A few weeks ago, the root account of my VMware Cloud Director deployment in my homelab expired and I had to choose a new password.
This morning I couldn’t find the generated password anymore and I had two issues to solve:

  1. The password of my root account needs to be recovered.
  2. After a couple of failed login attempts my root account was locked out.

Recover a lost root password for VMware Cloud Director 10.x

  • Reboot the VMware Cloud Director appliance from the console in vSphere.
  • Press e one Photon OS start up.
  • Select the line beginning with “linux” and add “rw init=/bin/bash” to it, as shown in the following figure.
  • Press F10 to start the boot process. The VMware Cloud Director cell will boot to a Bash shell.
  • Unlock the root account and reboot the cell by running the following commands:
passwd rootpam_tally2 –reset –user root.
reboot -f

Now you can connect back to your VMware Cloud Director cell via UI or SSH!


By Marc Roeleveld

VCDX-DCV #299 | Cloud Architect | Owner at Roeleveld Cloud Services

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