Root password complexity issue in ESXI 6.7


I was not able to login to Esxi via root password. Not sure what went wrong.I was using the right password as I am 99.9% sure.

Anyways I found steps to reset the root password.


I only had * in like this in my shadow file :*:.

After that I reboot the server and on the console I dont see any IP address. So I selected the F2 option and it asked me to set the password and everything else is disabled. I have tried all the combination but cannot set a new password.

I am keep getting the prompt ” I am getting error ” Configure password: Error” The password change operations failed. Please ensure that your password meets the complexity criteria set by the system. ”

Not sure what password I can set as I did all I can.

Need some help in this.


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  1. I don’t know what the required complexity level is but my root password has lower and upper case letters, numbers and special characters so give something like that a try.

    Edit: it’s also 18 characters long but that’s a bit overkill, try 6 or 8, that’s usually the norm.

  2. Ive had to reset the my esxi password a few times using this method, if i recall correctly it resets the complexity to default

    Try using


    As that should meet the requirements,

    After you get logged back in to the web you should be able to change the complexity requirements and then change the password to the one you want

    Good luck

  3. If you’re using vsphere you can change it through there. I ran into this when I came into this position, the previous guy had set different root passwords on a few of the hosts, so I forced them to be changed through vsphere. I can’t remember how exactly I did it though, which is the only bad part.

  4. I’ve had this issue before. It just simply won’t recognize the password. The only way I got around it was to restart the management services or reboot the host. I recommend creating a second root account so that if it does happen, you can get in and restart the services without having to reboot.

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