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I just installed Ubuntu and one of the 1st things that I did was - remove my password. I went into settings -> user accounts, clicked on the unlock icon and changed the password to nothing, made it so it doesn't require me to log in, but yet, when I try to install some software I get prompted to type in my password. I tried using nothing and my old password - neither of them work.

What should I do to fix this? Do I really have to re-install Ubuntu?

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Is this really two questions? How to recover from what you attempted (some good answers below). AND How to correctly setup auto-login (no password prompted) for Ubuntu 12.04. –  david6 Jun 12 '12 at 7:42
    
Also read this: askubuntu.com/questions/135428/… –  david6 Jun 12 '12 at 7:45
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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You will need to add a password to your account again.

You can do it using the same steps that you did to remove it, or from a terminal.

passwd

Sorry, but Ubuntu doesn't support well blank passwords (it does, the LiveCD runs with it, but usually the system will expect a password). Ubuntu security is higher than windows (is not only about user-root separation) and sometime this means it is less convenient. This is a design decision, a trade-off that you can like or not, but one that you must accept if you want to use Ubuntu, this philosophy is so ingrained in the system, that there are lots of places that expect it that way.

All that said, you can enable autologin, but it's not near as convenient as Windows i.e., as soon as you want to connect to a protected wireless network you will be asked for your password , because by default, wireless passwords are encrypted with your login password.

tl;dr: Ubuntu expects an user with a password. You can run it without it, but you will find some problems.

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You can change the password back through recovery mode.

Press and hold Shift right after the BIOS screen on your computer disappears to make the GRUB menu come up.

From this menu select one of the entries like this:

Ubuntu, kernel 2.6.17-10-generic (recovery mode)

From here the system will boot, and you should choose 'Drop to root shell prompt' from the recovery menu.

You can now run sudo passwd <USER> where <USER> is the username to set a valid password. To reboot, type reboot.

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