Resetting vCenter Server Appliance Root and Single Sign-on Password

Set up a new vCenter Server a while back and didn’t write down the password. Guess what happened next, trying to find a way to reset both of them.

Here is what I managed to do.

First of all, reset the “root” password.

Log in to the ESXi host that powers the vCenter Appliance and do the following steps:

  1. Open the vCenter Console and reboot it.
  2. Press the “e” key right after the VCSA Photon OS start to enter the GNU GRUB Edit menu.
  3. Add the following line at the end of the line that starts with the word “linux”.
    rw init=/bin/bash
  4. Press F10 to continue booting once done.
  5. Then run the following commands
mount -o remount,rw /
unmount /
reboot -f

Now go to https://serverip:5480/ to access the vCenter Server Appliance using the new password.

Now, let’s reset the Single Sign-On Password:

Log in vCenter Server Appliance to enable SSH and then log in as the root user via SSH.

Run the following command to enable access to the bash shell.

set --enable true

Type “shell” and press enter. And then run:


Press 3 to enter the Reset Account Password option to generate a new temporary password that you can log in to vCenter Server. From there, you can change the password to whatever you want.

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