Recovering a Lost Root Password

Version 2.5 Version 3.0

Applies to Platform: UTM 2.4, UTM 2.5, except ARM-based
Last update: 04 June 2014

Applies to Platform: UTM 3.0, except ARM-based
Last update: 04 June 2014

While losing the root password is a serious issue and might at a first impression let you think to have lost shell access to your Endian UTM system, there are at least two possible solutions:

  1. To change the password from the GUI.
  2. To reboot the Endian UTM Appliance in sigle user mode. This method however does not work on the ARM-based Appliances, since they have no GRUB If you have an ARM-based Endian Appliance, please refer to this article.

Using the GUI

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The easiest way to change the root password is to log in to the graphic administration interface, go to Menubar > System > Passwords and type the new password in the two rightmost textboxes (1) (2), then click on the underneath Change Password button (3).

Rebooting in single user mode

To apply this solution, you need to be able to follow the whole shutdown and reboot process. Therefore, you need either a serial nullmodem cable and a workstation with serial interface and a terminal program, allowing to follow the process via serial console, or a monitor and a keyboard directly attached to the Appliance. The latter possibilities however may not be possible in the Appliance is a Mini. Follow this lesson to set up a serial console.

After you have connected the serial console or the video and keyboard, these are the necessary steps to recover the password:

  1. Reboot the appliance:
    root@endian:~# reboot
  2. During the boot, you will see some informative messages about the hardware, then a graphical menu on a grey background will appear, entitled GNU GRUB. At this point, quickly Press a cursor button to stop the countdown, or the system will boot automatically.
  3. Select the first menu item, then press the 'a' key. A line similar to the following will appear:
    grub append> root=/dev/hda3 panic=10 ro
  4. Write at the end of the line a space, followed by the word single:
    grub append> root=/dev/hda3 panic=10 ro single


    Recent Endian UTM Appliances are already configured to boot with the serial console configured. If it is not, add the following to the boot parameters: 
  5. Press ENTER to resume the boot process
  6. After the boot process has completed, you will end up with this command line prompt at the bottom of the screen:
  7. The filesystem is mounted in read only mode, but you need write access to it, so type the command:
    sh-3.00# mount -o rw,remount /
  8. Now you can change the root password:
    sh-3.00# passwd
  9. You will be asked to enter the new root password twice.
  10. Make sure that the changes made to the password's file are written to disk:
    sh-3.00# sync
  11. Finally, reboot the system.
    sh-3.00# reboot


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