Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I was given a linux server to repurpose, but first of all, I want to back it up but I don't know username and password, and it may be encrypted. Now I am running this noisy server, there are only 4 items I can choose: Language, Session, Restart or Shut Down. Also, a field to enter user's info. Could you please tell me if this is possible, and if so then how?

share|improve this question

closed as off topic by HopelessN00b, MadHatter, Dave M, Kenny Rasschaert, Jay Mar 29 '13 at 16:53

Questions on Server Fault are expected to relate to server, networking, or related infrastructure administration within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

SF isn't a site for asking homework questions. Please read the FAQ. – slm Mar 29 '13 at 13:38
Welcome to Server Fault! Your question is off topic for Serverfault because it doesn't appear to relate to servers/networking or desktop infrastructure in a professional environment. It may be on topic for Superuser but please search their site for similar questions that may already have the answer you're looking for. – Dennis Kaarsemaker Mar 29 '13 at 14:15

If it's not encrypted, you can attach the drive as a secondary drive to another linux machine and try running dd to duplicate the drive. Or, you could use clonezilla to duplicate the drive, technically this is bypassing security and I don't think I should be answering you, but in any event it will be useless to learn on any computer of which you don't have root access. Welcome to linux.


If it is encrypted, then you're likely out of luck. You can try some basic default passwords for the root account which are googlable, but if this is truly just to learn linux then I suggest you blow it away and install linux from scratch, and use a book such as this one or it's sequel for a good primer. The former does give a brief intro to *nix commands on the bash shell, which probably doesn't mean much to you know but if you progress then it will.

share|improve this answer
THANK YOU FOR REPLYING!!! I guess it was encrypted, so you mean there is no way to do it? – user2224373 Mar 29 '13 at 13:17
@user2224373 please see my update, and don't forget to mark as answer if this helped you. – BigHomie Mar 29 '13 at 14:15
THANK YOU!!!! I found it was not so complicated. I entered single user mode, and changed the root's pwd, done. Now I am mounting an external hard drive, when I typed [yum search fuse] or [yum install fuse] on terminal, I only got [Loaded plugins fastestmirror Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile]. I am search for solution. – user2224373 Mar 30 '13 at 2:30

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.