How to Change your Username in Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot)

Here’s a brief tutorial that shows you how to change your username or user id in Ubuntu. We’ve shown you this before but we found a different way to do it and it’s easy. This method uses Ubuntu Recovery Mode to accomplish the same goal. Using the Recovery Mode, one can change his/her username and password as well as the root’s password.

By default, Ubuntu won’t allow you to be signed in to your desktop while you change your username. It’s not possible. You must first login as a different user and then change your username.

That’s what we showed you in the past. To read that tutorial please click here.  In that tutorial, we activated the root account, logged-in as root and change the username. This post won’t follow those steps. Instead, we’ll boot into Ubuntu Recovery Mode and change our username and password from there.

So, without wasting anymore of your time, let’s get going.

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To get started, hold down the Shift key and boot your computer. When it starts, choose Advanced options for Ubuntu




Next, choose the recovery mode for the latest version of the kernel.




Then scroll down and choose root session to sign into.




On screen, run the commands below to remount the root partition.
mount -rw -o remount /


After that, run the commands below to change your username in Ubuntu.
usermod -c “Real Name” -l New_Name Old_Name



Login and you’ll notice the username for the terminal username@hostname will be changed.



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5 thoughts on “How to Change your Username in Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot)”

  1. Did not work all it did was make an untitled folder on the desktop with my daughters name still there. My goal is to rename it to my name. Example when I click to open home folder and than hover over sub folders such as music, pictures downloads etc.. it sows as /home/mydaughtersname/music I want all of them to show /home/myname/music pictures, documents, downloads etc… I am sure I followed this instructions here exactly, done it 3 times , No luck am I missing something please help, novice and new to ubuntu, I need step by step instructions, please explain as if you were teaching a kindergartner. Thanks in advance.

  2. I am afraid I have some more pestering to do….
    In the above example: which is the name you want to get rid of? what does “real name” mean here, and how is it relevant/important ? I guess that the “” – marks must not be typed in, in the command?
    you do announce that you write for newbies………well , here is one for you…….

  3. Will it still work if the “Real Name” we put in doesn’t match the original “Real Name”? For example my old username might be “stupidname123” and real name is “Not MyName” and I put some other Real Name, would it still work?

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