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James K.
James K., Consultant
Category: Email
Satisfied Customers: 1585
Experience:  Technical Director of IT Company
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I have been a ubuntu user for some years and until now quite

Customer Question

I have been a ubuntu user for some years and until now quite happy. I have two problems
first - i have been using a version 14. ? updating every time i received a notice to do so. attached to these up dates has been your notice that i should update to version 16.04 this was a critical mistake as i now have a totally useless laptop and have to use another laptop which does not have ubuntu or my email address.
I made the mistake a few nights ago by starting the 16.04 down load and went to bed and to my surprise i could not open the new version as it requires a log in and a pass word, as i did not use then on version 14.? i am now dead in the water
My next problem is with the email and ubuntu one. I had to set up my email info on a different computer and keep going round and round with ubuntu one as i cant get past the log in screen
So what am i to do and my email address is***@******.***
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Email
Expert:  Russell H. replied 2 months ago.

Hi, thank you for contacting My name is Russell. I will do my best to provide the right answer to your question.

If there was no user name nor login on the computer before, then try entering default values... your name or your home directory name, for the user name, and then a blank (no characters) for the password.

In this case, the system *cannot* make up a password ***** you. It has to use default values. It will (in usual UNIX/Linux fashion) only have a blank password ***** this point.

The only real puzzle would be the user name. The exact spelling of your home directory on the system, as it was, would be a logical choice, however. Try that as a username to log in with, and see if that, and a blank password, works.

(Keep in mind that Linux tends to observe UPPER-CASE and lower-case distinctions in some instances, so spell the username exactly as your home directory name is spelled.)

Let me know how it goes, please.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I tried all of your reccomendations prior to contacting you with no luck so I need a different solution
Expert:  Russell H. replied 2 months ago.

I'm sorry - if you never entered any password, then you may be 'stuck' with trying to get access by changing the root password.

In fact, that's an idea! try the


username, and then a blank password ***** it! unless you set a password ***** root already, in which case use that root password ***** course.

See if you can log in as root, and straighten out the other problems with the root user powers.

Let me know how that sounds... and how it goes, please.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I do not know how to log in to the root and as for pass words the computer came to me with ubuntu installed and only one pass word for administrative approval for making changes or adding programs, and i have tried it extensively in my trials
Expert:  Russell H. replied 2 months ago.

Put in the


username, which is always just root. That's the username to try.

Then enter nothing, no characters, a blank, in the password ***** Or enter nothing in the password ***** don't even click in it.

Then submit that as a login. See if it works.

Let me know.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
the above try with root did not work so what is our next option
Expert:  Russell H. replied 2 months ago.

To get into Linux some other way - with the objective of changing the root password (or, whatever user password ***** provide access to the extent you need. root is best, ***** *****)

Do you have a boot disk for ubuntu?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
no to the boot disc
Expert:  Russell H. replied 2 months ago.

Then that's not fortunate.

Have you tried, by the way, a blank username and a blank password?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
many times
Expert:  Russell H. replied 2 months ago.

Then do you have any data, not backed up to other devices, that you value, on that ubuntu computer?

And also: do you have another computer, with a CD-writing drive on it and internet access?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
the last back up was a week ago so some minor losses could be encountered
As to the 2nd computer, my lap top hard drive is partitioned and is a dual boot computer wit ubuntu as prime and widows 10 on the other half
The dvd/cd drive is not reliable
Expert:  Russell H. replied 2 months ago.

You will need to burn a boot CD of some sort - if only to recover data....

(I'm taking a lunch break of about 2 hours now...)

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I can not burn a boot disc and an i am not ready to format the drive and loose what i have to just to down load a new copy of ubuntu. i could have done that on my own
Expert:  Russell H. replied 2 months ago.

I can guide you as to a method of data recovery before other measures of that sort, if you can produce a burned CD boot disk of a certain sort.

But if you'd rather proceed in other directions, that's fine. Nonetheless, if you cannot, or do not know how to, boot up the system into singleuser mode, a boot CD of some sort, even if only to cancel password ***** for the root account and thus allow direct login and correction of other lesser account statuses with regard to password... a boot CD of some sort will be needed, in sum, if this system cannot be booted up in singleuser mode.