With shadowing turned off, setting a zero-length password
seems to corrupt the password data-base. Whether I do it by
editing /etc/passwd, or using passwd as root, the user is
unable to log on. Furthermore, even if root runs passwd
again to set a non-null password, that user remains hosed.
I cannot reproduce this. Are you using NIS or some other form of
authentication besides /etc/passwd? A non-root user cannot set a
null password with the passwd command; perhaps the old password is
still in force for you?
OK, 3029 does look like the same report...
The bug really does exist. I'm not sure why I couldn't recreate it
on my machine, but plenty of people have reported it. In any case,
it is clearly a duplicate of 3029. Thanks for your patience...
*** This bug has been marked as a duplicate of 3029 ***