Linux Articles listed under "passwd"
Setting the default root password: Some Live Linux distributions are created without a root password by default (the root account is inactive). This is particularly true with Debian based distributions like Ubuntu. Setting a root password enables us to access some essential tools such as the synaptic installer. In most cases, having no root password is fine when your running from a Live CD and don't need to do administration tasks, make changes or install additional packages. But for those of us who do want to make administrative changes and save them back to a USB device or local storage device on for example a properly created "casper-rw" partition. Setting the root password might then be necessary.