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Don't know what happend really. I changed the root password to a long password containing weird characters, and triple checked that I could log in with it, and has been ever since. Until now.

I think the bad character is a ’. How do I enter that in Putty? When I paste the password in Putty, that character and some other are removed/moved. I've set UTF-8 under Window>Translation.

Update: locale returns the following.


I've (falsely) assumed it was using UTF-8.

Is there a way to make su read the password from a file?

Update 2: I created two files using Notepad++; ansi.txt and utf8.txt. Both containing the string abc’def

cat ansi.txt prints abcdef
cat utf8.txt prints abcâdef

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If the "special" character is in fact an accent char (like ' or ```), I could imagine that your current input method converts this character followed, say, by a vowel into an accented char. Entering ' and e on a German keyboard, e.g., will in many cases result in é, similar for ```` and u resulting in ù. You could try to enter a space directly after the "special" character to prevent such a conversion. No guarantee, just a guess. (And I hope this answer will appear as I see it now in the preview. ;-))

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When I enter '[space], the row transforms into (arg: 4). I can't enter any characters like åäö, Putty just chimes angrily at me. I've updated the question – Znarkus Oct 3 '10 at 23:52


su - << _EOF_
password goes here

Put it in a file tmpPassFix then run

chmod +x tmpPassFix

Untested may or may not work. This is assuming you can get password into the "tmpPassFix" file above. I don't know much about encodings, but if you can get it in windows you could do the above and then winscp it over, providing the script works.

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su: must be run from a terminal unfortunately it did not work – Znarkus Oct 4 '10 at 6:24
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Rackspace actually has a Reset Password button. Go to Hosting>Cloud Servers>[Your server] and click the life saving button.

Be aware that it reboots the server, so open the Console and monitor that the system comes online again fine.

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