This article will guide you through simple steps to reset forgotten root password in RHEL-based Linux distributions such as CentOS 8 and Fedora 35/34.
Resetting the forgotten root user password generally requires a few easy instructions that will guide you to reset the root password and you will thereafter be able to log in using the new password.
Reset Forgotten Root Password in RHEL/CentOS & Fedora
First, restart your system, and at the boot grub menu choose the kernel (mostly the first option) you wish to boot into and press the key
'e' on your keyboard.
On the next screen, you will see the following kernel boot parameters, here find the line that starts with
kernel= and add the parameter
rd.break at the end as shown and press Ctrl + x keys.
On the next screen, you will land into emergency mode, here press Enter key to get into the shell prompt. Now, make sure to confirm that you remount the sysroot directory with read and write permissions. By default, it is mounted with read-only mode indicated as
# mount | grep sysroot
Now remount the sysroot directory with read and write permissions and confirm the permissions again. Note that this time, the permissions have changed from
ro (read-only) to
rw (read and write) as shown.
# mount -o remount,rw /sysroot/ # mount | grep sysroot
Next, mount the root file system in read and write mode using the following command.
# chroot /sysroot
Next, use the passwd command to reset the root password with the new password and confirm it.
At this point, you have successfully reset your root user password. The only remaining part is to relabel all of the files with the accurate SELinux contexts.
# touch /.autorelabel
Finally, type exit and then log out to start the SELinux relabelling process.
This generally takes a few minutes and once done, the system will reboot and prompt you to log in as the root user with the new password.
And that’s how you would reset a forgotten root password in RHEL/CentOS 8 and Fedora 35/34 Linux distributions.
64 thoughts on “How to Reset Forgotten Root Password in RHEL/CentOS & Fedora”
When I do this it goes and ask root password for mantinance
Could you share the screenshot? let me check it.
thanks man great
Yes i have tried this option it works perfect
I followed the same, I had a problem. First, I have two Red Hat Linux servers. Second, I was able to recover the password for the one with OS 5.1.x. I was not able to do it on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4, it’s an appliance with nGeniusOne from Netscout Systems.
In this box, I was able to boot to the GNUB, but when I type “a” to modify the kernel. Nothing pops up. It keeps showing the OS until I hit “Enter” and it boots to complete. Only one item as there was no previous updates. Can anyone help out?
That was awesome, I followed the same and was able to reset my CentOS password which had stayed blocked for close to a week
Wow!!, thats awesome, I was able to reset my REDHAT 5.5 password by following your tutorial. I am soo happy. Thank you very much and keep it up.
Exllcellent write up helped me out grately thank you
I was locked out of centos 6.6 as I had lost my password details by following your easy step recovery procedure I was able to create another password. Thankyou for this very useful information.
Accidentaly i changed the owner root to oroot in the password file at /etc/passwd.
When u tired to logon the system said that root doesn’t exist. How can i change back user oroot to root in the passwd file?