Change the Minimum Password Length in Ubuntu 14.04

Last updated: 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 in 2007 and wishes to share my experiences and some useful tips with Ubuntu beginners and lovers. Please comment to let me know if the tutorial is outdated! And, notify me if you find any typo/grammar/language mistakes. English is not my native language. Contact me via [email protected] Buy me a coffee:

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