CentOS Change Password

Passwords are the oldest and yet, effective form of security measure that almost every single system in the world offers to protect privacy and user data. In the case of CentOS, it’s more important to make sure that everything is secure with a powerful password. However, in cases, passwords need to be changed. There can be a number of reasons, for example, the password being obsolete or disclosed in other security breaches etc. Today, let’s check out the details changing the password on CentOS.

Changing the password

Note that there are 2 different types of passwords – “root” and user(s). If you’re currently within the system, you can easily change the password with a few commands. If not, it will require a bit of a task to change the “root” password and then, the other user(s) password(s).

Change the current user password

Fire up a terminal –

Run the following command –


At first, you have to enter the “root” password. Now, time to enter your new password –

Once changed, you can see the success message.

Changing other user’s password

This is also possible. However, make sure that whatever you’re doing is the right thing. Don’t forget to notify your system admin first!

Enter the user account –

su - <username>

Now, use the “passwd” tool for performing the password change –


Voila! The user now got a new password!

Changing the “root” password

The same technique applies for the “root” user as well. At first, enter the root –

su -

Now, run the command for changing the password –


Voila! Password change successful!

Now, in some cases, you forgot the passwords completely and not able to login into any other users, then the following steps must be followed. Make sure to follow each and every single step PRECISELY. Otherwise, you may ruin the entire system! Restart your system –


When the CentOS icon flashes, hit “e” key on keyboard for entering the grub edit mode.

Scroll down to the line that starts with “linux” or “linux16” –

Now, change the word “ro” with the following line –

rw init=/sysroot/bin/sh

Then, press “Ctrl + X” for booting with the configuration.

Now, we need to mount the system so that we can run all the commands as if we were inside the system. Enter the following command –

chroot /sysroot

Time to perform the password change!

passwd root

The following step is an additional step. Apply this only if your system had SELinux enabled.

touch /.autorelabel

Exit the edit mode –


Voila! Your system password is changed! Enjoy!

About the author

Sidratul Muntaha

Sidratul Muntaha

Student of CSE. I love Linux and playing with tech and gadgets. I use both Ubuntu and Linux Mint.