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How do I reset a lost administrative password?

I am new to Ubuntu, am extremely delighted with the performance and speed, as compared to Windows 7-However, I messed up, I think...when I booted my USB disc, I set a password, as directed, and when Ubuntu booted up I tried to reset my password via User Accounts to "None".

Now, the Password Authentication window prevents me from downloading software, (Audacity and my Ubuntu updates. Also, I've tried to boot into GRUB and the Recovery Console, as directed; however, the PC bypasses GRUB and boots into Ubuntu instead.

Also, when attempting to use the terminal as directed to change the password, I'm given a password prompt there also. If the problem is on my end, could you email/reset my password? My PC is an emachines EL1358G. I am otherwise happy with Ubuntu!

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marked as duplicate by Jorge Castro, Ringtail, Mik, belacqua, Tom Brossman Nov 12 '12 at 17:31

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1 Answer

To get to the grub boot menu when autologin is set, just hold one of the Shift keys down after you turn the computer on. When the grub menu comes up select Ubuntu recovery mode.

Next, when the recovery menu comes up, make sure that it says up the top "filesystem state read/write". If it does not select "check all file systems" and wait for the check to finish. The drives should now be mounted read/write.

Next select 'root' - 'Drop to root shell prompt' and when you get the text prompt type

passwd username

where 'username' is your username for which you want to change the password. You will then need to twice type in a password of at least 8 characters. If you make a mistake it will not change the password. Note that you will not get any indication at all of the characters you are typing - the cursor will stay on the same spot.

It is not a good idea to set a password of 0 characters in Linux. Not only may it completely circumvent the mechanism by which Linux is the most safe and secure operating system, many tools and utilities will not work correctly because they will not accept a null password, as you have found out.

After you've changed the password, you can reboot simply by typing

reboot

on the command line, then wait for Ubuntu to shutdown and restart.

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Hello, I've already tried holding down "Shift" while booting, and then I tried rebooting while holding the "Esc" Key, the machine froze up when I tried the "Shift" key, and goes to Ubuntu when I tried the "Esc" key-I wish that Ubuntu would fix it where we could reset our user accounts via email. –  Bobby Hathorn Nov 10 '12 at 9:00
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