Resetting an Administrator Password

First published: 10 January 2005


During the Reciprocal Net site software installation process, a default site software user account is created and granted full site software privileges.  The system administrator installing the site software is prompted for the user name and password to be assigned to the account.  If the credentials subsequently should be lost or forgotten, it may not be possible to perform administrative functions through the site software’s usual web interface.

It is possible for a system administrator with access to the database engine used by the site software to set the site software user’s password to a known value.  In most cases this is preferable to a complete reinstallation of the Reciprocal Net site software.

Due to the potential for data loss and possible corruption, it is recommended that only experienced system administrators who feel comfortable with Structured Query Language (SQL) attempt this procedure.  Other system administrators should contact Reciprocal Net technical support for assistance.

The instructions contained within this document are current as of Reciprocal Net site software 0.6.2.  They assume that the system administrator has chosen to host the Reciprocal Net site on the Red Hat Linux operating system, using the MySQL database engine.

Reset instructions

Go to a shell command prompt.  Ensure that Reciprocal Net site software is not running by typing the command:

service recipnetd stop

.  Also stop the two services that depend upon recipnetd by typing:

service tomcat4 stop

service httpd stop

.  Next, start the MySQL administration interface by typing:

mysql –u root –p

.  You will be prompted to type the password for MySQL’s root user account as was configured when MySQL was first installed.  The password is not necessarily the same as that of the Linux user account named root or the default administrative user account within Reciprocal Net site software.

You should see a MySQL command prompt as indicated by mysql> .  Type the following command:

SELECT username FROM recipnet.users;

and press enter.  You should see a list of all user accounts configured within the Reciprocal Net site software.  Find the account whose password you wish to change.  Modify the database record for this user account by typing:

UPDATE recipnet.users SET password=   ’c7a6002549b0ff54324ecce62cd9ab6d’ WHERE username=’your username’;

, all on one line, substituting the name of the user account in place of your username, and pressing enter.  A status message should report Query OK, 1 row affected.  This indicates a successful change.  Exit the MySQL administration interface by typing:


Launch the daemons you halted a moment ago by typing the following three commands:

service recipnetd start

service tomcat4 start

service httpd start

Finally, open a web browser and surf to your Reciprocal Net site.  Log in with the username you specified earlier and the password:


.  It is recommended that you change this password to another value immediately using the web application’s Admin Tools feature.

Technical support

Resetting a lost or forgotten administrator password is a supported feature.  System administrators who are not comfortable with Structured Query Language (SQL) should contact Reciprocal Net technical support for personal assistance in lieu of executing this procedure themselves.

Additions, corrections, and comments about the content of this document are always welcome; please e-mail these to help@reciprocalnet.org