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Title : Reset the SYSTEM password on OpenVMS 8.4
Author : Remy van Elst
Date : 03-02-2021
URL : https://raymii.org/s/blog/OpenVMS_reset_SYSTEM-password.html
Format : Markdown/HTML
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 c
ommandline to boot into single user mode. It is tested on the AXPbox Alpha emulator, I forgot my password after not using it fo
r 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
Replace `dqa0` by your boot device.
Enter the following commands in the next prompt to boot into single user mode:
SET WINDOW_SYSTEM 0
SET WRITESYSPARAMS 0
Type following DCL commands to reset the SYSTEM account password:
SET DEFAULT SYS$SYSTEM:
MODIFY SYSTEM /PASSWORD=example
Exit out of `UAF` with `CTRL+Z` and reboot the system (`SHUTDOWN` or `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 (`passwd`) and
rebooting (`exec /sbin/init 6`). You need physical access as well and the
OpenVMS procedure is very similar, albeit with different commands.
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