I would like to boot Solaris to shell (root prompt) directly for recovery purposes. On linux I would pass a kernel option init=/bin/bash and it would directly boot me into shell without asking for password. How can I achieve the same for Solaris?

I realized the '-s' parameter, but that still asks for password. The official docs suggest booting an installer CD which I would like to avoid.

UPDATE I realized that another proprietary access method was available for me so this question is not that urgent for me, still I leave it up as it maybe interesting later and for others as well.

This is solaris 11 express on x86 hardware.

Both single mode -s and -m milestone=none asks for password:

Enter user name for system maintenance (control-d to bypass): root
Enter root password (control-d to bypass):

Use the milestone=none boot flag:

If you are on SPARC, from the openboot prompt:

ok boot -m milestone=none

If you are on x86, adjust the grub boot entry the same way. The precise command will depend on the Solaris release.


Not sure why you want to avoid booting from a CD but that's the simplest way to recover a lost root password. The alternatives seems overkill:

  • moving the disk to another Solaris on x86 machine, import its root pool and fix the password

  • installing a PXE boot server, boot from the network, import the pool, fix the password

  • find a remote server user account having passwordless ssh access to root or a user having the root role or sudo access on the target server.

  • It is not much better compared to -s as it still asks for username/password which I do not know. Updated my question to specify the release. Thx. gave +1 anyways. – cstamas Jan 28 '15 at 20:22
  • I overlook the password point. You might have better titled your question "how do I recover or reset a lost root password on Solaris?" – jlliagre Jan 28 '15 at 20:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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