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Production servers usually have remote control device like DRAC or ILO so there are two network connection for the server.
This is very common problem, especially if you access the remote server infrequently. Often the time you need to access the server the password is already forgotten and the simplistic rule that you should not write down passwords blow up in your face. Generally, if regular passwords are used in the organization it is important to wear electronic watches with memo pad (such as Timex Men's Ironman Data Link USB Watch or Casio Databank watches ) that is capable of storing passwords. Cell phone also can be used unless you often forget it at home (I do). Sudo can (and should) be configured to provide opportunity for a wheel group to get to root.
Hosing Your Root Account
This was/is a common mistake on Solaris where the shell used for root is generally unusable for serious sysadmn work. Everybody and his brother are changing is either to bash to ksh. But errors in doing so lead to unintended consequences after the reboot :-).
Typically you get error messages like these:
login: root Password: Login incorrect
This is why using sudo is important. If wheel group is defined as equivalent to root and you are in this group you can fix the errors without typical tricks used for recovering root password or restoring access to root account.
Here is one recollection of this situation (From: email@example.com (John Ellithorpe), Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Here's a pretty bad story. I wanted to have root use tcsh instead of the Bourne shell. So I decided to copy tcsh to /usr/local/bin. I created the file, /etc/shells, and put in /usr/local/bin/tcsh, along with /bin/sh and /bin/csh.
All seems fine, so I used the chsh command and changed root's shell to /usr/local/bin/tcsh. So I logged out and tried to log back in. Only to find out that I couldn't get back in. Every time I tried to log in, I only got the statement: /usr/local/bin/tcsh: permission denied!
I instantly realized what I had done. I forgot to check that tcsh has execute privileges and I couldn't get in as root!
After about 30 minutes of getting mad at myself, I finally figured out to just bring the system down to single-user mode, which ONLY uses the /bin/sh, thankfully, and edited the password file back to /bin/sh.
I'll never do that again. This wasn't that much of a horror story, but good enough if you aren't that familiar with the system.
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