How to Reset Forgotten User Password on Ubuntu Linux

This post shows students and new users steps to easily reset a forgotten user password, including the root user on Ubuntu 17.04 | 17.10 and 18.04 LTS. We’re humans, and we forget stuff. When we do, we tend to go back in time to remember what was forgotten.

The same is true with passwords. We do forget a lot when it comes to passwords, and that’s why there are countless password managers to help us manage our passwords.

Forgetting your Ubuntu desktop or server password may prevent you from logging on physically or remotely. Some tools may be able to help you recover the password. However, the method below is the quickest and easiest way to do it.

When you’re ready, please continue below

To reset a user or root password, turn on the desktop or server and begin pressing the Esc key or Shift on your keyboard as soon as turn push the power button to display the Ubuntu boot menu.

If your timing is wrong and you miss the boot menu, you’ll have to restart the machine and try again until you see the screenshot below.

On the menu, select *Advanced options for Ubuntu

ubuntu reset user password

Next, select *Ubuntu, with Linux.x.x-generic (recovery mode). select the recovery mode for the same Grub version as the default. they both should have the same version number.

ubuntu user reset password

Next, use the scroll key and scroll down on the list and select root as shown on the screen below, then press the Enter key

Next, run the commands below to mount the shell with read/write permissions

mount -rw -o remount / 

After running the above commands, the shell should be remounted with read/write permissions. Now you can run limited sets of commands, including password change commands for user and root.

To reset a user password, run the commands below, replacing the username with the real account name or the user.

sudo passwd username

When you run the above commands, you’ll be prompted to create and confirm a password for the account name you mentioned. create it and you’re done.

Next, type reboot to restart the desktop or server and begin using the new password you just created.

This is how one resets a user or root password on Ubuntu servers and desktops.


This post showed you how to reset forgotten passwords on Ubuntu Linux. If you find any error above or have something to add, please use the comment form below.