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I am just curious of this, so:

if I change my "root" password using passwd, does this by default change my telnet and ftp password?

Also, is it possible to change telnet and ftp "root" account password differently from the system "root" account password?

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If you don't have a valid reason to use telnet, I would advice to use Secure Shell instead (SSH). – Marco Jul 30 '12 at 8:17
up vote 1 down vote accepted

usually telnet ftp and so on on Linux rely on PAM.

root will therefore always have the same password to be used with different services.

Some ftp implementations maintain their own user db and may not rely on PAM and you may have different passwords then.

Anyway it's verly likely that services as telnet, ftp will not allow root user, as they do not transfer data encrypted but plain and anyone on the network could read the passwords

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Telnet and ftp servers usually use Linux users for login. So if you change root password, root passwords for telnet and ftp will also change.

For the second question. You can add another user, login as him and run su command to change user to root. Or you can use sudo for commands that need root privileges.

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