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I've tried to change the shell for my root user. When I login now with my no-rights user and try to switch to my root users with su root -> password, the login fails because of this message:

Cannot execute whereis zsh: No such file or directory

The problem is, that I've entered the wrong path during the shell change to zsh. Any idea how I can fix this so I can log back in?

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    can you add more detail ? like what you used to change the shell ? – Vivek Kanadiya Mar 22 at 13:00
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Ubuntu has sudo installed by default. If you still have sudo access you should be able to

sudo chsh -s /bin/bash root

This will reset root's shell to bash. Try this first.

If you don't have sudo access then you need to find a way to edit /etc/passwd. You might need to boot your system with special options giving you a root shell, OR you could plug your disk drive into another machine.


If you really need the root shell, there's instructions here: http://tipsonubuntu.com/2016/09/02/reset-forgotten-passwords-ubuntu-16-04/

At boot you either:

  • Select Advanced option for Ubuntu --> Ubuntu .... (Recovery Mode) --> root - Drop to root shell prompt
  • OR... press e while Ubuntu is selected and add the text init=/bin/bash to the linux params
  • Thanks, that saved my day! – Mr. Jo Mar 22 at 13:55

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