Unable to Reset Root Password in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

I followed the tutorial for resetting root password and was emailed a temporary password. I launch recovery console for the droplet (since it didn’t have direct console access yet) and enter the user as “root” and enter the temporary password. It then asks me to create a new password. I do this and then the screen goes blank and asks for me to log in again. But only the temporary password emailed to me works, and it never saves the newly created password no matter how many times I try this. This is a repeating loop and I can never actually log into my console. I think this is due to no available disc space. Should I simply upgrade the Droplet plan to higher storage and then re-attempt to update the password? Please help! I am a beginner by the way, so I am new to servers. Thank you.

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Site Moderator
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March 4, 2024


Resizing the droplet might be the best approach here, however you can still try using the recovery console to change login and change the password.

If you decide to resize the droplet, keep in mind that the droplet can not be resized down to a smaller droplet. A workaround to this is to create a smaller Droplet and then transfer your data over the new Droplet using rsync or a similar tool. Review our Community data migration guide for more details on how to do this.


Site Moderator
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March 3, 2024

Heya @accesstrax,

It is indeed due to disk space, it seems like your Droplet doesn’t have the space to change the password for you. With that being said, upgrading it is a viable option.

Additionally, can you enter into your Droplet using your SSH key rather than the root password and the recovery console? If that’s the case, you can enter and clean it up a bit before trying to change the root password again.

If that is not an option, upgrading it would be the best solution I believe.

Bobby Iliev
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March 2, 2024


From what you’ve described, it does seem like the issue could be related to disk space. When the disk is full, it can prevent the system from updating the necessary files to change the password.

Indeed, upgrading the Droplet sounds like a plan! You could try a couple of things to confirm that disk space is indeed the issue and see if we can resolve it without needing an upgrade.

  1. Since you’re already using the recovery console, let’s try to clean up some space first. When you’re in the recovery console, before changing the root password, try to clean up some disk space. You can check the disk usage by running df -h to see which partitions are full.

  2. If you find that the disk is indeed full, you can try to free up some space. Look for any unnecessary files or logs that you can delete. For example, you can check the /var/log directory for old log files that can be deleted or compressed.

  3. Once you’ve freed up some space, try changing the root password again. Make sure to follow the steps carefully to ensure that the new password is set correctly.

Let me know how it goes! and I hope you’re able to resolve the issue soon.



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