How to reset root password on Debian 8 (Jessie) – single user mode


During you machine boot process, you should be presented with GNU GRUB screen with countdown, before the default boot option is activated.

Press any key during the countdown period stop the boot process, and then press e key to edit the commands before booting.

Debian 8 boot menu
Debian 8 boot menu
One you have entered into editing mode, find the line starting with linux, followed by /boot/vmlinuz-*, and containing section with root=UUID=.

Line should be towards the end, usually two lines before the final line.

On the end of that line, in most case after ro quiet, add one of the following two: init=/bin/bash or init=/bin/sh, as shown on picture below.

Edit kernel line
Edit kernel line
After you have added the init value, press Ctrl+x or F10 key to boot the with the selected options.

Debian should now boot to single user mode, with the root filesystem mounted in read-only mode.

You need to remount it to read-write mode with the following command:
mount -n -o remount,rw /.

After that you can use passwd command to change the root password to a new value.

Change root password with passwd
Change root password with passwd
Type passwd to be asked for a new password, and then reenter the new password again, once asked to retype it, and you should then be presented with following message:

passwd: password updated successfully

You can now reboot your machine, and use the new root password on your system.


How to reset root password on Debian 8 (Jessie)

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