Posted on September 18, 2015 · Posted in VMWare

How to Reset Root Password in VMware vCenter Appliance

Let’s consider how to reset a forgotten root password on the deployed VMware vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA). We remind that vCSA is a ready virtual machine with an installed Linux OS and configured vCenter Server and additional services. Since a VM vCenter Appliance is built on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, our task is to reset a root password in Linux.

So to force root pasword change (reset) on vCSA (in this example vCenter Appliance 5.5 is used), do the following:

  1. Restart vCSA virtual machine from vSphere Client
  2. When GRUB window appears, press SPACE to prevent startup. GRUB VMware vCenter Appliance
  3. Press P to display boot settings
  4. Enter GRUB password  GRUB password


    • If vCSA has been installed without changing the password using Virtual Appliance Management Interface (VAMI), the default GRUB password is vmware.
    • If the vCSA password has been reset using VAMI, the GRUB password corresponds to the one set in VAMI.
  5. Using arrow keys, select VMware vCenter Server Appliance in the menu and press E to go to boot parameters
  6. Select the entry with kernel boot parameters (kernel)
  7. Press E to edit the boot parameterskernel boot parametrs
  8. Add init=/bin/bash to the kernel boot parametersinit=/bin/bash
  9. Press Enter, then the GRUB menu appears
  10. Press B to boot the system
  11. In the shell window, change the root password using the command passwd root.
  12. Restart vCSA with reboot command.

Note. By default, in vCSA 5.5 the root password expires in 90 days. You can change this in Admin tab of  vCenter Appliance (https://ip-address-vcsa:5480/) management window.  

vCSA password settings

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