Reset the SYSTEM password on OpenVMS 8.4
Published: 03-02-2021 | Author: Remy van Elst | Text only version of this article
This short post shows you how to reset the SYSTEM account password on a single OpenVMS 8.4 ALpha machine via the serial console. You need physical access to the machine and the procedure looks a lot like linux and appending
init=/bin/bash to the GRUB commandline to boot into single user mode. It is tested on the AXPbox Alpha emulator, I forgot my password after not using it for a month.
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This procedure was tested with the AXPbox Alpha emulator and VSI OpenVMS 8.4-1.
Boot into single user mode
Type following command in boot console to perform a conversational boot:
P00>>> boot dqa0 -flags 0,1
dqa0 by your boot device.
Enter the following commands in the next prompt to boot into single user mode:
SET/STARTUP OPA0: SET WINDOW_SYSTEM 0 SET WRITESYSPARAMS 0 CONTINUE
Type following DCL commands to reset the SYSTEM account password:
SPAWN @SYS$SYSTEM:STARTUP SET DEFAULT SYS$SYSTEM: RUN SYS$SYSTEM:AUTHORIZE MODIFY SYSTEM /PASSWORD=example
Exit out of
CTRL+Z and reboot the system (
REBOOT) and you should
be able to login with the newly reset password.
On Debian systems you can reset a root password by rebooting, appending
init=/bin/bash to the
linux line of GRUB (bootloader), remounting the disk
as read-write (
mount -o remount,rw) resetting the password (
exec /sbin/init 6). You need physical access as well and the
OpenVMS procedure is very similar, albeit with different commands.