One of the great annoyances in computing is the forgotten password and or account. I received a request to clone a VM on a vmware server which was running on Redhat. For whatever reason; probably due to rare access needs; I seem to forget the login for this particular system. I tried the root account and after a few iterations of passwords, I was rewarded with:

You do not have permissions to login to the server.

Strange since I obviously used this before? I checked around the configuration files to see if root was disabled and found it wasn’t.

At this point, I wondered if I had used another account to configure vmware server. I checked /etc/passwd and saw an obvious candidate but I wanted to make sure this was the account.

One way to verify the main account would be to examine the file: authorization.xml

[root@someserver]# more /etc/vmware/hostd/authorization.xml

<ConfigRoot>

  <ACEData id=”10″>

    <ACEDataEntity>80</ACEDataEntity>

    <ACEDataId>10</ACEDataId>

    <ACEDataIsGroup>false</ACEDataIsGroup>

    <ACEDataPropagate>true</ACEDataPropagate>

    <ACEDataRoleId>-1</ACEDataRoleId>

    <ACEDataUser>vmroot</ACEDataUser>

  </ACEData>

  <ACEData id=”11″>

    <ACEDataEntity>ha-folder-root</ACEDataEntity>

    <ACEDataId>11</ACEDataId>

    <ACEDataIsGroup>false</ACEDataIsGroup>

    <ACEDataPropagate>true</ACEDataPropagate>

    <ACEDataRoleId>-1</ACEDataRoleId>

    <ACEDataUser>vmroot</ACEDataUser>

  </ACEData>

  <NextAceId>11</NextAceId>

</ConfigRoot>

Looking at ACEDataUser; we see the account vmroot (name changed to protect the innocent). This was the same account found in /etc/password. After a couple tries, login was successful.

When you first install vmware server 2.0; you have the option to establish the main account. It can be root or a local account. There are reasons not to use root. In this situation; there was a user who wanted root access to vmware but was not allowed root access to the host.

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