How To Change Password In Linux? A Step-By-Step Guide

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How To Change Password In Linux: Greetings, Linux enthusiasts and security aficionados! In the digital age where data breaches are a daily occurrence, securing your system is not just essential; it’s imperative. According to recent statistics, 30% of users use passwords that are over a decade old. It is crucial to shake off the complacency and fortify your Linux system.

Understanding Linux Password Policies

In the digital world, setting a robust password is like installing a heavy-duty lock on your front door, it’s the frontline defense against unwanted intruders. A comprehensive study showed that approximately 81% of breaches are caused by weak or reused passwords. Now, that’s a statistic that would make anyone rethink ‘1234’ as their password choice!

Policy Description
Password Length Longer passwords are stronger. Aim for a minimum of 12-16 characters.
Complexity Use a mix of uppercase, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
Unpredictability Avoid easily guessable information like birthdays or common phrases.

In the realm of Linux, this is particularly crucial as users often handle sensitive data. By leveraging strong passwords, you shield yourself from a myriad of threats including unauthorized access, data theft, and potential financial losses.

For a deeper insight on crafting invincible passwords, do check this fantastic guide on how to change passwords in Linux.

Password Creation Art

Linux Password Attributes

Next on the agenda, understanding the Linux password attributes. These are the secret ingredients to crafting that fortress of a password.

  • Length: The more, the merrier; a long password is a strong password.
  • Complexity: Incorporate numbers, symbols, and both uppercase and lowercase letters.
  • Unpredictability: Make it something that cannot be guessed easily by not using obvious information like birthdays.

You can always explore more about this topic and get acquainted with stellar password creation by visiting our detailed guide on 15 Best Secure Password Managers With Promo Codes In 2021.

How To Change Password In Linux: Initial Steps

Terminal Access For Password Change

It all begins here, at the terminal – the gateway to all things Linux. Whether you are using Ubuntu, Fedora, or another distribution, accessing the terminal is your first step in the mission: How to Change Password in Linux.

Step Description
1. Open Terminal Access the terminal on your Linux system.
2. Use ‘passwd’ command Type ‘passwd’ and hit enter to initiate password change.
3. Enter New Password Follow prompts to enter and confirm your new password.
4. Troubleshooting Tips Learn how to handle common issues during password change.

Utilizing The ‘passwd’ Command

Meet passwd, the powerful command that is about to become your best friend in this endeavor. Simple yet potent, it is the key to changing your Linux password swiftly.

Linux System Maintenance

Here’s a sneak peek into using it:

  • Simple Change: Just typing passwd and hitting enter will prompt you to enter your new password.
  • Changing for Other Users: If you are the superuser, use passwd [username] to change passwords for others.

Curious to learn more variations and tips on using the ‘passwd’ command? Tom’s Hardware has a fabulous guide to acquaint you with all the tricks up ‘passwd’ command’s sleeve.

With these guidelines at your fingertips, changing your password in Linux will be a breeze. Keep security paramount and stride forward confidently in the Linux world!

Step-By-Step Guide To Changing Your Password

Navigating the Linux landscape can sometimes feel like wandering in a forest. But fear not, we’re here to guide you on the path of “How to Change Password in Linux,” ensuring not a single traveler gets lost. Follow the trail markers below for a safe journey!

Identifying Current Password Policies

First stop on our expedition, we’re diving into the existing password policies in your Linux system. It’s always a good idea to know the ground rules before playing the game, right?

  • PAM (Pluggable Authentication Modules): This handy tool lets you integrate various authentication technologies. Run pam_cracklib to get an insight into your system’s password policies. Knowledge is power, they say!
  • chage Command: Another trusty companion on this journey. Utilize chage -l [username] to reveal the password expiration details for a user.

Changing The Password

We’ve arrived at the most awaited station in our expedition – changing the password. It’s like finding the treasure in a treasure hunt, but in the Linux world!

  • Using passwd: The magic spell here is the passwd command. Just like asking a genie for a wish, type passwd in the terminal, and voila, you get the prompt to set a new password. It’s that simple!
  • Troubleshooting Tips:
    • Authentication token manipulation error: Ever got stuck here? It’s like being caught in a web. A quick fix is to remount the filesystem with read-write permissions using mount -o rw,remount /.
    • Password unchanged: Stumbled upon this roadblock? Ensure the new password adheres to the existing password policies. It’s like dressing appropriately for a themed party; you got to stick to the rules!

And to further fine-tune your expedition skills, the comprehensive guide at Cyberciti is the perfect destination to gather a wealth of information, akin to finding a hidden oasis in a desert!

Advanced Tips for Linux Password Security

Alright Linux enthusiasts, it’s time to buckle up and delve deeper into the world of password security. This part of our journey is for those who are eager to add some extra layers of security to their Linux system. Without further ado, let’s get started!

Setting Password Expiration Policies

You wouldn’t want to use the same password for years, right? It’s like wearing the same outfit every day – eventually, it will wear out and be less effective. Well, Linux has a wardrobe of solutions for you!

  • Understanding the Importance: Setting expiration policies means your password has a “best before date,” encouraging regular change for better security. This process is a super-hero strategy, ensuring the bad guys (hackers) have a hard time accessing your system.
  • Command Lines to Set Policies:
    • sudo chage -M 90 username: Set a maximum password age of 90 days. It’s like setting a reminder for a haircut; keep it fresh!
    • sudo chage -m 10 username: This sets the minimum days before which a password cannot be changed, avoiding too frequent changes.

Recovering Forgotten Passwords

Okay, let’s admit it, forgetting a password is almost as common as forgetting where you put your keys. But worry not; Linux has a recovery plan in place!

  • Steps for Recovery:
    • Single User Mode: Reboot your system and enter into the single-user mode; it’s like the VIP entrance to your Linux club.
    • Use ‘passwd’ command: Once in, summon the trusty ‘passwd’ command to reset your password and regain control.
  • Tips to Avoid Forgetfulness:
    • Use a Password Manager: It’s your digital diary, safely storing all your passwords in one place.
    • Regular Backups: Make it a habit to back up important data, including your password list. Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry!

For a step-by-step guide with a detailed walkthrough on how to change password in Linux, and especially to recover them, don’t hesitate to consult the guide available on Hostinger. They’re like the wise old sage of Linux tutorials!

Frequently Asked Questions

What commands are essential when learning How To Change Password In Linux?

The ‘passwd’ and ‘chage’ commands are pivotal when you’re learning how to change password in Linux, aiding in setting new passwords and establishing password policies respectively.

Can I set password expiration policies in Linux?

Absolutely, you can set password expiration policies using commands like sudo chage -M 90 username, which sets a maximum password age of 90 days.

What steps should I take if I forget my Linux password?

If you forget your Linux password, enter the single-user mode during reboot and utilize the ‘passwd’ command to reset your password.

How do I identify my current password policies in Linux?

To identify current password policies in Linux, utilize commands like chage -l username to list password information for a specific user account.

Are there tips on creating a secure password environment in Linux?

Yes, ensure to create strong passwords, steer clear from using personal information, and regularly update your passwords to foster a secure Linux environment.

How do I access the terminal in different Linux distributions?

Accessing the terminal can vary; generally, you can find it in the applications menu or use keyboard shortcuts such as Ctrl+Alt+T to open it in various distributions.


Congrats, you are now equipped with the knowledge and prowess to secure your Linux environment effectively. How To Change Password In Linux is no longer a daunting task, but a seamless process with our step-by-step guide.

We urge you to implement these strategies and continuously update yourself with the latest in Linux security to remain a step ahead in the security game.

Thank you for reading!