When I try to reset my password from the root menu using the passwd command, it says "type new unix password", but I can't type.

Please help!

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  • 3
    It's normal not to see anything when entering a password on a command-line in Ubuntu. This is the case both for setting passwords and for logging in with them (though when you set a password or log in with one in the GUI, you will see placeholder characters like * as you type). Please see this question for more information. – Eliah Kagan Jul 14 '13 at 7:50

As Eliah Kagan said in this comment, it's normal not to see anything when entering a password on a command-line in Ubuntu.

If you still want to see placeholder characters like * as you type, follow next instructions:

  • Install rlwrap tool by running next command in terminal:

    sudo apt-get install rlwrap

  • Use next command when you want to change your paswword:

    rlwrap passwd

Moreover, next you can create an alias for rlwrap passwd (see here how to create a permanent alias):

alias passwd='rlwrap passwd'

From now, in the future you can use passwd as normal and you will see * characters when you type the password as you expect.

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  • +1, I know about rlwrap, but it is interesting the asterisks thing. Creating an alias seems overkill, given that the password is rarely changed. – enzotib Jul 14 '13 at 8:58

You are typing your password just you can't see it. This is for security purpose. Normally when you type password (windows)you get the length of password from the number of asterisks. But here you can't get even that.
This happens only in terminal. When you need to enter your password in some GUI (commads like gksu pops up dialog box to enter the password), you can see the asterisks(*) or other character as you type it.

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