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i have an old (2014) raspbian installation on raspberry pi. it boots, i can see it, try to login in, but seems i forgot the correct pswd. Is there a way to reset this installation to fresh or to add a new user or something like that - via ssh?

My goal is, to simply use this installation as a samba server in a small intranet. Practically, i would like to be able to use this old raspbian because it's still free of all that systemctl mess ... ;)

Otherwise, is there a link to older versions of raspbian or arch for pi 1?

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There is no chance to login or modify your raspi through ssh without authentication. ssh is called secure shell and very much effort is taken to make it really secure. Thousands of attacks every hour are taken against port 22 (default ssh port) on hosts in the internet without success if you have selected a good password. You can use the attackers tools against your raspi. If you had used a week password it may get you to login.

For older versions of raspbian you can look at https://downloads.raspberrypi.org/

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If you have a 2014 Wheezy installation you can upgrade to the latest Wheezy release (May 2015) - assuming the download links are still there.

All the Foundation images are available for fresh download https://downloads.raspberrypi.org/raspbian/images/

If you have forgotten your password you can logon to a recovery console and reset it, but this would require a direct connection. If you search this site you will find instructions by @goldilocks to do this - you need to edit /boot/cmdline.txt to do this.

You can upgrade with the normal sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get upgrade and it can be done over ssh - although I would make a backup first, as there were a number of changes.

Some e.g. dhcpcd networking and desktop upgrades needed extra packages to be manually downloaded e.g. https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/another-raspbian-desktop-user-interface-update/ and https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/changes-to-the-raspbian-user-interface/ but the OS should work as well (or poorly) as before without these.

Personally I wouldn't use the SysV mess!

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