Linux: Delete user password

by on February 16, 2006 · 14 comments· LAST UPDATED September 6, 2007

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Q. How do I delete user Password under Linux? I'd like to disable a password for an account.

A. All user encrypted passwords are stored in /etc/shadow file. The quick way to remove/delete a user password is pass --delete option to passwd command. First, login in as a root user.

Command to delete user password under Linux

Type the following command to delete a user password:
# passwd --delete username
# passwd -d username
Above command delete a user's password (make it empty). This is a quick way to disable a password for an account. It will set the named account passwordless. User will not able to login. It is also a good idea to setup user shell to nologin to avoid security related problems:# usrmod -s /sbin/nologin usernameFor example to delete password for user sweta, Type:# passwd -d sweta
# usrmod -s /sbin/nologin sweta

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 hemant May 28, 2007 at 7:19 am

I have a Doubt,I want ssh and sftp to remote machine without asking password.

I did lots of thing according to the net help but it is still asking password.

I did on server as follows

1) ssh-keygen -t dsa; ssh-keygen -t rsa
2) copied it on remote host in my home dir. /.ssh/authorized_key
but it is asking password
3) on server i gave command ssh-agent $SHELL and ssh-add
some simple mistake is there but i am not able to find out could anybody help me out.


2 Herberth Amaral December 28, 2010 at 10:37 am

The filename is “authorized_keys”, in plural :-)


3 hemant May 28, 2007 at 7:21 am

if 3/4 client machines are connected to a solaris server,what would be the command to know that each and every client machine using the memory and other resources of the server and upto what %


4 nixCraft May 28, 2007 at 2:43 pm


You are posting questions to wrong topic, anyway join our forum and post your question in appropriate thread.

For ssh see this FAQ


5 miranda starling December 15, 2007 at 11:42 pm

i need help on deleting my myspace account i lost my password on there.. and i need it deleted so i can put a new one up there,

i would appreciate any tips thankz
miranda s


6 sunilkumar May 21, 2009 at 10:35 am

plese send shortcut command in my email id .


7 Nik January 2, 2010 at 3:18 pm

nice one, though I did not require the nologin part, now I can log in without password.


8 Randy July 11, 2010 at 4:12 pm

UHm. I tried this but this it says permission denied .. and this is the only account on this ubuntu. So I’m lost :S


9 luke December 25, 2014 at 11:36 am

Use the ‘sudo’ command (without quotes) before the commands, for example, to delete password for user sweta, Type:
# sudo passwd -d sweta
# sudo usrmod -s /sbin/nologin sweta
if it still doesn’t allow you to, then edit the following file: /etc/sudoers
there are many articles about this on forums. Basically find all lines like this:
yourusername ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL
%yourgroupname ALL=(ALL) ALL
and change ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL (and) ALL=(ALL) ALL
also, make sure the
#includedir /etc/sudoers.d
line has to hashes (##)
hope the long post helps.


10 antoni September 30, 2010 at 2:26 pm

this si how my line looks like:
sudo passwd -d username

it worked, but my friend forgot to type sudo, (read everything before starting :P)


11 felix May 28, 2011 at 6:24 pm

i forgot password on linux cp, DELL is there any way to get in my account without password


12 masum August 13, 2011 at 9:04 am

i am a user of linux.but i forget my linux password please help me to delete passwogr


13 anonymous April 29, 2014 at 7:26 pm

The following line:

It will set the named account passwordless. User will not able to login.

is inaccurate, at least on Centos 6.x. This page should make it very plainly clear that disabling a password disables password checking and does NOT disable the account. On the console, this means you can log in with no credentials. PAM likely prevents this from working with SSH in default configurations, but PAM is not always configured for sshd.


14 luke December 25, 2014 at 11:18 am

This worked for me, i think, although I also edited the sudoers file so im not sure which is to blame.


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