How to Set GRUB2 Password in RHEL-based Systems

GRand Unified Bootloader (GRUB) is a default bootloader in all Unix-like operating systems. As promised in our earlier article “How to reset a forgotten root password“, here we are going to review how to protect GRUB with a password.

As we mentioned before, someone can log in to single-user mode and change system settings, which is a big security risk. To stop unauthorized access, we need to protect Grub with a password in RHEL-based distributions such as Fedora, CentOS Stream, Rocky, and Alma Linux.

Here, we’ll learn how to stop users from getting into single-user mode and changing system settings, especially if they can directly access the system physically.

How to Password Protect GRUB Bootloader in Linux

Create a password for GRUB, be a root user, and open the command prompt, type the below command.


When prompted type grub password twice and press enter.

Generate GRUB Password
Generate GRUB Password

This will generate a hashed GRUB bootloader password in the file /boot/grub2/user.cfg file and can be viewed using the cat command as shown.

cat /boot/grub2/user.cfg
Grub Bootloader Password
Grub Bootloader Password

How to Generate New GRUB Configuration File

After creating the GRUB password, you need to re-create the new GRUB configuration file by running the following command.

grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg
Create Grub Configuration
Create Grub Configuration

The above command will set the grub password in the configuration file. Now, reboot the system and check if the new GRUB password is set properly.

# reboot

How to Test GRUB Password Protection

After your system restarts, you will get the following GRUB screen, where you will get 5 seconds to break the normal boot process. So quickly press e key to breaking the boot process.

Grub Menu
Grub Menu

Once you press the e key it will prompt you to enter the GRUB password as shown.

GRUB Password
GRUB Password

After entering the right username and password, you can edit GRUB parameters as shown.

Edit GRUB Configuration
Edit GRUB Configuration

How to Remove GRUB Password Protection

To remove GRUB password-protect from the boot menu, simply delete the file /boot/grub2/user.cfg.

rm /boot/grub2/user.cfg
Remove GRUB Password
Remove GRUB Password

This is how we can protect GRUB with passwords. Let us know how you secure your system? via comments.

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Ravi Saive
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  1. This will only protect the installed group, it’s still possible to boot up grub from a usb drive and then boot the Linux kernel in single-user mode from there.

  2. Hello , this was very help full for me
    i have tried this it worked well and also i have tried removing the password in /etc/grub.conf file . i have doubt here if i forget the root password i will reset through single user mode . for suppose if i forget the password for both root and grub password . then hw can i recover it . please help me out in this

  3. Hi,

    I’m new in linux. We forgot both the root password and GRUB password.
    How can I reset both? Also, how can i go to single user mode to remove the GRUB password?
    Thank you



    login root (#)

    #vim /etc/grub.conf
    :se nu
    13 no line…… press enter key and go next line (14 no line)
    password ******

  5. hi
    i followed the above steps in redhat linux . i did not get error . it didnt ask me the grub password …why ? can u tell me y its happened ………..

  6. grub is not showing up all the installed operating systems.

    I have rhel 6 64-bit os after that i installed centos 64-bit after installing centos rhel 6 is not showing up in grub..

    whereas i am also having windows 7 which is active all the time

  7. Thanks for your great info.
    If e person boot via a Live CD or another OS, they can access to all HDD files & folders. How can we protect it?

    • Please go through the article, we already explained very clearly how to protect grub with password. Follow same procedure for changing.

    • I think it should work with latest Linux versions too,because the grub file is the same and procedure also. Why not you try and tell us.


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