Resetting Account Passwords

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Note: This article talks about reseting the login password needed for certain actions such as installing software or upgrading the operating system. For directions on resetting the web admin password see this article.

Oops! I forgot my linuxmce password!

This is usually the password you typed in when prompted by the installer, or if you weren't prompted by a beta installer it is "linuxmce".

But say you set a password and completely forgot what it was. There is hope!

The key is to log in as root on the core, then you can reset any password. Of course, you probably don't even have a root password set, so logging in as root means rebooting into recovery mode.

Getting root on the core without a root password

Select power down in the "Power" menu of the core/MD Orbiter to turn off the core (if you have a non-MD core, holding down the ctrl, alt and del keys and letting go of them will initiate a reboot, skip the repower the core step). This will take a moment.

Once powered down, repower the machine, usually by pressing the power button. This is a button on the machine represented by a circle broken by a line.

Shortly after the BIOS POST messages there will be a prompt: "GRUB Loading Please wait", press the Escape button on your keyboard, this is the button on the upper left corner of your keyboard with the text "Esc". You can actually start pressing this button once a second after the machine powers up, to make sure not to miss the 3 second timeout of for the GRUB menu, this is useful to know when your TV takes a while to warm up, depriving you of the GRUB message.

You will now be presented with some options, the exact options depend on which LinuxMCE release you have installed, but on a 710 machine installed from DVD these are:

  • Ubuntu 7.10, kernel 2.6.22-14-generic
  • Ubuntu 7.10, kernel 2.6.22-14-generic (recovery mode)
  • Ubuntu 7.10, memtest86+
  • System Recovery

What you want is the second one, the one that says "recovery mode", scroll down one with the arrow key and hit return (aka enter). The text might be slightly different, but you should have that option. Note: if you don't you can select the first option, hit 'e' to edit, scroll down to the second line of the next page, the "kernel", hit 'e' to edit again, then delete the text "quiet splash" and replace it with "single", now hit return to commit this edit, then hit 'b' to boot.

This option will print a lot of stuff to the screen, then it will deposit you at a prompt starting in "dcerouter" and ending in the hash "#" character. If you see the "Recovery Menu" select "root Drop to root shell prompt".

Now that you have root

To set the linuxmce account password type:

passwd linuxmce

This will prompt you with this, "Enter new UNIX password:" Type in your new password then hit the return key. It will now ask you to verify the password, "Retype new UNIX password:" Type in your new password again then hit the return key. If the password matched it will now say "passwd: password updated successfully" If it complains just reissue the passwd command above.


Now you just need to restart, type:


Alternatively, you can hold down the ctrl, alt and del keys and then release them.