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Reset the Root Password on Ubuntu

Last Updated: Tue, Jul 28, 2020
FAQ Ubuntu

Introduction

If you are locked out of your Ubuntu 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 Ubuntu 18.x, 19.x and 20.x.

How to Reset the Root Password on Ubuntu

  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 /boot/.
  6. Add a space and the text init=/bin/bash to the end of the line.
  7. Press CTRL+X or F10 to boot into single-user mode.
  8. The system will boot and you will see the root prompt.
  9. Run mount -o remount,rw / to mount the system volume.
  10. Run passwd and follow the prompts to change the root password.
  11. Reboot the server.

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