Passwd: Authentication token manipulation error - Ubuntu

You probably encountered this error while trying to reset the password on a Ubuntu system.

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passwd nyuser

Enter new UNIX password:
Retype new UNIX password:
passwd: Authentication token manipulation error
passwd: password unchanged

This is the result of trying to work on a file system while mounted as read-only. The solution is a simple one. Before making changes to the users password mount the filesystem as read-write which allows for the necessary changes to be made.

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mount -o rw,remount /

Now try to change the users passwords again.

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passwd nyuser

Enter new UNIX password:
Retype new UNIX password:
passwd: password updated successfully