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Forgot your Ubuntu Password? All is not lost.

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It’s always a pain when you forget your password, and i’ve often done it on an Ubuntu install. All however is not lost as a stock Ubuntu install its quite easy to reset your password

The first trick is to reboot the box, and after the computers bios screen comes up, press the ESC key a few times or press the Shift key this should bring up the Ubuntu Grub boot menu



As with the above image the numbers may be slightly different as kernel’s version numbers increase however select the first option with (Recovery Mode) in the title and press enter. This will boot Ubuntu Read Only and present you with a menu which looks a bit like this.



Selecting root will drop ou to a command prompt with root access

At this point you can do the following

to change the root password type:


to change a users password type:

passwd <username>

so for example:

passwd david

You can then enter a new password, however you might get the following error

root@username-PC:~# passwd username

Enter new UNIX password:

Retype new UNIX password: passwd:

Authentication token manipulation error passwd: password unchanged

This is happening because the filesystem has mounted read-only and the update to the filesystem can’t be written.. to resolve this type

mount -rw -o remount /

And they try and change your password, and all should be right with the world.

Now just reboot the PC and login with the new password.


One comment on “Forgot your Ubuntu Password? All is not lost.

  1. frustrated IT engineer
    January 13, 2013

    Reblogged this on Frustrated IT Engineer.

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