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I got my datacenter to export my virtual machines and send them to me on a disk. They did so as VDI exports.

So I have Virtual Box 5.2 installed. I've created a machine with same specs and attached the VDI file. The machine boots up fine.

It gives me the login screen: Ubuntu 14.04.3 LTS compname.domain tty1 compname login:

I enter the username and simply get back compname login:

Whether I enter a right user name or a nonsense name, I get the same thing. I never get the chance to enter a password.

Obviously I was accessing via SSH at the data center. But I thought that for some very basic operations, running in the VirtualBox "terminal" would be the simple way to gain access to this machine.

What am I doing wrong?

Thanks!

  • I have now booted the VM in question from Knoppix and am looking at the drive whose Ubuntu installation will not let me log in. – Daniel Wilson Dec 1 '17 at 13:04
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As it turns out, the sudoers file was damaged ... and maybe more stuff. So, here are my notes on recovering the data. Hopefully they help someone in a similar situation.

  • Set broken VM's networking to Host Only
  • boot the broken VM to Knoppix "inserting" the ISO in its "CD drive".
  • Mount the disk
  • Find the stuff wanted
  • start SSH service
  • Create user with known password. The fact he can't sudo is OK.
  • Open up permissions of stuff desired to be retrieved. I'm not sure how this is possible with a read-only HDD, but I'm not arguing.
  • On a different clean VM with plenty of disk space ... also on Host Only networking ... verify SSH to the broken VM under Knoppix.
  • retrieve stuff via rsync
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