IP Office Server Edition/App Server/UCM Can't escalate to root

Avaya, in their infinite wisdom, decided to take away root access over SSH connections. This was put into place for versions 10.1 SP7, 10.1 SP8,, and 11.1. Of course, this makes it very difficult to provide remote support!

Naturally Avaya's customer base revolted at this, so Avaya will be bringing back root access for upcoming releases. Well, that doesn't help if you're stuck now! To that end I've figured out what was blocking it and created a simple workaround. It will require direct access to the system. If you're using VMWare this can be through the VMWare console, otherwise you will need physical access to the server. If you're working on a UC Module remember that the HDMI port will not be active until you reboot. You should be able to execute the commands without a monitor, but being able to see what you're doing is a lot easier. Follow these steps to allow SSH access to root. You will still need to log in as Administrator when connecting via SSH, but you will no longer get the dreaded 'incorrect password' error.

  1. Log in to the server (direct-connect) as root, using the Security password
  2. enter the command usermod -a -G wheel Administrator 
That's all it takes! Now you should be able to SSH to the system and log in as Administrator. Once logged in enter the command admin, then log in again. Now you can enter root and log in with the security password.

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