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Changing The Administrator Password In Ubuntu

Theresa in Detroit, Michigan listens on AM800 CKLW and asked us about password changes in Ubuntu


Theresa asked: “Where can I reset the administrative password on the Ubuntu system on my laptop? It’s kinda old – like 2006 or something, but I need to reset this password so I can do updates.”


Theresa, surprisingly enough, resetting the password in Ubuntu isn’t actually that hard. They consider that if you have physical access to the computer, you can somehow get in, so they make changing the administrator password relatively easy.

The first step is that you’d need hold down the left Shift key during bootup, that should get you into a menu where you can choose to go into recovery mode.

Recovery mode itself will land you on another menu with a bunch of options, you can go straight to the one that says “root”.

Under root mode, you’ll see a black screen with just “root@ubuntu:~/” and a blinking cursor next to it. If you’re familiar with the Linux console it will look normal to you, if not, don’t worry, this is what’s supposed to happen.

Here you’re in a read-only mode, so you’ll have to remount the file system so it will allow you to make changes. You can accomplish that by typing: “mount -o rw, remount /”.

After that your last step is to type the command “passwd” followed by the administrator account’s name so, something like “passwd Administrator” or “passwd Theresa”.

That’s it, just type the new password, type it again to confirm (don’t worry if nothing shows up on screen when you do, that’s normal), and you’re all set with a new password. Just reboot, and use Linux as you normally would after that.



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Written by Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline is the founder, Host & Executive Producer of "Into Tomorrow" in addition to being President of the Advanced Media Network".

Dave is also a trusted and familiar voice on many national commercials & narrations in addition to being an authority in consumer tech since 1994. He is also a former Police Officer and an FBI Certified Instructor.

Dave thrives on audience participation!

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