I have a realy strange problem in Ubuntu 11.10. I have by accident my password set to empty. If I wan't to install software now the system asks for a password, but I haven't one anymore. If I enter my old password it sais it's wrong and if I leave it empty it also does. Now I wan't to set my password back, but the system asks for the old password before I can change it. That password doesn't exist, so I can't do anything anymore! Can someone help me please?

  • I can't understand why Ubuntu accept an empty password if you can't enter it anywhere... – totymedli Sep 9 '14 at 18:21

Try running passwd from a terminal. It'll ask you for your old password, and then for your new one.
If it doesn't accept the old one there, run sudo passwd <username> replacing <username> with your username. That will make sure you can change it without the need for your old one, in the hope that it accepts the sudo password.

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  • when you try sudo passwd then you need to old-password for execution of passwd command (Due to sudo......) – Manish Trivedi Jan 1 '12 at 17:17
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    Not if the password is blank! This is useful trick, thanks RobinJ. – Ken Fehling Aug 9 '17 at 20:27

You will need to boot in to recovery mode (press shift key after BIOS post and keep it pressed until the grub menu is shown) and drop to a root console. There you will be able to change the password for your current user.

Here you can find a very good example of what to do to reset your password.

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  • Thank you for the answer. My next problem is that I get an authentication error or something like that. What am I doing wrong? – Wietse de Vries Nov 11 '11 at 14:21
  • Where do you get the fault at? Can you paste the output of the fault, when do you get the fault? – Bruno Pereira Nov 11 '11 at 14:29
  • I get the error when I wrote the password for the second time. I don't have time for trying again so I can't give the whole error now. – Wietse de Vries Nov 11 '11 at 15:09

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