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How to Fix “passwd: Authentication token manipulation error” in Linux

  • Last Updated : 21 Jun, 2021

In this article, we are going to see how to Fix “passwd: Authentication token manipulation error” in Linux. In a Linux system when you try to change your password you will come across Authentication Token Manipulation Error and what this means is, for some reason your password change was not successful at all.

There can be many reasons for that like if you don’t supply the password output will give you the information “No password supply” or if the password is mismatched output will give you the information “Sorry, passwords do not match” then in both the cases you will be getting Authentication Token Manipulation Error. Well in these cases you know what is causing the error right and you can simply fix it

But there are cases where you won’t see any information, and the output will be an Authentication token manipulation error

Let’s see the other cases and how to fix the error:

Method 1: Reboot System



Try rebooting the system it does work, and you won’t get the same error

$ sudo reboot

After rebooting the system try again it does fix the error.

Method 2: Set Correct Permissions on Shadow File.

In a Linux system, the /etc/shadow file keeps the password or stores the actual password for a user account in an encrypted format and this can be the reason behind the error. It can be fixed by setting the correct permission on it

To set the correct permissions on it, use the below chmod command.

$ sudo chmod 0640 /etc/shadow

How to Fix “passwd: Authentication token manipulation error” in Linux

Method 3: Remount Root Partition



If the partition is mounted as read-only as you will get the error that means no files can be modified, which means a user’s password can’t be changed, since you have to change the password you must mount the root partition as read/write 

The below command will do that and will fix the error:

$ sudo mount -o remount,rw /

How to Fix “passwd: Authentication token manipulation error” in Linux

Method 4: Clean the Disk Space

Sometimes, when your disk gets full then also creates an Authentication token manipulation error. So in this case we will clear all the space and try to log in again. There are some tools you can use to clean the disk space: Agedu, BleachBit.

Method 5: Repair the Filesystem file.

We can also use this technique to overcome this error, you can use disk cleaning space such as fsck tools.

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