Root Password Reset

The rescue image can be used to reset the root password for your VPS just as you might use a live CD. If you run BSD, you can also boot the appropriate BSD installer and follow a similar process.

Boot Into Rescue Mode

Shut down your VPS and boot into the rescue mode using the VPS console:

1. out of band console (press ctrl-] to escape, not resizeable)
2. create/start, opens OOB console (try this if the machine is not running)
3. shutdown (requests clean shutdown, forces off after 4 min)
4. force power off (destroy/hard shutdown)
5. reboot (shutdown + start)
6. set bootloader, rescue mode, or netboot installer
7. view/add/remove ssh authorized_keys
8. view/edit reverse dns
9. install new OS image
a. system details
b. maintenance options

When the system shuts down and returns to the console, use option “set bootloader, rescue mode, or netboot installer” and proceed from there. Depending on your VPS type, you will be presented with one of two menus:

1. Boot from disk
2. Linux-based Live Rescue
3. Linux netboot installers - install mode
4. Linux netboot installers - rescue mode
5. BSD installers


1. GRUB legacy(pv-grub)
2. GRUB2
3. Linux-based Live Rescue
4. Linux netboot installers - install mode
5. Linux netboot installers - rescue mode
6. BSD netboot installers

Reset Your Password

  1. When the rescue image is finished booting, log in as root at the prompt with no password (this example uses the Linux-based Live Rescue):

    rescue login: root
    Linux rescue 4.9.0-12-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 4.9.210-1 (2020-01-20) x86_64
    To manually enable ssh access to the rescue image, copy
    your public key to /root/.ssh/authorized_keys and type
    “service ssh start”

  2. Mount your root filesystem (by default /dev/xvda1) and chroot to it:

    root@rescue:~# mount /dev/xvda1 /mnt/
    [   60.024137] EXT4-fs (xvda1): mounted filesystem with ordered data mode. Opts: (null)
    root@rescue:~# chroot /mnt/

  3. Change the root password with passwd:

    root@rescue:/# passwd
    Enter new UNIX password: 
    Retype new UNIX password: 
    passwd: password updated successfully

  4. If you are using CentOS or Fedora, mark the file system for selinux autorelabeling:

    root@rescue:/# touch /.autorelabel

  5. Exit, unmount, and shutdown:

    [root@rescue /]# exit
    root@rescue:~# umount /mnt
    root@rescue:~# shutdown -h now
             Starting Synchronise Hardware Clock to System Clock…

  6. This will return you to the VPS Console. You need to set the system to boot normally again. Go to the “set bootloader, rescue mode, or netboot installer” menu and select your original boot option.

  7. Go back to the main menu.

  8. Start the VPS again using “create/start.”