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leno 21st April 2005 16:07

Forgot root password
I've forgotten the root password of my desktop computer. :eek: :mad:
Is there a way I can set a new one so that I can login as root again?
I know this shouldn't have happened, and I could beat my head on my table all day long... Grrrr...


tylerdurden 21st April 2005 17:58

Get a rescue CD (e.g. from here:, boot your computer from it, then login as root (if you use the rescue CD mentioned before, the password is rescue, then mount your hard disk, chroot to it and set a new password for root:


mount -t auto /dev/hda1 /mnt
cd /mnt
chroot /mnt
passwd root

Reboot your PC (don't forget to take out the RescueCD), and should be able to login as root.


leno 22nd April 2005 12:01

Thanks tyler, you were a great help. I have root access again! :) :) :)


themachine 9th October 2005 00:40

/bin/bash it!
Just a reference for anyone else reading this... you can just as easily change root's password with out the use of a LiveCD.

reboot the box
at the boot loader do the following:


linux init=/bin/bash


type 'e' to edit the default kernel line
then 'e' again on the line that starts with 'kernel'
add 'init=/bin/bash' to the end of the 'kernel' line
type 'b' to boot it

once you're at a /bin/bash prompt...

remount the filesystem read/write (will be ro when bin/bash'ing)

# mount -o remount,rw /

then change the passwd

# passwd root

remount the filesystem read/only (keep things clean)

# mount -o remount,ro /

CTR-ALT-DELETE (though this will result in a kernel panic most likely)

reboot the system and you should be good to go.

This however will not work if you've locked down the boot loader and have misplaced that password as well.

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