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 forgot a lot when it comes to passwords… 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. There are tools that 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 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

ubuntu user reset 2

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 commends, including password change commands for user and root.

To reset a user password, run the commands below, replacing 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 desktop.


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


  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. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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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