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Reset the Root Password on FreeBSD

Last Updated: Tue, Jul 28, 2020
BSD FAQ

Introduction

If you are locked out of your FreeBSD instance and have lost access to the root account, you need to boot into single-user mode and reset the root password. These steps apply to FreeBSD 10.x, 11.x, and 12.x.

How to Reset the Root Password on FreeBSD

  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. At the boot menu, press 2 for single-user mode. 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 root prompt, type mount -u -a -o rw to remount the disk RW.
  5. Type passwd to change the root password.
  6. Reboot the server.

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