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Linux/Windows Dual Boot password problem

  1. Oct 8, 2015 #1


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    I have recently put a Dual windows/Linux system on my laptop. One of the packages within Mathematica was only compatible within the Linux environment so it was suggested I do this dual boot. Since the two operating systems are independent (as far as I understand), I will need to reinstall Mathematica on the ubuntu system. I checked some wolfram documents and I can follow a procedure to get the installation through the terminal.

    However, one problem I am having is that it is (for administrative purposes) asking me for a current UNIX password. I have no idea what such a password is and I don't believe to have created one at all! So I am stuck at this step. Any suggestions?

    I used passwd within a terminal to try and change the password. I have tried my Windows password, it didn't work and a friend suggested I just press ENTER when it prompts me for an old password, that similarly didn't work and came up with 'authentication token manipulation error' then 'password unchanged' (both statements do not make sense to me. I tried doing it via the GUI and it shows that a current password is set to five characters long (or maybe the number of characters shown here is not important). I've never set a password this short so maybe it is a generic password set to all users on their first usage of linux?

    I know near to nothing about the linux environment so maybe I am missing something simple (I hope so)

    Many thanks! :)
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 8, 2015 #2


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    You would have given it a password when you installed Ubuntu, even if you told it not to require a password to log on. What normal user password do you use to unlock the screen when it locks? IIRC That should work as a root password as well.

    If not, try 'password' or 'root'.
  4. Oct 8, 2015 #3


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    Hi andrewkirk,
    I don't think any passwords were assigned when installing Ubuntu. When I switch on my computer, it takes me to the GRUB menu, from there it automatically runs Ubuntu unless I opt to run windows. I can run Ubuntu without having to put in any password. I actually got a family friend to do the dual boot for me and he said he didn't assign any passwords throughout the installation. The screen hasn't locked while I've been using Ubuntu. I've got a password in windows but that one is not working in Ubuntu.

    I found some procedures online such as one in here http://askubuntu.com/questions/24006/how-do-i-reset-a-lost-administrative-password to set the root password. I did so, however I am still unable to unlock administrative rights so I can continue with the installation of mathematica mentioned in OP. I thought maybe this root password coincides with admin password, at least that's the understanding I got from that link.

    Do you mean try these as passwords?
    Edit: Ah it worked! The admin password had been set to 'password'.

    Last edited: Oct 8, 2015
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