I am trying to reset password for a user account for which current password is lost. I am logged in as root but still it is asking for current password. How do I fix this?

closed as unclear what you're asking by Jeff Schaller, G-Man, sebasth, dr01, Archemar Dec 8 '17 at 8:40

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  • 3
    What exactly are you doing? passwd (username), when run as root, will not ask for the old password, for exactly that reason. – Ulrich Schwarz Dec 7 '17 at 19:00
  • 1
    Most likely you are not logged in as root: try id to verify. – NickD Dec 7 '17 at 19:05
  • on what system? – ilkkachu Dec 7 '17 at 19:12
  • I have checked everything. I logged in directly as root. No issues with passwd and shadow file. No faillogs. I have also tried to reboot the server. Still when I login as root and try to reset the password for a user account, it is asking for current password. Issue persists only for user accounts and not for admin accounts root and lmain. – Prateek Bansal Dec 10 '17 at 11:49
  • Is it possible that you changed the permissions for root? Perhaps you corrupted the passwd file? Makes sure this is the first line in your /etc/passwd file: root:x:0:0:root:/root:/bin/bash – Octavian Dec 11 '17 at 20:14

If you are logged in as root, then you simply type the new password twice. It will not ask for the old password. But you have to use the proper syntax:

passwd username

where username is the name of the user


root@Test:~# passwd someuser      
Enter new UNIX password:     
Retype new UNIX password:

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