How Do I Reset My Root Password in Linux 5?


In the world of Linux, it’s not uncommon to forget your root password. Whether you’re a seasoned Linux user or a newbie, this can be a frustrating experience. But fear not, as we’re here to guide you through the process of resetting your root password in Linux 5. In this detailed article, we’ll provide you with step-by-step instructions, expert insights, and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs). By the end of this guide, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to regain access to your Linux system.

How do I Reset My Root Password in Linux 5?

Understanding the Importance of Root Password

Before we dive into the reset process, let’s briefly discuss why the root password is so crucial in Linux. The root account is the ultimate authority on a Linux system, akin to an administrator account in Windows. It allows you to make system-wide changes, install software, and perform critical maintenance tasks. Losing access to this account can hinder your ability to manage your Linux system effectively.

Step-by-Step Guide to Resetting the Root Password

To reset your root password in Linux 5, follow these steps:

  1. Access GRUB Menu
    • Reboot your Linux system.
    • When the GRUB menu appears, select the Linux kernel you want to boot and press ‘e’ to edit the boot configuration.
  2. Modify Kernel Parameters
    • Find the line starting with ‘linux’ or ‘linux16’ and navigate to the end of the line.
    • Add ‘init=/bin/bash’ at the end of the line.
  3. Boot in Single-User Mode
    • Press ‘Ctrl + X’ or ‘F10’ to boot into single-user mode.
  4. Remount Root Filesystem
    • Once in single-user mode, remount the root filesystem with the command: mount -o remount,rw /
  5. Reset the Password
    • Enter the command: passwd root
    • Follow the prompts to set a new root password.
  6. Reboot Your System
    • After resetting the password, reboot your system with the command: reboot -f
  7. Login with New Password

Expert Insights

Resetting the root password can be a lifesaver, but it should be done with caution. Always ensure you have the necessary permissions and follow best practices for system security. Additionally, consider using a password manager to avoid such situations in the future.


Can I reset the root password if I don’t have physical access to the machine?

Yes, you can reset the root password if you have remote access to the system or if you can boot it from another media.

Is there a way to recover the old root password?

No, Linux passwords are securely hashed, and there is no way to retrieve the old password. Resetting it is the only option.

Will resetting the root password affect my data?

Resetting the root password should not affect your data. However, always proceed with caution and back up important data before making any changes.

Can I use a live CD or USB to reset the root password?

Yes, using a live CD or USB is another method to reset the root password and can be especially useful if you don’t have access to the GRUB menu.

What if I forget my new root password?

If you forget the new root password, you’ll need to repeat the reset process. Make sure to document your new password securely.

Are there any security risks associated with resetting the root password?

Resetting the root password can be a security risk if not done correctly. Always follow security best practices and only reset the password when necessary.

How to reset root password in Linux without reboot?

To reset the root password in Linux without rebooting, you can use the “passwd” command with the “-S” option.

How do I reset my root password in Linux 5?

To reset your root password in Linux 5, you can use the “passwd” command in the terminal or follow your distribution’s specific password reset procedure.

How do I reset my root admin password?

To reset the root admin password, you can typically use the “passwd” command with administrative privileges or refer to your system’s documentation for specific instructions.


In this comprehensive guide, we’ve walked you through the process of resetting your root password in Linux 5. We covered the importance of the root password, provided a step-by-step guide, shared expert insights, and addressed common questions. Remember, while resetting the root password is a valuable skill, it should be used responsibly and with the utmost care for system security.

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