Single User Mode
...even if "root password for maintenance" is set.
Root password recovery in Single User Mode
If you need to reset the root password then you must have access to the console. This is easy with VMWare or a Remote Access Controller. If not then you will have to make a physical trip to your server room.
Note that with Ubuntu you usually don't want to set a root password. Just use "sudo su -" to get a root shell. If you do set a root password and then forget it then you will have to use the second method described below.
Boot into Single User Mode
- GRUB: Boot your Linux box and start hitting 'Esc' until you get the GRUB menu. The GRUB menu passes by quickly. This can be a pain over VMWare so you might have to reboot a few times before you catch it. LILO: If you are using LILO without no delay set to pause for the boot prompt then the process is similar, except that you press and hold any of the following keys: Shift, Alt, Ctrl, ScrollLock, or CapsLock.
- Select a boot image from the menu then press 'e' to edit.
- Select the Kernel line and press 'e' to edit. It should look something like this:
kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.15-27-386 root=/dev/mapper/Ubuntu-root ro quiet splashEdit that line to get rid of quiet and splash and add 'single':
kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.15-27-386 root=/dev/mapper/Ubuntu-root ro singleThen press enter. You will be returned to the menu.
- Press 'b' to boot with these new settings.
- If if appears to boot normally, but you see a message that says:
Give root password for maintenance (or type Control-D to continue):then you will have to try a different trick below.
Single User Mode without root password for maintenance
This method will get you past the "Give root password for maintenance" message, but the environment will be much more primitive, but this should be enough for you to issue a 'passwd' command to change the password for root. If you want to do more than that then you may have to mount filesystems and manually start the network.
- Reboot your machine; press 'Esc' to get to the GRUB menu; select your image; press 'e' to edit; select the Kernel line.
- Press 'e' to edit the kernel line. Edit the line to get rid of quiet and splash; change 'ro' to 'rw'; and add 'init=/bin/bash'. The line should look something like this:
kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.15-27-386 root=/dev/mapper/Ubuntu-root rw init=/bin/bash
- Press 'enter' then 'b' to boot with these new settings.