Easiest way to Change a Forgotten Password in Linux Mint 17.1 and Ubuntu 14.04

By | April 27, 2015
If you forget a password in Windows, you’re pretty much doomed. Linux has included a rather neat way of recovering an account by resetting or changing an account password through GRUB. This technique can also be used to recover an account, or hack into any account on a Linux machine (I do not endorse it; do it at your own risk).

Step 1:

If you have a system with dual boot enabled, you should get the GRUB menu (OS selection) the moment you start your PC. If you do not have a dual booting system, then you need to hold down the SHIFT key immediately as your PC starts to display the GRUB menu.

Step 2:

In this menu, highlight the default boot option (Linux Mint 17.1) as shown in the above image, and press ‘e’. On pressing ‘e’ you should get a screen that looks something like this:

On this screen, scroll down using your arrow keys until you find the line:

ro quiet splash $vt_handoff

It should look like this:

Now change that line to:

rw init=/bin/bash

It should look like this:

Then simply press F10 to boot your PC to a root terminal.

Step 3:

In this terminal, you need to type in:

passwd yourusername

Where “yourusername” should be replaced with whatever username you want to change the password for.

Don’t worry if no characters appear as you type your password; your password is still being entered.

Step 4:

Now, simply hard reboot your PC and login using your new password.

13 thoughts on “Easiest way to Change a Forgotten Password in Linux Mint 17.1 and Ubuntu 14.04

  1. dev@etooldev.com'dev

    After F10 several lines of text flash by and then just a blank screen. mint 17 3.13

    1. iamallisone.edge@gmail.com'Allison

      Yes after srveral tries it finally worked but one tip is to make sure there is not an underscore mark_ at the end of rw init=/bin/bash

  2. dharmocracy@gmail.com'Acharn

    Thank You, had to do it 3x before it worked. (first 2x got message saying panic kernel) and could not get to step 4
    Third time was successful so for others reading this it is worth trying a few times. Persistence beats Resistance

  3. Roguish@outlook.com'Roguish

    I am using Mint 18 Cinnamon 64 bit and the system itself seemed to forget my password. I didn’t forget or change it. So I used these instructions up to the point of pressing ‘e’. This did not work so I rebooted and pressed ‘esc’ and ‘e’ together. At this point the system opened up the home screen (I didn’t type my password). Now it works fine. The password is the same as it was before. So I’m guessing that simply rebooting several times made the system remember my password. Just a guess though.

  4. Joep42@epix.net'RetiredGeek

    I’m a retired IT professional and have recently ventured into the Linux Mint waters (why I am still screwing around with M$ and Windows?). Your instructions worked perfectly. Thanks!


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