How to Reset Droplet Root Passwords

DigitalOcean Droplets are Linux-based virtual machines (VMs) that run on top of virtualized hardware. Each Droplet you create is a new server you can use, either standalone or as part of a larger, cloud-based infrastructure.

When you create a Droplet, you have the option to add an SSH key to it. If you choose not to add an SSH key, the root password is automatically generated and emailed to you, and you'll change it to a secure password of your choice the first time you log in.

If you forget or lose the root password, you can reset it using the control panel.

On FreeBSD, Fedora 28, Fedora Atomic, CoreOS, and RancherOS, which are operating systems with internally-managed passwords, it’s currently not possible to externally reset the root password.

Navigate to the control panel. From the project the Droplet is in, or from the main navigation's Droplets page, locate the Droplet. Click the Droplet's name to open its detail page, then select Access in the left navigation.

Screenshot of a Droplet's Access page with the Launch Console button

Click Reset Root Password to send an email to the address associated with your DigitalOcean account. You can use the password provided to log in to your Droplet through the console.


Some operating systems use internally-managed passwords, which means you cannot reset the root password from the control panel. In these cases, you’ll see the following message in the Reset root password section:

This Droplet’s root password is managed internally and cannot be changed from the control panel. Please SSH into the Droplet to manage it.

See How to Recover from Lost SSH Keys for additional steps you'll need to take.