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Reset the Root Password on CoreOS

Last Updated: Tue, Jul 28, 2020


If you are locked out of your CoreOS instance and have lost access to the root account, you need to boot into single-user mode and reset the root password.

Vultr creates CoreOS instances with a root user and password. The core user has sudo access and may log in with an SSH Key, if the key was selected when the instance was created. If you can log in as core with the SSH key, reset the root login by executing sudo passwd as core.

If you lost your SSH key, you can log in as core by editing the GRUB loader.

How to Reset the Root Password on CoreOS

  1. Access the instance console in the Vultr customer portal.

    Vultr Web Console

  2. Click the Send CtrlAltDel button on the top right of the web console.

    Send CtrlAltDel

    You can also click the Server Restart icon.

    Server Restart

  3. As the system boots, press ESC to bring up the GRUB boot prompt. The prompt happens early in the boot process. If you miss the prompt, you need to restart the server from the control panel and try again.

  4. At the GRUB boot prompt, press E to edit the first boot option.
  5. Find the kernel line starting with linux$.
  6. Add a space and the text coreos.autologin=tty1 to the end of the line.
  7. Press CTRL+X or F10 to boot.
  8. You will be logged in as core when the system boots.
  9. Run sudo passwd and follow the prompts to change the root password.
  10. Reboot the server.

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