DebianDebian Based

How To Change Password on Debian 12

Change Password on Debian 12

In this tutorial, we will show you how to change password on Debian 12. In Debian 12, there are two main types of user accounts: regular user accounts and the root account. Regular user accounts have limited privileges and are used for day-to-day tasks, while the root account is the superuser with full administrative rights. It’s essential to have a strong password for both types of accounts to ensure the security of your Debian system.

The user password is used to authenticate the user when logging in or performing certain actions that require elevated privileges. The root password, on the other hand, is used to perform administrative tasks and access sensitive system files and configurations. Maintaining the confidentiality of both passwords is crucial to prevent unauthorized access and potential security breaches.

This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step change password on Debian 12 (Bookworm).


 Before you begin changing passwords in Debian 12, ensure that you have the following prerequisites:

  • A server running one of the following operating systems: Debian 12 (Bookworm).
  • SSH access to the server (or just open Terminal if you’re on a desktop).
  • An active internet connection.
  • You’ll need to open a terminal to execute commands for changing passwords.
  • A user account with sudo privileges to execute administrative commands.

Change Password on Debian 12 Bookworm

Step 1. Change Password on Debian 12.

  • Changing User Password Using CLI

To change a user password using the command line interface (CLI) in Debian 12, follow these steps:

passwd <username>

The system will prompt you to enter the current password (if any) and then enter a new password twice for confirmation.

If the passwords match and meet the complexity requirements, the password will be updated successfully.


$ passwd meilana
Changing password for meilana.
(current) UNIX password:
Enter new UNIX password:
Retype new UNIX password:
passwd: password updated successfully

Note: The password you type will not be visible on the screen for security reasons.

  • Changing Root Password Using CLI

To change the root password using the command line interface (CLI) in Debian 12, follow these steps:

Enter the following command:

sudo passwd root

The system will prompt you to enter your current user password (if prompted).

If the passwords match and meet the complexity requirements, the root password will be updated successfully.


$ sudo passwd root
[sudo] password for john:
Enter new UNIX password for root:
Retype new UNIX password for root:
passwd: password updated successfully

Remember, the root password should be strong and unique to protect your system from unauthorized access.

  • Changing Password Using GUI

Debian 12 also provides a graphical user interface (GUI) for changing passwords. To change a user password using the GUI, follow these steps:

    1. Open the Settings application.
    2. Navigate to the Users section.
    3. Select the user account for which you want to change the password.
    4. Click on the “Change Password” button.
    5. Enter the current password (if any) and then enter a new password twice for confirmation.
    6. Click “Change Password” to update the password.

Step 3. Security Best Practices for Password Management.

To ensure the security of your Debian 12 system, it’s crucial to follow these best practices for password management:

  • Use strong passwords: Create passwords that are at least 12 characters long, and include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
  • Avoid using common words or personal information: Steer clear of using dictionary words, names, birthdates, or other easily guessable information in your passwords.
  • Update passwords regularly: Change your passwords every few months or whenever you suspect a breach.
  • Use a password manager: Consider using a reputable password manager to securely store and generate strong passwords.
  • Enforce password policies: Implement password policies that require users to create strong passwords and update them periodically.

By following these best practices, you can significantly enhance the security of your Debian 12 system and protect it from unauthorized access.

Step 4. Troubleshooting Common Issues

While changing passwords in Debian 12 is generally straightforward, you may encounter some common issues. Here are a few troubleshooting tips:

  • Incorrect current password: If you enter an incorrect current password, the system will display an error message. Double-check the current password and try again.
  • Permission issues: Ensure that you have the necessary permissions to change the password. If you’re not logged in as root and don’t have sudo privileges, you won’t be able to change the root password.
  • Password complexity requirements: Debian 12 may have certain password complexity requirements, such as a minimum length or the inclusion of specific characters. If your chosen password doesn’t meet these requirements, the system will prompt you to try again with a stronger password.

If you encounter any other issues or error messages, refer to the Debian documentation or seek help from the Debian community forums for further assistance.

Congratulations! You have successfully changed the password. Thanks for using this tutorial to change your password on Debian 12 Bookworm. For additional help or useful information, we recommend you check the official Debian website.

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r00t is a seasoned Linux system administrator with a wealth of experience in the field. Known for his contributions to, r00t has authored numerous tutorials and guides, helping users navigate the complexities of Linux systems. His expertise spans across various Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, CentOS, and Debian. r00t's work is characterized by his ability to simplify complex concepts, making Linux more accessible to users of all skill levels. His dedication to the Linux community and his commitment to sharing knowledge makes him a respected figure in the field.
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