Change the Keystone admin password


There are valid use cases for resetting the Keystone administrator password on a running cloud. For example, the password may have been unintentionally exposed to a third-party during a troubleshooting session (e.g. directly on screen, remote screen-sharing, viewing of log files, etc.).


This procedure will cause downtime for Keystone, the cloud’s central authentication service. Many core services will therefore be impacted. Plan for a short maintenance window (~15 minutes).

It is recommended to first test this procedure on a staging cloud.


Confirm the admin user context

Ensure that the current user is user ‘admin’:

env | grep OS_USERNAME

If it’s not, source the appropriate cloud admin init file (e.g. openrc or novarc).

Obtain the current password

Obtain the current password with:

juju run --unit keystone/leader leader-get admin_passwd

Change the password

Generate a 16-character password string with the pwgen utility:

PASSWD=$(pwgen -s 16 1)

Change the password with the below command. When prompted, enter the current password and then the new password (i.e. the output to echo $PASSWD).


Once the next command completes successfully the cloud will no longer be able to authenticate requests by the OpenStack CLI clients or the cloud’s core services (i.e. Cinder, Glance, Neutron, Compute, Nova Cloud Controller).

openstack user password set
Current Password: ****************
New Password: ****************
Repeat New Password: ****************

The entered data will not echo back to the screen.


Command options --original-password and --password are available but can leak sensitive information to the system logs.

Inform the keystone charm

Inform the keystone charm of the new password:

juju run -u keystone/leader -- leader-set 'admin_passwd=$PASSWD'


Verify the resumption of normal cloud operations by running a routine battery of tests. The creation of a VM is a good choice.

Update any user-facing tools

Any cloud init files (e.g. novarc) that are hardcoded with the old admin password should be updated to guarantee continued administrative access to the cloud by admin-level operators.

Refresh any browser-cached passwords or password-management plugins (e.g. Bitwarden, LastPass) to ensure successful cloud dashboard (Horizon) logins.