I have two comp that I have downloaded Ubuntu 16.04. One is doing well. I have used windows since my first comp so I am going by "hunt and peck" trying to learn the ropes. First comp is going well but second is ?? refusing my password. I have two Pass words that I have used since day one in the 1990's. My comp won't accept either. When I try to change password my system wants me to sign-in to auth the change??? What would anyone suggest? (I am not comp literate. 20 years plus on windows has not prepared me for this.) I hate windows with a passion, I refuse to go to Mac. Ubuntu seemed like the obvious answer for me.

  • Can you clarify what you mean by locked out?
    – Afflicted
    Jun 4, 2017 at 1:25
  • Password are case-sensitive. Do you have the CAPS LOCK on? Are you typing upper/lower case letters where needed?
    – heynnema
    Jun 4, 2017 at 14:53

2 Answers 2


I never heard of something like this. Are you sure that your password is one of those 2 you tried? Here is a solution that you might use if you don't find any other one:

  1. Boot from your live Ubuntu drive that you used to install Ubuntu (whether it is a DVD, USB flash disk or any other storage medium)
  2. Plug in a removable drive of your choice.*
  3. Copy the /home folder from your internal drive that you have Ubuntu installed on, to the drive you plugged into your computer.
    1. Reinstall Ubuntu, and make sure you type in the right password and memorize it.
    2. Replace the /home folder in your new Ubuntu installation with the copy you have in your removable drive.
    3. Logoff or reboot if needed (I'm not sure if a logoff is enough, so please if anyone knows comment on the answer).

Now you should have all of your personal files and settings back, because they are all stored in the /home folder.

Considering the installation is fresh (at least that is what I can understand) probably you haven't installed a lot of apps if any, so a reinstall would not be hard as you won't have to reinstall a lot of apps again.

*Make sure the drive you plug in has sufficient space for the /home folder.


I'm not sure exactly what your issue is. It sounds to me like you're unable to login to the desktop.

You cannot recover or view a password on Linux unless you have the password..

For instance you could change your password with

sudo passwd yourusername 

But you need to input your current password to do that.

I suggest you take a look at this link. How can i find the current password in ubuntu without booting up into recovery mode?

If that doesn't help you your only real option is a reformat; as in reinstall the os.

Now if you clarify your issue a bit more I may be able to do more to help.

My questions to you would be the following.

Are you able to login to the desktop?

Are you sure that you're entering your password correctly? The way keystrokes and mouse clicks are accepted is (this explanation is to make it easier to understand) much more sensitive than on windows. It's possible you're unintentionally inputting the password wrong.

If you're forced to reinstall something you should consider is installing in three separate partitions.

You can find guides for this all over so I won't go in depth but I will say this.

Creating a separate partition for root



swap area 

This gives you added protection. If need be you can simply re-image specific partitions rather than the entire thing. Which can potentially result in loss of data.

In this case you could simply reformat the root partition removing the password hash and creating a new password at the same time. All the while not losing any data in /Home

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