Unable to upgrade vCenter 6.7 to U1, Root password (NOT) expired

It was time to upgrade to vCenter 6.7 U1 in my lab but when running the RUN PRE-UPDATE CHECKS it warned me about my root password being expired… Although I was still able to log in as root without any warning. Also, I was unable to change the root password via any GUI method. It just would not accept my new password.

So it was time to get out the big guns and “bash” this issue out of existence. Just follow this guide and you will get it done and up and running again to upgrade.

To reset the root password in vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 and 6.7:

  1. Take a snapshot or backup of the vCenter Server Appliance before proceeding. Do not skip this step.
  2. Reboot the vCenter Server Appliance.
  3. After the OS starts, press e key to enter the GNU GRUB Edit Menu.
  4. Locate the line that begins with the word Linux.
  5. Append these entries to the end of the line:rw init=/bin/bashThe line should look like the following screenshot:

6. Press F10 to continue booting.
7. In the Command prompt, enter the command passwd and provide a new root password (twice for confirmation)
8. Confirm that you can access the vCenter Server Appliance using the new root password.
9. Remove the snapshot taken in Step 1 if applicable or remove it after the upgrade.

Now all checks passed and ready to update.

2 thoughts on “Unable to upgrade vCenter 6.7 to U1, Root password (NOT) expired

  1. Steve Hiner

    Can’t you just enable SSH, login to the appliance, switch to the BASH shell and run passwd to change the password?

    That’s what I did and it removed that warning. I didn’t need to reboot anything. In my case I believe the password likely was expired.

  2. David

    i cannot find any resolution to my root password issue. attempting to upgrade vcsa versions and blocked due to root account expiration.

    chage -l root displays:
    “Your account has expired; please contact your system administrator
    cage: PAM User account has expired”

    resetting password with ‘passwd ‘ does not correct the issue. have tried via ssh as well as from grub rw init=/bin/bash

    VAMI fails to set password as well. I am absolutely stumped.


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