Won't Accept Login Password Even After Reset

Hello all, I’m fairly new to Linux so please bear with me. I’ve been using Manjaro with no issues until today, I’ve been away and I haven’t logged on for awhile and I ran updates for all my programs. They completed successfully and that’s the only thing that’s changed recently. Later I reboot my computer, I have Howdy face recognition installed; it recognized my face, but won’t log me in. I try to input my password the usual way, and it says password is incorrect. I know for a fact I’m putting in the right password, I tested the keyboard input in another field and it is typing correctly. After searching I attempted to reset both my user and root password to something simple (abc) from Grub using the init=/bin/bash method; it says successfully changed, but still does not accept it, password incorrect.

Is this related to the updates? It was a large amount of packages. I know it said a kernel update was available, is this a known issue? Is there an alternative way to login or reset a password? I’ve read about deleting .Xauthority but I’m not sure how to without being able to login. Any help would be appreciated; as I said I’m fairly new, I’m picking it up but I might need to be walked through any commands. I’ll try to provide any information needed that I can get without logging in.


Hello, how long exactly did you not update your system?

Probably 4 months or so. After that I’d been using it on and off usually without internet with no login issues, up until 2 weeks ago. Then I came back, logged in no problem, updated, and couldn’t log in next reboot.

If it’s relevant, the WiFi is pretty spotty here, so it lost connection several times during updates, but always resumed when it regained connection, it just took a few hours so I didn’t think anything of it.

Update: I accessed the virtual console for the login screen, alt+ctrl+F2. I put in my username and my face is detected but it says “module is unknown.” If I let it time out and use my password (either my original or the reset “abc”) it says “login incorrect.” Also entered the command line and renamed .Xauthority to see if it would generate a new one and if it would help. No change, and no new file generated.

As Manjaro is a curated rolling release, updates come very frequently and your system should apply them more often to avoid any breakage.
You did not precise which Desktop environment you’re using. There were major updates recently on KDE and Gnome, big changes also about PAM authentication in general if I’m correct…
Leaving Manjaro without updates for months tends to rise highly the risk to brick your system. It tries to upgrade from months ago programs and dependencies… A more stable distro (ie static, not rolling release) could be best for you if you are prone to not update it for ages.

Now to try and see if it’s recoverable (maybe not worth the try, and better save your data and reinstall) I’ll call Linux Jedis as @Aragorn or @Fabby.

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Welcome to the forum! :slight_smile:

There’s your problem. A lot has changed in the past 4 months, and although Manjaro is a curated rolling-release distribution ─ which means that updates are tested longer and bundled together for consistency, as well as to not overload the user with the chaos of having to update your system on a daily basis ─ the idea of a rolling-release still is that you would keep your system updated.

Meanwhile, too much time has gone by, and by not keeping your system updated, you’ve managed to amass such a large number of potential problems that the question arises whether you wouldn’t be better off with a blank reinstall ─ and with the newest .iso, of course.

In the end, if we’re going to have to talk you through the whole process of fixing your system ─ and having to rely on you for doing exactly what we say and providing us with the exact and correct information ─ then we’ll still be sitting here days from now trying to troubleshoot things, and in the meantime, you could have already long downloaded a new .iso, reinstalled your system and be using it productively.

Not to be cynical, but if you’re new to GNU/Linux, then you probably won’t have been using your system for any important work, and then you’ve probable got your important data on ─ I’m guessing ─ a Microsoft Windows machine. So not much will be lost.

Besides, if you installed your system with /home on a separate partition, then you can install a newer and updated Manjaro without having to format /home, and then you’d still have all of your user data in the Manjaro system as well, including any customizations and tweaks to your desktop environment.

Yes, hopefully the OP has made backups.

Oh, so that was the disturbance I picked up in the Force. :laughing:

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Thanks to both of you for the welcome and the explanations! I figured I’d try to fix it myself and learn something before jumping to reinstalling, but that makes perfect sense. My job keeps me far away from civilization and internet for days to weeks or more in the summer, so perhaps I’ll look into a static distro. For now, I took your advice and reinstalled from the newest .iso of Manjaro and am currently back up and running.

I always keep a backup of anything important and I ran a live environment to back up the rest before I reinstalled, so no biggie. I didn’t have my /home on another partition but that would have been much more convenient, lesson learned there, so I did that on this install in case I need to do this again.

Thanks again, it’s people like you guys who make Linux enjoyable and approachable for people like me! May the Force be with you :laughing:


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