Linux: Resetting a user’s password

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Q. How do I reset a user’s password under any Linux distribution from command prompt?

A. To reset a user’s password, use passwd command. You have to change it to a different password.

Login as the root user

Open terminal or shell prompt

Type the following command:
# passwd username
For example, reset a tom’s password, enter:
# passwd tom
Type a new password twice.

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

15 comment

  1. Sir,
    I introduce myself as I dont have knowledge of linux systems .But I want to learn LINUX.
    I have a problem in a Digital Video Recorder Linux based embeded system which used HD for rrecording Video images.Os and applications are in the motherboard only.As I switch on the system, the screen shows INITIALISE and then the application starts itself.we cannot log into the admin of application to setup the system. The connected cameras are viewable.The user has lost or deleted the admin password.
    Please guide me how to solve the problem. The system is working as normal except the admin login .I dont know the version of LINUX operating system.Or I need ghosting of program from one good system(I have another machine in good working status with password.

  2. i was going to reset the root password and it doesen’t work it was saying somthing like control-d command and i can’t type in “passwd best”

  3. i open help of yahoo site. i open how to change my password.
    it open the page but my cursur does not work, it doesn’t type a single letter.
    so many times i did it but it doesn’t go… please help.


  5. Hello sir,
    This is XXX,I want kill other user’s processes in linux.
    Anyone having idea about this,pls send solution.
    Thx in advance……………………

  6. their is no permissions to change the password even though if we change the password it gives changed successfully how come it can give in a normal user

  7. How to allow permissions linux users to change their password them self?

    i am unable to change the user password as a consign user id login.

    [czfgbw@umberla06 ~]$ passwd
    Changing password for user czfgbw.
    Changing password for czfgbw
    (current) UNIX password:
    passwd: Authentication token manipulation error

  8. I have run into an issue with forcing a user to change their password on first login onto a server where the user logs onto the server they are asked to enter their old password, then the new one. When they enter the new one, no matter what password they use, an message appears that states their password is a dictionary word and will not let them change it.
    Is there a way to fix this??

  9. hey I did the procedure but the system replied saying there is a TOKEN conflict, ……. so I asked to myself…… what is this #%”#%, anybody please help!!! this is a call to the geek world!!!

  10. I am not able to change the password, and since i cannot update (cause i need the password) I’m pretty much stuck, I got this laptop as a gift and the person who gave it to me forgot the admin password, and he deleted all updates and such, it’s so bad that not even flash player from adobe is installed, I need urgent help. I tried the things above but i am not able to type after i finally get to change the password, it just says its a token error. HELP

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