StarCluster - Mailing List Archive

Re: problem modifying starcluster AMI - ubuntu password change does not persist

From: Dan Tenenbaum <no email>
Date: Tue, 17 Jun 2014 13:54:45 -0700 (PDT)

Hi Rayson,

I went through a couple of iterations.

I started by using launching the SC AMI with the command documented at
( starcluster start -o -s 1 -I <INSTANCE-TYPE> -m <BASE-AMI-ID> imagehost)

Then I added chef to the running instance (I did not change any passwords at this point).

Then I created a new image from that using the starcluster ebimage command, and used vagrant (with the aws plugin) and chef to provision an instance of that image according to my needs and to change ubuntu's password.

I'm wondering if there are startup daemons, or NFS, or something, that somehow resets the /etc/passwd file or explicitly resets ubuntu's password?


----- Original Message -----
> From: "Rayson Ho" <>
> To: "Dan Tenenbaum" <>
> Cc:
> Sent: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 1:31:07 PM
> Subject: Re: [StarCluster] problem modifying starcluster AMI - ubuntu password change does not persist
> What tools did you use to create the AMI? Did you use the web console
> or you use the StarCluster command?
> If you use the SC ebsimage command, then did you change your password
> on the image host?
> Rayson
> ==================================================
> Open Grid Scheduler - The Official Open Source Grid Engine
> On Tue, Jun 17, 2014 at 3:17 PM, Dan Tenenbaum < >
> wrote:
> Hello,
> This might sound like an EC2 question that has nothing to do with
> starcluster, and in fact I have asked it on some AWS forums
> (there've been no answers). However, I have never encountered this
> problem before until I started modifying a starcluster AMI, so I
> wonder if it is related to what's on that AMI.
> I made a custom AMI based on the starcluster AMI ami-3393a45a
> (us-east-1 starcluster-base-ubuntu-13.04-x86_64 (EBS))).
> I installed a bunch of additional software and I also set the
> password of the ubuntu user to (let's say) 'foobar'.
> The reason I did that is that I installed a web app that uses unix
> usernames and passwords for authentication. So I needed the ubuntu
> user to have a known password.
> I then made a new image based on my running instance. Then I started
> a new instance from that image.
> I ssh'd to that instance as the ubuntu user and typed 'passwd'. I was
> prompted for my existing password and entered 'foobar'. I then got:
> passwd: Authentication token manipulation error
> passwd: password unchanged
> This tells me that the password for ubuntu is not 'foobar'.
> Another way to test this is to try 'su - ubuntu'. This prompts for
> the password, I enter 'foobar' and it says "su: Authentication
> failure".
> a nutshell, when I change the ubuntu password, this change
> does not survive the process of creating a new AMI.
> Could this be due to the way the starcluster AMI is configured? Is
> there some script that runs when it boots that re-sets that
> password? I'm not passing any user-data when I start the
> instance.....(I also tried a crontab _at_reboot job that changes the
> password and that didn't work maybe whatever is messing
> me up is happening after that job is run).
> Thanks,
> Dan
> _______________________________________________
> StarCluster mailing list
Received on Tue Jun 17 2014 - 16:54:49 EDT
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