I created a Linux Mint virtual machine for some testing then mothballed it, returning to it months later. I followed security best practices for the main user account password:
- I used a unique, complex password.
- I didn’t write the password down.
- I didn’t share the password with anyone.
- I forgot the password.
It’s very secure.
So, here’s a password “recovery” procedure that works with Mint (and may also work with other distributions):
- Reboot the computer and hold down the SHIFT key as the boot process starts. This should load the GRUB boot menu.
- Select your Linux installation.
- Press the E key to edit.
- 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
ro quiet splash vt.handoff=7
so it now reads:
linux /boot/vmlinuz-[kernel version]-generic root=UUID=[letters and numbers][letters and numbers] rw init=/bin/bash
- Press F10 to boot your system.
- Your system will boot up into a root shell with no password.
- Set your new password by entering:
Note: if you have also forgotten your username, type:
…first to get a list of all defined users.
- Set your new password.
- Restart your system.
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