Reset forgotten/lost main user password in Linux Mint 12+

  10 years ago

This is an updated version of this turorial modified by advice from eiger3970 in the comments section of said tutorial.

To reset your lost or fogotten password:

  1. Reboot your computer / Turn your computer on.
  2. Hold down the Shift key at the start of the boot process to enable the GNU GRUB2 boot menu (if it does not show)
  3. Select the entry for your Linux installation
  4. Press e to edit.
  5. Use the Arrow keys to navigate to a line that looks similar to this:

    linux /boot/vmlinuz-[kernel version]-generic root=UUID=[letters and numbers]\[letters and numbers] ro quiet splash vt.handoff=7
  6. Change ro quiet splash vt.handoff=7 to rw init=/bin/bash so it now reads:

    linux /boot/vmlinuz-[kernel version]-generic root=UUID=[letters and numbers]\[letters and numbers] rw init=/bin/bash
  7. Press F10 to boot your system.
  8. Your system will boot up to a passwordless root shell.
  9. Type in passwd yourusername
    (if you have also forgotten your username, type cat /etc/passwd first to get a list of all users, yours should be at the end)
  10. Set your new password.
  11. Restart your system.
deeslattery 5 years ago

This worked for me but every time i logon again or the screen locks , I need to redo the steps. Am I missing something simple?
Thanks, Deirdre

Kshatrya 5 years ago

Thank you! This works like a charm for 18.1.

bad-and-ugly 7 years ago

Is there a tutorial like this for Mint 17? These instructions didn't work for me...

nickeberta 8 years ago

This kind of worked for me but I can't access my encrypted homefolder anymore (of cause I lost the paraphrase as well).

winkleswizard 8 years ago

Worked for me on Rosa!

alsan 8 years ago

Thanks for the tutorial. The step 2 might be outdated, it's Shift-Esc in my case (I'm using mint 17.3).

Also, after renew the password, the keyring is outdated too. All I did is remove the login.keyring file under ~/.local/share/keyrings/ and let the system recreate a default keyring for me.

Hope these help someone else.

torchfire 9 years ago

You are a life-saver. Thanks for the great instructions. Note: On #8, for a newbie, there doesn't seem to be a prompt character at the end of the process. I kept waiting, but after a couple of minutes, I decided to go ahead and enter cat /etc/passwd and it worked. (It didn't bring up a simple list of users for me, but as SoWhy noted, my user name was at the bottom of that output.) Then I proceeded to the passwd yourusername command and it worked like a charm. Saved me from having to reinstall Mint altogether. I'm on 17.1 Rebecca Cinnamon. 4-15-2015 - Tax Day, here in the US. Thanks again for the helpful tutorial.

turkert 9 years ago

You saved my life. Mint 14 (Nadia)

w5gcx 9 years ago

in Linux MInt 16 it does not bring up rootless shell and let me set new pasword

FLOWXP 10 years ago

You saved my life !!
this update is much more assuring and easier to use for a newbie
thank you !!

cdaaawg 10 years ago

This method does not work for my Mint 13 Maya 64 bit installation. I get a black screen with no boot messages after pressing F10.

jahid_0903014 10 years ago


MagicMint 10 years ago

In contrast to simply using the recovery mode entry of the menu, this method will also let you recover the root password.

Hammer459 10 years ago

Good tutorial on a rare but important topic