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How do I reset a lost Administrative(root) password?

I just bought a used computer with Ubuntu. It has a user name and password and other user. is there a way to sign in to use it? I'm trying to locate the past owner to find out the password.

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I suggest you to clear the computer and perform a fresh installation of Ubuntu. In that way, you can be sure that there remains no malicious software installed from the previous owner. –  Lekensteyn Apr 8 '12 at 16:44
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marked as duplicate by Lekensteyn, jrg Apr 9 '12 at 19:25

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1 Answer

No.

But you can overwrite the admin password from grub...

  1. When booting up press SHIFT at the grub prompt and use the arrow keys to select the rescue mode option and press enter.

  2. This will boot the system in rescue mode and you should arrive at a prompt that looks like this

    root@something
    
  3. To reset your password type this in

    passwd <username>
    
  4. Press return, then you will be prompted to enter and confirm a new password.

  5. Once you are done resetting your password you can than switch back to the normal GUI mode by putting this in

    init 2
    

If this does not work you can also reset your password using the following steps...

  1. Reboot your computer.
  2. Press SHIFT at the grub prompt.
  3. Select your image.
  4. Highlight the line that begins kernel and press e to edit
  5. Go to the very end of the line, change the ro to rw and add init=/bin/bash, press enter, then press b to boot your system. Your system will boot up to a passwordless root shell.
  6. Type in passwd <username>
  7. Set your password.
  8. Type in reboot
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