How to reset Administrator/Root password in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

Almost all Linux distros won’t give you with an easy password reset option on the login screen like typically seen in a Windows computer. But don’t worry, it is simple to change the password through the Ubuntu Recovery mode.

This tutorial should work for almost all Ubuntu versions, but just in case if it didn’t do let us know in comments of which version didn’t work for you. I have tested it on Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS successfully.

Reset root login password in Ubuntu

Step 1: Shutdown the computer.

Step 2: Start the computer and keep the left SHIFT key pressed to boot into Ubuntu boot menu. If you are dual booting with other OS like Windows, then select Ubuntu and then immediately keep the SHIFT key pressing. Note that you are running Ubuntu on VMware, you have to hit ESC button instead.

Step 3: Use UP/DOWN arrow keys to navigate and select ‘Advanced options for Ubuntu’.

Grub - Ubuntu
Grub – Ubuntu

Step 4: Select second item in the list ‘Ubuntu, with Linux 4.2.0-30-generic (recovery mode)’. The Linux version in your case may be different depending on your Ubuntu version.

Launch Ubuntu Recovery Mode
Launch Ubuntu Recovery Mode

Step 5: Once in Recovery mode (also termed as Safe mode), use arrow keys to navigate and select ‘root’ and hit enter.

Step 6: You should now see a root prompt at the bottom of the same screen.

root@ubuntu:~#

Currently, Ubuntu file system will be read-only. You must remount it with write permissions:

mount -rw -o remount /

Ubuntu Recovery Mode
Ubuntu Recovery Mode

Now we shall use unix ‘passwd’ command to reset the password for an account. You must know the account login name.

root@ubuntu:~# passwd kiran
Enter new UNIX password:
Retype new UNIX password:
passwd: password updated successfully

Ubuntu Password Reset Success
Ubuntu Password Reset Success

That’s it.

Kiran Kumar
Hi there! I'm Kiran Kumar, founder of FOSSLinux.com. I'm an avid Linux lover and enjoy hands-on with new promising distros. Currently, I'm using Ubuntu as a daily driver and run several other distros such as Fedora, Solus, Manjaro, Debian, and some new ones on my test PC and virtual machines. I have a day job as an Engineer, and this website is one of my favorite past time activities, especially during Winter ;). When I'm not writing for FOSSLinux, I'm seen biking and hiking on scenic trails. I hope you enjoy using this website as much as I do writing for it. Feedback from readers is something that inspires me to do more and spread Linux love!. If you find a time, drop me an email or feedback from the 'Contact' page. Or simply leave a comment below if you found this article useful. Have a good day!

1 COMMENT

  1. Thank you, Kiran, for this so helpful article! After an update from ubuntu 12 to 14.04 LTS ubuntu wouldn’t accept my original password any more, so I was in a bad fix.
    BUT: Although having followed your instructions (and finding everything as described), I couldn’t go on from the point where it’s asking me for the new UNIX password. NO KEYBOARD STROKE seems to work. If I hit return, it re-asks the new password.
    But in the end I always receive the message that changing the password didn’t work (I’m using German language system, so I didn’t give the exact wording – but the meaning).
    How can I get around this, Kiran? It would be nice if you could give me a clue. Thank you!

Leave a Reply to Juergs Cancel reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

STAY CONNECTED

23,661FansLike
359FollowersFollow
16SubscribersSubscribe

LATEST ARTICLES

How to install Lightworks on Ubuntu

Even though Linux may not get a native installer of video editing software like Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro, that doesn't mean there are no industry standards tools available. Lightworks is non-linear editing (NLE) video mastering app for Windows, Linux, and macOS. Installing it on Ubuntu is simple due to deb package availability.

How to install DaVinci Resolve on Fedora

Davinci Resolve is a professional application used for color correction, video editing, visual effects, and motion graphics. It is one of the extensively used software by movie industries located in Hollywood.

The 10 Best Programming Languages for Hacking

One of the significant entities we have in Cyber Security is Ethical Hacking (ETH). It is the process of detecting and finding flaws or vulnerabilities in a system that a hacker would exploit.

5 Ways to Open a Terminal in Ubuntu

Even though Ubuntu supports many applications with amazing Graphical User Interfaces (GUI), there are always reasons why users prefer using the Terminal to perform different tasks.

How to install Wine on Fedora Workstation

Linux distributions are becoming more and more popular every day, and Fedora Workstation is not left behind. This popularity brings forth the need to run Windows applications on Linux distros like Fedora. Windows has quite some excellent Software that is not available for Linux.

How to download and install iTunes on Linux

iTunes has always been a convenient platform for downloading, organizing, playing, and syncing media between your Apple devices. It also gives users a large pool of media to buy or stream millions of songs using Apple Music.

MUST READ

Linux is growing faster than ever. As per the latest report, there is a drop in the Windows 10 market share for the first time, and Linux's market share has improved to 2.87% this month. Most of the features in the list were rolled out in the Pop OS 20.04. Let's a detailed look into the new features, how to upgrade, and a ride through video.
Elementary OS 5.1 Hera has received a point release with a handful of new features and bug fixes, and we will be reviewing the significant changes in this article. For those new to elementary OS, this Ubuntu-based Linux distribution uses their inhouse built Pantheon desktop environment and AppCenter.

The 6 Best Download Managers for Fedora

It is a well-known fact that using download managers can help improve download speeds as compared to web browsers. Apart from the inbuilt download manager wget on Fedora, just as on any distribution that is based on GNU/Linux package, there are more options to explore.

Ubuntu MATE 20.04 LTS Review: Refinement at its Best

Ubuntu MATE 20.04 LTS was released a week ago after two years of development. Official updates and security patches will be provided until April 2025. I have installed it on my test laptop for a spin and here are my observations based on almost a week usage.

What is FOSS, and how does it differ from Freeware

The rise of the Linux operating system, in all its various distributions, over the past few decades has catapulted the popularity of Free or Open Source Software (FOSS). Let's guide you in understanding what is FOSS, how it differs from freeware and is Linux a FOSS.

6 Best Linux Distros for Laptops

Whether buying a Linux pre-installed laptop or selecting a Linux distro for your existing laptop, there are many things to consider. Let's take you through some of the best Linux distros that are optimized for Laptops in this 2019 edition of the article. Read on.