Forgot root password

Discussion in 'Technical' started by leno, Apr 21, 2005.

  1. leno

    leno New Member

    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...

  2. tylerdurden

    tylerdurden New Member

    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.

  3. leno

    leno New Member

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

  4. themachine

    themachine New Member HowtoForge Supporter

    /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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