I don't know my password

I installed Mint (Cinnamon) recently (so excited!). I don’t remember making a password, let alone what it is! I thought I could get around this problem after a lot of searching and reading and it’s a root thingie? and I could change it under users. However… even to do that it’s asking for a password!

Do I need to restall lunix in order to make a new password? Is there another way?

Thanks for any help!


During your install, a menu should have been presented to you to enter your username, machine name and password and I’m pretty sure the installer would not have allowed you to keep any of these blank. Try using a blank password and if no success then I guess you will have to do a full re-installation of Mint.

** I’m assuming there is nothing on your computer’s hard drive that you have not already backed up to an external device.

Did you set this computer up as a dual boot or is it just for Linux only? The reason I ask is that you will have to be careful not to re-install Linux to the wrong windows partition when you are asked where to install Linux.

Hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions.


Hey @Jen!
And as always, thank you Michael (@mva) for your help! :slight_smile:

@Jen, upon boot (right after your BIOS screen disappears), tap the ESC key on your keyboard to get the boot menu for Mint. Then, select the Advanced Options and find the FallBack or Recovery for your current Kernel. Usually the 2nd options will do.

One it loads up, you will be presented with a menu. Select to drop down to Root Terminal and then type in the following:

ls /home

The name of the folder you see in there is your actual username. For the sake of convenience, I shall call it your_username, so please change it in the command below to correspond to the name of the folder you saw above.

passwd your_username

It will ask twice for a password. It will not be visible, so go ahead and type it in. Once done, press Enter. It will ask you again for verification. Do the same and press Enter.
Once done, the new password will be set. Feel free to type:


And then hit Enter. After that, you will be able to login with your new password. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Hi Vasileios,

Thank you! I had to hit F10 as before rather than escape. And then it looks the same as before when I was working on getting it to boot from the stick so I could install Mint. Now I don’t see anything that says Advanced Options, though there is “Power-on Password” listed under Security, but I don’t think that’s the same.

Thanks Michael (@mva)! I bought a very cheap laptop to learn on - so nothing to back up luckily and I didn’t install both - just Mint :slight_smile: I tried blank and that didn’t work. It’s hard to believe I completely forgot making one, but that’s seems like the only possibility. I think I was amazed that I’d got that far. Maybe that’s why!

forgot this @vasileios

Hey @Jen!
The process is post BIOS, not on it. The moment the boot starts, hit ESC or - at times - the SHIFT button to get your boot menu. It can be tricky to get it to appear, though it can be easier to do once you regain access to your account. :slight_smile:

Hi again @vasileios I’m really sorry I can’t seem to figure this out! I managed to get to the Startup Menu but that doesn’t seem to be right either. That was with esc. Shift didn’t do anything.

Hello again, @Jen!
Okay, let’s bring out the “heavy guns”! Do you happen to have the USB thumb drive you used to install Linux on your system? If yes, we’ll need it to enter your installation and change the password. This will be done via the chroot command.

First, boot up via the USB. When you reach the Mint desktop environment, open up a terminal. We have a series of commands to issue, but first, I will need you to please send me the output of the following command.


This will show you all the drives on your system - as well as their device partitions. I’ll need those to know which one we’ll need to mount and root into. :slight_smile:

@vasileios I think I did this! Which is amazing to me as I didn’t even know what a terminal was when I read your message, but found that quickly on youtube :slight_smile: I’m going to manually type this in because I don’t have email or anything on the lunix computer with which to get this over here:

loop0 7:0 0 1.9G 1 loop /rofs
sda 8:0 1 14.7G 0 disk
line indicating within (I think)
sda1 8:1 1 14.7G 0 part /cdrom
mmcblk0 179:0 0 58.2G 0 disk
(line)mmcblk0p1 179:1 0 512M 0 part
(line)mmcblk0p2 179:2 0 57.8G 0 part /media/mint/2690bf00-a682-474e-b650-067624
mmcblk0boot0 179:8 0 4M 1 disk
mmcblk0boot1 179:16 0 4M 1 disk

also sorry it’s smooshed together so much. It looked better as I composed it in this box!

No worries and thank you!

Question: is your flashed USB a 64GB one?

If yes, then we’ll need to try a different approach.

Something useful to keep in mind is that you can still take screenshots, which are saved in your Pictures folder (even on the Live Version). You can then drag and drop the file into your response box here and the picture will be attached. You can take a screenshot with the Print Screen key on your keyboard, or run the “Screenshot” app.

Speaking of app, please go to the start menu and type in “Disks” and run it. Take a screenshot of that and please attach it here so that I can see the different drives. :slight_smile:

Thank you again @vasileios. I hadn’t thought of screenshots because got rid of my wireless and hadn’t moved the ethernet cord to the lunix computer - now I have for the moment so I can do that :slight_smile:

All I did was open disks. Hopefully that’s the same as running it. Also the USB is 62GB

1 Like

Hey @Jen!
Thank you for sending the screenshots!
From what I am seeing, it doesn’t appear that a main drive is present. Just an SD card (the 62GB) and a 16GB USB. How big is your system drive?

Hi @vasileios,
it’s a small refurbished laptop I bought just for this purpose. The label says HP Stream 11 Pro G3 Intel Celeron N3060 1.60Ghz, 4GM RAM, 64GB, SSD and it came with Windows 10. Will that suffice? Should I start the installation over with a larger USB drive? I’m fine with that if that’s what needs to be done.

Thanks for bearing with me :slight_smile: Work is very busy this week, but I’m am determined to learn this regardless of its being slow!

Hey @Jen!
That’s all right. I completely understand!
If you do not have a lot of work inside your Linux installation, a re-install would be a good idea. You can also drag out files from the Live USB when you boot up, so if you have an external drive, you can pull everything out.
Otherwise, it will take a bit of a process via terminal to enter your installation and act as an “external root” to change the password.
Please let me know which route you’d like to follow. :slight_smile:

@vasileios I haven’t done anything on there at all, so I’ll reinstall. Is there somewhere I can look up dragging out files? I’ll search that too. I’m also in the class but only up to workshop 009 so far.
Should I use a larger USB drive?

1 Like

When you boot from your USB on Mint, you will see your original drive on the lower end of the left bar of the file manager. Click on it to mount and navigate to the home folder. You will see your user’s directory there. All your files are mainly stored in the Desktop, Documents, Pictures, and Downloads folder. If you have any Videos and/or Music, the files will be stored in their respective folders.

Once in your home folder, you can select those folders (with CTRL+Click for multiple selections) then press CTRL+C to copy. Also, once you make that selection, release the CTRL and right-click on one of the selected folders and click on properties. The emerging window will tell you how big those folders are in terms of size. That will give you a good idea how much space they will require. Then, you can either connect an external drive (or another USB thumb drive), select it on the left bar of the file manager, right-clck on empty space and select Paste (or press CTRL+V).

Once the copy is done, you can then click on the Eject button of your external storage and take it out. Then, you can proceed to the installation of your Linux. :slight_smile:

Hi @vasileios - I finally reinstalled mint and wrote down the password. But - The install icon is still on the desktop. When I shut down it tells me to take out the USB and hit enter, which I do. When I turn it back on, it opens to what looks like a big terminal that says GNU GRUB version 2.04 at the top; I have no idea what to do from there. If I shut it down, I can put the USB back in, hit f10 a bunch of times and reboot from the USB, but then I’m back in this circle. If I hit the install icon it says mint 20.2 (or whichever it is) is already here, do I want to erase and so forth, so I haven’t done that. Do you have any idea what the problem might be?
thank you again for all your help!

Hey @Jen!
The reason is that you’ll need to enter the BIOS of your system, go to the Boot tab and select your main drive to be the first on the list. Then save and exit. Your system should then boot normally from your installation.