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I want to mount the /var directory in a separate device, but I have to move some files from the current /var to a temporary storage, mount /var on the device that I want and then moving the data from the "old var" to the "new var".

In order to do this, I need to change the current run level for the Single-User Mode.

Switching to Single-User Mode occurs perfectly, but when comes the shell, asking the Root Maintenance Password, I enter the root password, and I cannot login as root.

I have already re-configured the root password, but it still does not recognize the credentials.

With this, I have the following questions:

  • Are there any details regarding accessing using the root account, when switching from Runlevel 5 to Runlevel 1?
  • And obviously: what's going on? Why I cannot access the root account in Single-User Mode?

Another details:

  • I'm using Debian Jessie.
  • I don't have any user as sudoer. I use the root account via su -.
  • I don't know if my keyboard is different when entering Single-User Mode. I changed the root password for a temporary credential like 1q2w3e in order to avoid any problems.

Also, some lines from /var/log/auth.log:

May 19 17:30:38 server001 su[20607]: Successful su for root by usuario
May 19 17:30:38 server001 su[20607]: + /dev/pts/0 usuario:root
May 19 17:30:38 server001 su[20607]: pam_unix(su:session): session opened for user root by usuario(uid=1000)
May 19 17:33:50 server001 sshd[20773]: Server listening on 0.0.0.0 port 22.
May 19 17:33:50 server001 sshd[20773]: Server listening on :: port 22.
May 19 17:33:51 server001 systemd-logind[20786]: New seat seat0.
May 19 17:33:51 server001 systemd-logind[20786]: Watching system buttons on /dev/input/event3 (Power Button)
May 19 17:33:51 server001 systemd-logind[20786]: Watching system buttons on /dev/input/event2 (Power Button)
May 19 17:33:51 server001 systemd-logind[20786]: New session 14 of user usuario.
May 19 17:33:51 server001 systemd-logind[20786]: New session 11 of user usuario.
May 19 17:33:51 server001 systemd-logind[20786]: New session 13 of user usuario.
May 19 17:33:51 server001 systemd-logind[20786]: New session 10 of user usuario.
May 19 17:33:51 server001 systemd-logind[20786]: New session 8 of user usuario.
May 19 17:33:51 server001 systemd-logind[20786]: New session 4 of user usuario.
May 19 17:33:51 server001 systemd-logind[20786]: New session 9 of user usuario.
May 19 17:33:52 server001 lightdm: pam_unix(lightdm-greeter:session): session opened for user lightdm by (uid=0)
May 19 17:33:52 server001 systemd: pam_unix(systemd-user:session): session opened for user lightdm by (uid=0)
May 19 17:34:26 server001 systemd-logind[20786]: New session 15 of user usuario.
May 19 17:34:27 server001 polkitd(authority=local): Registered Authentication Agent for unix-session:15 (system bus name :1.14 [lxpolkit], object path /org/freedesktop/PolicyKit1/AuthenticationAgent, locale es_MX.UTF-8)
May 19 17:34:37 server001 su[21221]: Successful su for root by usuario
May 19 17:34:37 server001 su[21221]: + /dev/pts/0 usuario:root
May 19 17:34:37 server001 su[21221]: pam_unix(su:session): session opened for user root by usuario(uid=1000
  • What release of Debian? Do you normally use sudo or su? Is your keyboard layout different in single user mode? – Gilles May 19 '17 at 22:09
  • I made an update on my question, Gilles. Thanks for the interaction. I'd like to understand, why the formatting of my question was changed. Bold is allowed by the platform in order to give more emphasis in some points of the text. – ivanleoncz May 19 '17 at 22:16
  • I removed the bold because none of the passages you bolded required any emphasis. For code, use code markup, not bold. – Gilles May 19 '17 at 22:26
  • 1
    Do you normally use the US keyboard layout or a different one? Depending on how the keyboard layout is configured, you might end up with the boot-time default (US) in single user mode. – Gilles May 19 '17 at 22:27
  • Does that make difference when you have a password like "123456", for example? – ivanleoncz May 19 '17 at 22:27

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