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Linux Administration: Resetting the root password when forgotten.

So you've lost the password to the root account.  Worst, you've had a boot password and it was the same.  Here are some instructions on how to get back into your system:

Create a user on another Unix / Linux operating system.

# useradd resetrootpass

then set the password on the new user:

# passwd resetrootpass

once password is set, edit the /etc/shadow file and copy the encrypted password text:

# cat /etc/shadow

to the /etc/shadow root's password field on your OS where you've forgotten your password too (You may need to use a boot CD like a Linux Live CD to mount the system with then mount the partition to get access to the /etc/ folder).

Once you replace the root's encrypted string with the new one you created above for an arbitrary user, you should be able to boot and login with the new password.


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