Resetting the root password on Fedora

Yesterday I made a Fedora 30 VM on my RHEL 7 box, and for some reason I couldn’t log in as root after the installation finished. Well, it’s been a while, so I had to look it up, and following the instructions didn’t work either—I finally managed to get a shell, but the terminal was corrupted. Because it was a VM? Because the instructions were out of date? I’ve no idea. Anyway, here’s what I did, with the stuff that wasn’t in the instructions kind of yellowish:

  1. Reboot and wait for the GRUB menu to appear. You may need to be pressing Shift for this to happen.
  2. In the menu, highlight any entry and press e to edit it.
  3. Find the line beginning with linux. Remove the rhgb and quiet options, then add init=/bin/sh at the end of the line.
  4. Press Ctrl-X to boot with those options. After a while you should get a root shell. The prompt was sh-5.0# on my system, not sh-4.2# like the instructions say, but it doesn’t matter.
  5. Run the commands in the instructions:
    /usr/sbin/load_policy -i
    mount -o remount,rw /
    passwd root
    mount -o remount,ro /
  6. The instructions say to reboot now, but none of the commands to reboot the system worked at this point. Probably they expected systemd. No problem, I hit “Force Reset” in Virtual Machine Manager. I probably should have run a sync or two beforehand, but I didn’t think to.

Ta-da, working system!

One thought on “Resetting the root password on Fedora

  1. Additionally, this works in RHEL and CentOS. So this is good to get this sort of info out from behind the RH paywall of KB docs everyone should have.


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