I am trying to set the root password on Amazon EC2 (CentOS machine). When I try passwd, I get this:

[root@domU-11-33-39-00-85-21 ~]# passwd
Changing password for user root.
passwd: Authentication token manipulation error

What can I do to fix this? I know ssh is better but I need to set the password because I require it to login to my webmin.

Contents of /etc/nsswitch.conf:

passwd:     files
shadow:     files
group:      files

#hosts:     db files nisplus nis dns
hosts:      files dns

# Example - obey only what nisplus tells us...
#services:   nisplus [NOTFOUND=return] files
#networks:   nisplus [NOTFOUND=return] files
#protocols:  nisplus [NOTFOUND=return] files
#rpc:        nisplus [NOTFOUND=return] files
#ethers:     nisplus [NOTFOUND=return] files
#netmasks:   nisplus [NOTFOUND=return] files

bootparams: nisplus [NOTFOUND=return] files

ethers:     files
netmasks:   files
networks:   files
protocols:  files
rpc:        files
services:   files

netgroup:   nisplus

publickey:  nisplus

automount:  files nisplus
aliases:    files nisplus

When I tried passwd -d root and then passwd, I got to reset the password but I can't login using this password.

  • Could you please add a content of /etc/nsswitch.conf from that system. – Alex Feb 8 '11 at 15:42
  • Permissions on /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow are ok? Anything in /var/log/messages or /var/log/secure ? Any selinux audit errors? PAM configuration ok (/etc/pam.d) ? If possible set the root pw to a 20-character random string and do root via sudo, all auth via ssh public keys. (don't know if webmin can do this) – AndreasM Jul 12 '11 at 6:31

To change root password of you CentOS in EC2 with webmin installed in it use the following command after login with your ssh.

/usr/libexec/webmin/changepass.pl /etc/webmin root <yourpassword>

after changing the password you can login with new root password in webmin ofcourse you can nomally login with your ssh and private keys as well.

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