I had done a silly thing and pressed enter on the command:

$ killall -u root

And now we can't log in. The last command ran was:

ws4-clarind:~ # killall -u root
Connection to ws4-clarind.esc.rzg.mpg.de closed by remote host.
Connection to ws4-clarind.esc.rzg.mpg.de closed.
xxx@con99:~> ssh [email protected]
ssh: connect to host ws4-clarind.esc.rzg.mpg.de port 22: Connection refused

How could i restore root's login to the server?

  • I'd say a powerdown and backup is your only option? Never been in that situation before. Is the console still active? if so, login using that and do a clean shutodwn / reboot. Jan 30, 2014 at 14:38
  • it's a vm in a vm...
    – alvas
    Jan 30, 2014 at 14:39
  • 1
    Ok, can you get to the console through the VM manager? If you can, the login process should be on a respawn - although if cron has died I'm not sure what the state will be. If you can login, /etc/init.d/network restart && /etc/init.d/sshd restart might work. Jan 30, 2014 at 14:52

2 Answers 2


You can only restart the server at this point, as a ton of processes that are autostarted on startup and that are integral to the function of such a server were killed, including (possibly) init, the parent of all processes. You're going to have to restart the server.


If you have the physical server on-premise. Connect the monitor and login with root. Once login run the comment #/etc/init.d/sshd restart. Afterward, you can able to access the ssh remotely

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