Reset Your Password With Recovery Mode On The Dell Mini 9 Netbook

digital 1 Comment

Excuse the long title, but I want to make sure search engines get this one.

So, you bought a swell new Dell Mini 9 with Ubuntu, ran through the first-boot account configurator, and promptly forgot your password? You’re not alone. Resetting it is done the standard way from a recovery mode kernel boot, albeit with a quirk. Here are the steps.

1). You’ll need your username. If you have auto-login enabled, open a Terminal (Applications > Accessories) and type whoami and that’s your username.

2). Reboot. When the Dell logo appears, begin tapping [Esc]. Continue tapping until the boot process stops, displaying a MBR 2FA: prompt.

3). The boot process is now halted. The GRUB bootloader has a 0-second timeout before booting, so sit quietly, prepare yourself, and reach out with your feelings and dominant Jedi hand and …

4). Press [Enter] and then [Esc] as quickly as possible. Note the “and then.” You must press one, then the other, not both at the same time. And you must be fast.

5). If successful, padawan, you will have a GRUB boot menu. Using the arrow keys, choose recovery mode. Press [Enter] to boot.

6). At the resulting prompt, type passwd $USERNAME (replace $USERNAME with your actual username). You’ll be asked to type a new password twice, and nothing will be displayed on-screen as you do.

7)). Type reboot and press [Enter]. The job is done.

No one endorses this procedure as actual Jedi training, and machines used for such may lose [Esc] and [Enter] key functionality as a result. Please only use this mind/hand exercise to reset your password.

Ubuntu And Your Money

digital 3 Comments

This is the subject of a session I’m conducting as part of Ubuntu Open Week. Many thanks to Jono, Jorge, and the Ubuntu community of developers and users for making this happen, and allowing me to be a part of it.

I plan to discuss how to make smart buying decisions as a user of Free Software, and Ubuntu in particular. I’ll cover hardware, software, support, services, etc etc.

So, do you plan to attend? If so, are there subjects you’d like to see covered, or specific questions you want answered? Please let me know via comments and I’ll do my best to work such issues and questions into my session notes.

Of course, you’re always welcome to ask questions during the session. However, you may get a more researched and thoughtful (and therefore cogent) response if you give me a little time to prepare. So, have at the comments and let me know what questions you might have.

See you all at 2200UTC on Thursday!