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How to Change Password in CentOS 7 via Command Line

In today’s digital world, security is paramount. One of the fundamental aspects of securing your system is ensuring strong, regularly updated passwords. CentOS 7, a popular Linux distribution known for its stability and reliability, offers several methods to manage user passwords, including through the command line interface (CLI). In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to change a password in CentOS 7 using the command line.

Why Change Your Password?

Changing passwords regularly is a vital security practice. It helps mitigate the risk of unauthorized access to your system and sensitive data. Whether you’re a system administrator managing multiple users or an individual user looking to update your own password, knowing how to change passwords via the command line in CentOS 7 is essential.

Step-by-Step Guide:

1. Open Terminal:

Begin by opening a terminal window. In CentOS 7, you can access the terminal by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or by searching for “Terminal” in the applications menu.

2. Log in as Root or Use Sudo:

To change a user’s password, you’ll need administrative privileges. You can either log in as the root user or use the sudo command before executing password-related commands.

If you’re not logged in as the root user, prefix the password-changing command with sudo. For example:

sudo passwd <username>

Replace <username> with the username for which you want to change the password.

3. Change the Password:

Once you’re logged in with the appropriate privileges, use the passwd command followed by the username whose password you want to change. For example:

passwd johndoe

Replace johndoe with the username for which you want to change the password.

4. Enter the New Password:

After executing the passwd command, you’ll be prompted to enter a new password. Type the new password and press Enter. Note that when you type the password, no characters or asterisks will be displayed on the screen for security reasons.

5. Confirm the New Password:

You’ll then be prompted to re-enter the new password for confirmation. Type the same password again and press Enter. If both passwords match, CentOS 7 will confirm the password change.

6. Verification:

To ensure that the password change was successful, try logging in with the new password for the specified user. If you can log in without any issues, the password change was successful.


Changing passwords in CentOS 7 via the command line is a straightforward process that helps enhance the security of your system. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily update user passwords, thereby reducing the risk of unauthorized access and ensuring the integrity of your system’s security.

Remember, regular password changes, combined with strong password policies and other security measures, are essential components of a robust security strategy for any CentOS 7 server. Stay vigilant, stay secure!