Change the Minimum Password Length in Ubuntu 14.04

June 28, 2015


Ubuntu 14.04 requires a minimum password length of 8 characters, as well as complexity check by default, though you can set a short password while installing Ubuntu.

The /etc/pam.d/common-password file handles password-related configurations. If you want to set a short password and disable complexity check, edit the file via below steps:

1. Open terminal from the Dash, Launcher or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard. When it opens, run below command to edit the file:

sudo nano /etc/pam.d/common-password


Type in your user password when it asks

2. When the file opens in the terminal screen, scroll down and find out the line:

password     [success=1 default=ignore] obscure sha512

To set minimum password length, add minlen=N (N is a number) to the end of this line.

To disable complexity check, remove “obscure” from that line.


After that, press Ctrl+X and then type Y to save changes and finally press Enter to exit editing.

After all, change your password via passwd USERNAME command.

change user password in Ubuntu

I'm a freelance blogger who started using Ubuntu 5+ years ago and wishes to share my experiences and some useful tips with Ubuntu beginners and lovers. Please notify me if you find any typo/grammar/language mistakes. English is not my native language. Contact me on Google Plus or email to

One response to Change the Minimum Password Length in Ubuntu 14.04

  1. Hey ji m

    thanks for the blog, i cannot get the password to be accepted at the GUI setting section under users when wanting to reset or set a new password for a user. any idea why ? thanks