Linux Change Password Using passwd Command Over SSH

in Categories , , , last updated January 7, 2018

I am a new Ubutnu Linux user. I backup files to our corporate Unix backup server using the rsync command. The server only allow to upload/download files. I am unable to login to the server. How do change my password using the passwd command over ssh based session?

For security reasons, your ssh based account has limited access to the server. You can only upload or download files using scp, sftp, rsync and so on. You may execute limited number of commands such as passwd, ls and so on.

Also, it is a good idea to change your password every month or at least every four months. Make sure you use combination of alphabets (upper and lower case characters), numbers, and special characters as a password to safeguard your account. You should choose a password of at least ten characters.

Changing the password for Linux or Unix over ssh

The procedure to change the user password on Linux or Unix over ssh:

  1. Open the Terminal application
  2. Type the following command to change password for vivek user using ssh:
    ssh -t vivek@IP-here passwd
  3. Type the following command to change password for root user using ssh:
    ssh -t root@server-IP-here passwd
  4. Type your current password when prompted. You must type new password twice

Let us see syntax and example in details.

Syntax

The syntax is:

ssh -t user@server-name-here passwd
ssh -t userName@server.ip.address.here passwd
ssh -t userName@192.168.1.20 passwd
ssh -t userName@192.168.1.20 /bin/passwd

Where,

Examples

In this example, change password for user called nixcraft on server1.cyberciti.biz by issuing the passwd command over ssh:

ssh -t nixcraft@server1.cyberciti.biz passwd
ssh -t vivek@nas01 passwd

Sample outputs:

Animated gif 01: Change password using the passwd command over ssh
Animated gif 01: Change password using the passwd command over ssh

Warning: If you skip the -t option, either you will see password in a plain text on screen or you will get an error that read as follows:
passwd: pam_chauthtok(): conversation failure

In this example, change password for user called vivek on nas01 by issuing the passwd command without the -t over ssh:

ssh nixcraft@server1.cyberciti.biz passwd
ssh vivek@nas01 passwd

Sample outputs:

Animated gif 02: Change password using the passwd command without -t option over ssh. Note down the password shown in clear text.
Animated gif 02: Change password using the passwd command without -t option over ssh. Note the password is shown in clear text.

See also
  • Read man pages for more info: ssh(1),passwd(1)

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.

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