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Why can't I disable root login on this Mac?
September 11, 2008 7:26 PM   Subscribe

Mac OS 10.5: why can't I disable root login?

Wife's Macbook: yesterday I did a restore from a manual backup using this method. This required me to enable and login as root (using this method), which I had never done before.

Now, I can't disable root. When I run Directory Utility, it offers me Enable Root User in the appropriate menu, but not Disable Root User, despite the fact that root login is enabled. (This is after unlocking and logging in as [wife's name] per the instructions.) I've tried it many times yesterday and today, and have restarted the machine several times. Root login is still enabled, which I know because I can still log in as root.

I'm not at all afraid to do this in Terminal if you tell me how.
posted by neuron to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
 
Try:

$ dsenableroot -d
posted by zamboni at 8:09 PM on September 11, 2008


passwd -l root is the old-school way to lock root logins on *nixboxen, and should still work on Macs. You need to be logged in as root to make it work.
posted by flabdablet at 1:26 AM on September 12, 2008


When I run Directory Utility, it offers me Enable Root User in the appropriate menu, but not Disable Root User, despite the fact that root login is enabled

Did you click the lock in the Directory Utility window and enter an administrator account name and password before looking for Disable Root in the Edit menu?
posted by flabdablet at 1:30 AM on September 12, 2008


passwd -l root is the old-school way to lock root logins on *nixboxen, and should still work on Macs. You need to be logged in as root to make it work.

Careful:

$ man passwd
...
-l, --lock

Lock the password of the named account. This option disables a password by changing it to a value which matches no possible encrypted value (it adds a ´!´ at the beginning of the password).

Note that this does not disable the account. The user may still be able to login using another authentication token (e.g. an SSH key).
(This is on a Linux box, but I wouldn't be surprised if the same applied to OSX.)
posted by pharm at 11:54 AM on September 12, 2008


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