Root password expired on vCenter VCSA 6.5

I thought I’d update my homelab’s primary vCenter to the latest and greatest (6.5 update 1d), when I encountered an issue with the root password.┬áThe update showed up ok in the appliance’s VAMI interface and I selected to install it but an error quickly showed up:

VCSA 6.5 is not ready to be updated

Not ready, huh? When I clicked on the “Show Details” button, I saw a message informing me that the root password had expired or expiring soon:

VCSA 6.5 update is blocked by expired root password

Well ok, I’ll go and reset it and turn off the expiry I thought. (That process is covered in the vCenter documentation.) But noooo, permission denied! The password couldn’t be set and the expiry settings could not be changed.

What’s more, the expiry date for the root password was in 1971:

The root password appears to have expired in 1971

Obviously that doesn’t make a lot of sense. Especially as I could still log in to the VAMI using the root password!

The Fix

Luckily there’s a KB article (2147444) already in existence that can help in this situation. As this is my homelab, I skipped the snapshot step but if you do this in a production environment, best not skip it!

I followed the KB’s instructions and they solved the root password expiry problem. I could then apply the update too:

The root password expiry issue is now fixed


The vCenter update can now be applied



  1. I had the same issue and assuming you know your root password, you can just ssh into the vcenter appliance, login as root, and change the password using the passwd command. Then with the new password not being expired, you can turn off the password expiration or change the period, if you wish.

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