Objective

This guide will provide you with an information on how to reset lost or forgotten root ( administrator ) password on Kali Linux.

Operating System and Software Versions

  • Operating System: - Kali Rolling Release

Requirements

Physical access to your computer or virtual machine with the Kali Linux installation is required.

Difficulty

EASY

Conventions

  • # - requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
  • $ - requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

Instructions

Step 1: Boot Into GRUB menu

Boot to Kali GRUB menu
Reboot your Kali Linux system into the GRUB boot menu. Highlight the default boot menu you are usually booting from and press the e key in order to edit this boot menu entry.


Step 2: Edit GRUB menu

Enter GRUB edit mode
Once you entered the GRUB menu edit mode you will be presented with the following window. Scroll down until you hit the line starting with keyword linux.
Edit GRUB menu entry
After you have located the appropriate boot entry as specified by the previous step, use navigational arrows to look for keyword ro and replace it with keyword rw. Next, on the same boot entry find keyword quiet and replace it with init=/bin/bash.

Step 3: Check RW permissions on root partition

Confirm root partition permissions
Type mount command and look for / root mount partition. Confirm that this partition is mounted with rw permissions.


Step 4: Reset Kali root password

Reset root password - kali linux
At this point we are ready to reset the root user password. Type passwd command and enter your new password. Enter the root password again to verify. Press ENTER and confirm that the password reset was successful.

Step 5: Reboot Kali

At this stage you are done. Simply reboot your system or continue booting using the following linux command:
root@(none):/# exec /sbin/init

Troubleshooting

Enter new UNIX password:
Retype new UNIX password:
passwd: Authentication token manipulation error
passwd: password unchanged
Your root partition is mounted read-only. Try:
# mount -o remount,rw /
to resolve this issue.
[ end Kernel panic - not syncing: Attempted to kill init! exit code=0x0007f00
Make sure that you removed splash boot option when editing grub's menu item.
When trying to reboot with reboot command I get:
Failed to connect to bus: No such file or directory
Failed to talk to init daemon.
Ignore, and reboot with:
# exec /sbin/init
ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A LINUX JOB?
Submit your RESUME or create a JOB ALERT on LinuxCareers.com job portal.
DO YOU NEED ADDITIONAL HELP?
Get extra help by visiting our LINUX FORUM or simply use comments below.