Resetting the VMWare vCenter appliance (VCSA) root password

Ok this is strange problem I came across during my VMWare lab setup. For some reason the password I’ve setup during my vcenter appliance setup is not detecting. Yes I waited enough time for appliance to bootup Smile 

So here I’m wondering how to move to next step without wiping and starting my test lab from the scratch. Based on my research around found out we can reset the root password on Linux appliance. This going to be a post which I will be helpful for me as well as for yo all when struggling through root password issues in VCSA

To provide some background I’m testing VMWare Esxi and vCenter (VCSA) 6.7 setup running on VMWare workstation 14. For this lab setup I did import the VCSA OVA file directedly into the VMWare workstation instead of setting up inside the ESXi server (yes you can do that Smile)

Please note VMware using their own OS called “Photon OS” for their VCSA appliance. 

Ok for the steps guide now.

1. Take a snapshot or backup or your VCSA appliance. Restart the VM and hit letter “e” in your keyboard when you see the “Photon OS splash screen. This will take you to the GRUB boot menu. In the end of first sentence append the parameter rw init=/bin/bash

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2. After that press F10 to continue the boot. After few seconds you’ll be prompted with  root login. Type passwd. You’ll be prompted to enter the new password. Type the new password and repeat the again for verification. If you’re successful you’ll be prompted.

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3. Once the steps are completed you can type reboot –f and let the system restart. After that once the system reboot try connecting to vcsa login screen with the new password.

Hope this small steps will save you lot of time. From what I heard if there is new updates to the Photon OS there is a possibility password we setup might not work. Remember these steps to overcome that.

Kindly note I’ve only test this on VMware 6.7 version only. I do believe same will work on 6.5 version as well.

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