How to Reset Forgotten Password on Ubuntu Linux

computer screen with icons on dashboard
computer screen with icons on dashboard

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

The same is valid with passwords. Unfortunately, we forget a lot about passwords, so 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.

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. When you 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, scroll down on the list, select root as shown on the screen below, and press Enter.

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 the user and root.

To reset a user password, run the commands below, replacing the username with the actual 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. Please use the comment form below if you find any errors above or have something to add.

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I love computers; maybe way too much. What I learned I try to share at


  1. After performing the above steps I was able to Login. Thanks for that. But now I have a different problem which I think is related to the thing which I did to change my password which is:
    “Enter Password to unlock your login keyring”
    How can this be resolved…..?????

  2. After about 8 hours and many days trying to reset a forgotten password on Xubuntu I finally found your site and solution, There were many similar sites but all had slight mistakes that didn’t all terminal to accept. Yours was well explained and really easy to follow,

    Thanks very much and keep up the good work. Len

  3. One love, just successful changed my password. Great thanks to this forum.

  4. Abdullah Alasmari

    Still asking for my password

    1. When I drop to root it still wants a password!

  5. NELSON Deshotel


  6. Thank you

  7. Sir, I forget my Koha password in server and i have not registered koha for rest password, some options are not working (like recovery menu ) please help me about it.

  8. Got thru stages
    Advanced options for Ubuntu
    Ubuntu recovery mode
    drop to root shell etc.
    Then the many lines of text-
    After that all I have is a request to enter my password or alternative
    I cannot proceed beyond this stage
    Appreciate some help
    Alan Light

    1. Me to the same problem.

      After that all I have is a request to enter my password or alternative
      Please help me

  9. i have followed all the instructions. after i have done the
    passwd command, the next line is “enter a new UNIX password;:

    keying will not produce in letters or numbers.

    what is wrong?

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