Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am trying to change root password in my Ubuntu system.

This is what I did:

ashot@ashot-desktop:~$ sudo passwd root 
passwd: Authentication token manipulation error 
passwd: password unchanged

How do I change root password in Ubuntu?

share|improve this question
Please do take the time and read the answers to this question: Why is it bad to run as root? – Takkat May 13 '13 at 18:32

Usually there is no need to set a root password. See:

To set or change your (root) password:

sudo -i

To lock it again

sudo passwd -dl root
share|improve this answer

When you use sudo your already accessing root you don't have to specify root.

sudo passwd

If your trying to do this from recovery root you should:

mount -rw -o remount / 
share|improve this answer

If 'ashot' is your root account, don't call 'sudo passwd'. I've been doing that for the past few months and it wouldn't change my password.

To change my password, I had to call 'passwd' without 'sudo'. Otherwise, the password modification is not taken account of.

share|improve this answer

I installed a .deb file which created for pardus, when i install this package to ubuntu, my ubuntu is gone, i had never been super user also couldn't use passwd to change password.
I got the same error :

passwd: Authentication token manipulation error 
passwd: password unchanged

Try this steps;

- restart ubuntu, open it recovery mode
- drop root
- upgrade your ubuntu to a new version

This solved my problem, i hope it helps you too.

share|improve this answer

Possibly /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow don't match.

Try to use command pwconv.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.