How to Reset a Forgotten Root Password

Sunil Sunder Raj unixtools at
Wed Apr 16 20:35:30 PDT 2003

As the os(FREEBSD) is starting it will display the following message:

Hit [Enter] to boot immediately, or any other key for command prompt.

Booting [kernel ] in 10 seconds...

You should now ress the space bar, and you will see the following message:

Type '?' for a list of commands, or 'help' for more detailed help.


now type boot -s and press the enter key to start FreeBSD in single user
mode. After the system boots, you should see the statement:

Enter fill pathname of shell or RETURN for /bin/sh:

Press the enter key and you will have a # prompt.

[Mount  the filesystems]

At the command prompt. issue the mount command. This command will mount
all the filesystems listed in your /etc/fstab file.

# mount -t ufs -a

[Change the root password]

Issue the passwd command and you will be prompted to enter a new password
for the root account.


New password:
passwd: updating the database...
passwd: done

[Change the manage password]

#passwd manage

There is no need to reboot the operating system to go to multi-user
mode. The exit command will cause the system to return to multi-user miode
without a reboot.


>From: Hilmi Hilmiev <hilmi at>
>To: freebsd-questions at
>Subject: How to Reset a Forgotten Root Password
>Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2003 13:20:03 +0200
>I have  FreeBSD box with  forgotten root password. How can I reset this 
>freebsd-questions at mailing list
>To unsubscribe, send any mail to 
>"freebsd-questions-unsubscribe at"

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