I installed Ubuntu Server 16.04.3 (kernel version in a VirtualBox Virtual Machine. No fancy settings, pretty much just a straightforward default install.

After the installation was finished and I booted the first time, I was unable to login ("login incorrect").

After some attempts in disbelief, I assumed I must have made a typing mistake during the installation, so I just installed the whole thing again. Same problem. I was now convinced something was fishy, so I reinstalled it again, took extra care and triple-checked every step, making 100% absolutely certain I am entering the right username and password everywhere.

During this last installation I made screenshots of the installation process. Click on each image for the full resolution version:

  1. Specifying the username:

    (Click images to enlarge)

  2. Specifying the password:


  3. Confirming password:

    confirm password

  4. After installation was finished, booting my freshly installed Ubuntu:


I am absolutely 100% sure I am entering the exact right details. No dumb mistakes like keeping caps lock on or mistakenly using a Dvorak keyboard or anything.

What am I doing wrong?

(edit) I also tried the 'recover lost password' procedure. Note that this doesn't really apply here, I didn't lose my password, I'm 100% sure, see screenshots from installation. Nonetheless I tried this anyway, going in rescue mode and root prompt, and when I do: passwd kenneth
To my surprise I get: passwd: user 'kenneth' does not exist

Again, note that I'm 100% sure that I specified my username kenneth during the installation.

Then I did: more /etc/shadow and I get a list of typical system user accounts, like root, daemon, bin, sys, and so on. But no 'kenneth' account nor any other that looks like a user account, only the typical system accounts. In fact there are none with an actual password, they all have ! or * for the password hash.

I also did ls -al /home, nothing there.

What could be the reason for an Ubuntu installer to not create the user account as specified during the installation?

Note that I didn't get any errors during the entire installation, everything worked smoothly and straightforward from beginning till end.

  • Reset it from the rescue mode! Nov 25, 2017 at 3:54
  • Possible duplicate of How do I reset a lost administrative password? Nov 25, 2017 at 3:55
  • 1
    @George Thanks, tried that, but to no avail. See also the added section to my post.
    – RocketNuts
    Nov 25, 2017 at 6:58
  • May be a reinstall would be in order if this is fresh install Nov 25, 2017 at 12:05
  • @George I have already attempted to reinstall several times. This problem keeps coming back (see also post, my description and screenshots were already from the third time I reinstalled it).
    – RocketNuts
    Nov 25, 2017 at 12:09

1 Answer 1


So, this is a bug, but you can avoid it. Add user in rescue mode. Make uid of that user = 1000. Check /etc/shadow to be sure all done well. Reboot and have fun.

# adduser --uid 1000 username

If uid 1000 is used already, then just add user with uid above 1000

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