Showing posts with label chroot. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chroot. Show all posts

Friday, January 12, 2024

Chrooting for Password Reset in Linux


Chrooting is a process that changes the root directory for the current running process and its children. A chroot environment isolates these processes from the rest of the system. This technique can be particularly useful when you need to recover or reset a password on a system where you cannot access the usual command-line tools. Here's how you can use chroot to change the Linux root password.

Step 1: Boot from a Live CD/USB

  1. Insert a Live Linux CD/USB into your system and boot from it. Choose the "Try Linux" option instead of installing it.

Step 2: Mount the System Partition

  1. Identify and Mount the Partition:
    • First, you need to identify the partition where your Linux system is installed. You can use fdisk or lsblk to list all partitions. For instance:
    • Mount the system's root partition (replace /dev/sda1 with your actual partition):
      mount /dev/sda1 /mnt

Step 3: Chroot into the System

  1. Chroot into the Mounted System:
    • Change root into the mounted system:
      chroot /mnt
    • If chroot /mnt fails due to partition schema issues or if it can't find zsh or bash, try specifying the shell directly:
      chroot /mnt /bin/bash

Step 4: Change the Root Password

  1. Change the Root Password:
    • Now that you are in a chrooted environment, you can use the passwd command to change the root password:
      passwd root
    • Enter the new password twice when prompted.

Step 5: Exit and Reboot

  1. Exit Chroot and Reboot:
    • Type exit to leave the chroot environment.
    • Unmount the partition:
      umount /mnt
    • Remove the Live CD/USB and reboot your system.

Step 6: Test the New Password

  1. Test the New Password:
    • Once your system has rebooted, try logging in with the new root password to ensure that the change was successful.

Important Considerations:

  • Backup Important Data: Always ensure you have backups of any important data before performing system operations like this.
  • Correct Partition: Be absolutely sure you've mounted the correct partition before chrooting into it.
  • Live Environment: A Live Linux environment is an entire Linux distribution that can run from a removable medium like a CD/USB without installation.
  • Security: Changing the root password is a sensitive operation. Ensure that you have the authority to perform this action and that you're doing it in a secure manner.


Chrooting is a powerful tool for system recovery and maintenance. By following these steps, you can reset the root password of a Linux system when you're unable to access it normally. This technique is part of a broader set of Linux skills useful for system administrators and power users. Always proceed with caution and ensure you understand the commands you're executing.