pelletier May 29 '16 at 4:39
  • Hmm. How would I do this if I am using a custom root fs image for a network boot? – Ted Desmond May 29 '16 at 4:43
  • Alright, if I boot at runlevel 1 (single-user mode) I have access to my filesystem as root. Where would the logs be located? Looking at another forum post, I think init 3 ; sleep 10 ; tail /var/log/messages > ~/log may help me, but I don't really understand it. Doing that at runlevel 1 brought me back to the login screen, but also kept me as root, so there was some weird glitching. – Ted Desmond May 29 '16 at 5:23

Fixed the problem. Turns out a few libraries necessary for the login binary were missing, namely libcrack.so.2.8.0 and a version of libglib. These were supposed to be located in /usr/lib, and my image's /usr/lib directory was empty. I copied the necessary files in from the /usr/lib directory of a different, working OS (same type and version).

So, after doing:

cp -ap libcrack* /my/image/directory/mount/usr/lib
cp -ap libglib* /my/image/directory/mount/usr/lib

I am able to log in.

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