Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I lost the passphrase for my account on a server. I have spent more time configuring the settings of the server than I have putting files in my home directory so I want to know if I can just delete the encrypted one and make a new home directory.

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

Easiest would be to delete the user including it's home folder and make a new one. As guntbert pointed out you need to pay attention that there is always at least one account which can use sudo. So you may need to create a new account first before deleting the old one.

To get rid of the encryption only I would try looking at /home/.ecryptfs, that's where the encrypted home is (see: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/EncryptedHome). Moving /home/.ecryptfs/$USER/ to some other place (to make the change reversible) might work (can't try right now, don't have an encrypted home).

But that won't change the passphrase of your user, you would still need to do that.

share|improve this answer
Oops. True. Should have thought of warning of that. –  Nobody Aug 28 '13 at 21:29
I updated my answer. –  Nobody Aug 28 '13 at 21:33

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.