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NOTE: CentOS Enterprise Linux is built from the Red Hat Enterprise Linux source code. Other than logo and name changes CentOS Enterprise Linux is compatible with the equivalent Red Hat version. This document applies equally to both Red Hat and CentOS Enterprise Linux.

14.2. Forgotten root Password

Help! I forgot my root password. How do I log in now?

You can log in using single-user mode and create a new root password.

To enter single-user mode, reboot your computer. If you use the default boot loader, GRUB, you can enter single user mode by performing the following:

  1. At the boot loader menu, use the arrow keys to highlight the installation you want to edit and type [A] to enter into append mode.

  2. You are presented with a prompt that looks similar to the following:

    grub append> ro root=LABEL=/
    
  3. Press the Spacebar once to add a blank space, then add the word single to tell GRUB to boot into single-user Linux mode. The result should look like the following:

    ro root=LABEL=/ single
    
  4. Press [Enter] and GRUB will boot single-user Linux mode. After it finishes loading, you will be presented with a shell prompt similar to the following:

    sh-2.05b#
    
  5. You can now change the root password by typing

    passwd root
    

    You will be asked to re-type the password for verification. Once you are finished, the password will be changed. You can then reboot by typing reboot at the prompt; then you can log in to root as you normally would.

 
 
  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire