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My boss gave me a physical linux webserver to access on our network and was wondering how I could reach the box once it's plugged in. Very simple question but I have no clue.

Having root password is questionable so configuring tcpip probably isnt an option.

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Do you know the IP address of the webserver? – Patrick R Jul 19 '10 at 20:58

You will probably be able to SSH to it, as this is installed and enabled per default on most modern UNIX servers. Before that, telnet was the common method.

If you are unable to connect by either of those protocols, you could run nmap against the server to determine what ports it is listening on.

If you need to change the root password, you can boot into single user mode by appending "single" to the boot parameters in both LILO and GRUB.

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Warner is correct, problem is... if you don't have physical access to the box you won't be able to reset a password through these methods via SSH. I'm guessing you haven't been given authorization for root anyway. – Patrick R Jul 19 '10 at 20:59
I have the box in hand. – chopps Jul 19 '10 at 21:12

I agree with the SSH side. If it's configured for DHCP, you can check the DHCP leases on your DHCP server and find what address it's taken.

If you need to reset the password, here's a useful link:

This is assuming, of course, that you have permission to do so.

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If you are coming from a windows box, then you need to install putty.

This will give you access to the terminal.

Of course you will want to make sure OpenSSH is installed on the server for access.

Depending on what distro you are on, installing openssh will be different.

For example in Debian it is apt-get install openssh-server

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